Harley-Davidson said Thursday it would temporarily halt production of all gasoline-powered motorcycles for two weeks “out of an abundance of caution,” due to an unspecified issue with a supplier’s component and a “regulatory compliance matter.” Production of electric LiveWire motorcycles is not affected by today’s decision.
Harley’s statement, posted on Thursday to the company’s website, is short and sweet. This does not appear to be a supply chain issue, like what we’ve seen impacting automakers for months now, but rather a problem with a piece of equipment that Harley purchases from a third-party supplier. Harley’s statement in its entirety:
Yesterday, Harley-Davidson, Inc. (“Harley-Davidson”) (NYSE:HOG) took the decision to suspend all vehicle assembly and shipments (excluding LiveWire) for a two-week period. This decision, taken out of an abundance of caution, is based on information provided by a third-party supplier to Harley-Davidson late on Tuesday (5/17) concerning a regulatory compliance matter relating to the supplier’s component part.
The note that LiveWire electric models are excluded hints at a serious problem specific to Harley’s gasoline-powered motorcycles. The mention of a “regulatory compliance matter” would seem to point toward a problem with an emissions-related device. When reached by Jalopnik, Harley-Davidon did not offer any further comment on the matter.
Motorcycle sales shot up in the pandemic, to Harley’s benefit: The company’s shipments rose 30 percent in 2021 compared to the year prior, though shipments were flat in the first quarter of 2022 as Harley has struggled to deal with other supply-chain issues.
It also comes at a pretty unwelcome time: Harley-Davidson is determined to rebrand itself to become more appealing to younger buyers. The company seemed to finally be building momentum toward that goal, even showing higher profits earlier this year.
Wall Street wasn’t impressed by today’s news out of H-D. Harley’s stock was down 9 percent for the day as of this writing.