Harley-Davidson is keeping is still closing the plant in Kansas City, despite a plea by Missouri congressional leaders. They reminded Harley-Davidson of the large amounts of money in incentives given to them by the state over the past 20 years.
Missouri’s two senators joined by two congressmen noted in a letter sent Friday to Harley CEO, Matt Levitach that Kansas City beat out all other cities when Harley was looking for the right place to build the assembly.
“It came with a considerable incentive package from the city, Platte County and the state of Missouri,” the letter says, KAGS reports. “Over that time, the company has become an important part of the community and has grown to be one of the largest manufacturers in the Kansas City region.”
According to the Kansas City Star, the state had offered a $6.4 million incentive package to lure the motorcycle manufacturer to Kansas City initially. Those subsidies allegedly grew by tens of millions of dollars over time.
Michael Pflughoeft , who is a Harley spokesman, said Friday that the company hasn’t received the letter yet. But he also said that the decision to definitely close the plant still remains and that neither unions representing the company’s workers nor its congressional delegation are in position to do anything that could stop the plant from closing. According to him, the decision was based on market conditions solely.
“Ultimately, this initiative is about reducing excess (plant) capacity. Our Kansas City workforce has done a tremendous job producing quality motorcycles and serving our customers. And we have always appreciated the support of our Kansas City community,” Pflughoeft said. (Via: KAGS)
Harley-Davidson announced last month that it was shutting the Kansas City plant. This is where the Softail line of bikes was build and aside from the factory itself being iconic for producing some of the most popular Harley-Davidson models, there is still a bigger issue: the 800 workers who are to be jobless very soon.
Some of the people who work in this plant have worked there since the plant was opened two decades ago, and for some of them working there has been like landing a dream job.
Union officials are also trying to make Harley keep the plant opened.