Harley-Davidson terminates the HD dealer agreement for Harley-Davidson Cologne and Bonn
A fully qualified lawyer employed by Ver.di and his Twitter posse leaves more than 50 employees worried about their jobs.
The current report will certainly be an exciting crime thriller this year.
Harley-Davidson has surprisingly terminated the dealer contract for Harley-Davidson Cologne and Harley-Davidson Bonn as of December 31, 2021.
The reason is “racism”, Harley-Davidson fears damage to the reputation of the Harley-Davidson brand and the name Harley-Davidson Cologne. This debate was initiated by the Bielefeld lawyer employed by Verdi, Dr. Onur Ocak triggered Twitter
Originally it was about a former employee of Harley-Davidson Cologne wanting to have the Ver.di lawyer clarify why her last payslip was lower than expected. The Ver.di fully qualified lawyer Dr. Onur Ocak then wrote to the authorized dealer and assured him that he was acting on behalf of the former employee. Normally, a copy of the power of attorney signed by the client is included as an attachment to the first letter, but this was missing. The lawyer then received the following message in a reply from the now former managing director of the Harley-Davidson Cologne and Bonn holding company!
“It may be that in the country you come from it is customary to simply insure a power of attorney, but here in our country it is not the case. And, if their title is actually real, they know it too.”
The Ver.di fully qualified lawyer reacts on Twitter
Normally I do not publish excerpts from correspondence. But what @harleydavidson Cologne is doing here is so amusingly underground that I don't want to withhold it from you. pic.twitter.com/HKX86TgGBz—Dr. Onur Ocak (@DrOnurOcak) November 15, 2021
This in turn prompted the Ver.di lawyer to publish the letter on Twitter. Now you have to know that Dr. Ocak is not only employed by Ver.di as a lawyer, but also acts as a politician with a party ticket for the Left Party, who applied as a candidate for the North Rhine-Westphalia state executive committee in December 2021. He also describes himself on Twitter as a former mayoral candidate. And now we all know that every politician looking for media attention is on Twitter.
So we can clearly understand what happened now, obviously Dr. Ocak turned to the mirror to give the whole thing a little media boost. That was a success, Spiegel reacted and published an article about it, which drew wider circles. So it didn't take long for other media to jump on the bandwagon.
Funny - but that sounds somehow different in your video on Insta (?) How does that correspond to your statement, the basic attitude of Verdi and her party? @dronurocak @harleydavidson @verdi @DieLinkeNRW @DieLinkePresse @SPIEGEL_alles pic.twitter.com/LgCvdqex8s— speedlimiter89 (@speed123) January 6, 2022
However, neither the journalist from Spiegel (Kristin Haug) nor Dr. Ocak have made a distinction between separating the Harley-Davidson Cologne company from the Harley-Davidson Company. Like Dr. Ocak still linked Harley-Davidson in his Twitter messages today and not the Harley-Davidson Cologne company that is responsible for itself.
Of course, Harley-Davidson didn't like that, they asked Spiegel to correct it, and Spiegel complied.
Harley-Davidson distances itself!
Harley-Davidson has clearly distanced itself from the statements made by the holding company's managing director. In further discussions between the management of Harley-Davidson and the managing director of the holding company, it was agreed that the managing director would step down from his responsibilities as managing director and leave the company. That's exactly what happened, but Harley-Davidson has now terminated the dealer contracts of both companies, Cologne and Bonn, which belong to the holding company because of the accusation of racism.
Now the damage could potentially amount to several million euros
The big question now is whether this will be legally valid, as damage running into the millions could now occur. The former managing director will now have a court determine whether Dr. Ocak was even entitled to publish the letter, but the court will have to clarify whether it is actually about racism and whether Dr. At the time of writing, the power of attorney was actually signed.
As a lawyer with a doctorate, you are actually subject to professional law and legal professional confidentiality. The fact that Verdi's fully qualified lawyer published the correspondence could now fall on the Left Party member's toes. Regardless of whether the answer from the former managing director is racism or not. Both have certainly made mistakes here, but one of them has already drawn the consequences.
Questions upon questions that can ultimately cause quite a stir, plus Dr. Ocak works for Ver.di, if claims for damages are due here, which a court has to clarify, the story could also become a Twitter farce with sustainable development for the politician.
Great start to the new year for the employees
How will this continue in Cologne and Bonn and why can't another solution be found if the person responsible has withdrawn from the company? There are now 50 employees here, over 90% of whom are certainly doing their dream job, because we all know that at Harley-Davidson it's always about more than just working. Emotions, myths and the fun of motorcycling play a very important role here.
Harley-Davidson Bonn belongs to a holding company that also includes Harley-Davidson Cologne and the ball started rolling through the now former managing director of the holding company, not through the managing directors of Harley-Davidson Cologne, as was sometimes heard.
The racism discussion at Harley-Davidson Cologne has drawn considerable attention and has also cost Harley-Davidson Bonn its Harley-Davidson dealer contract.
Statement from former Harley-Davidson Cologne
A few days ago we were surprised by the “without notice termination” of our dealer contracts for Cologne AND Bonn. We are currently having these terminations undergo a legal review before the Frankfurt Regional Court; We are supported by a prominent law firm from Cologne.
In our legal opinion, the termination is ineffective for various reasons.
In our opinion, the stated reason for termination is inadequate and completely disproportionate. It is reasonable to assume that this is a pretext based on another form. The fact that all of this is now being carried out on the backs of our customers and employees without regard to losses leaves us stunned at the current situation and in no way corresponds to the spirit of this great brand.
IMPORTANT FOR OUR CUSTOMERS:
The new vehicles ordered are guaranteed to be delivered on time!
Shop & workshop are open! When it comes to warranty and service work, all of our employees are highly trained; We have all the necessary tools and diagnostic tools so that we meet all the necessary requirements to ensure that Harley-Davidson is supplied with original spare parts in accordance with the Block Exemption Regulation (GMO for short). In terms of workshop technology, nothing changes for our customers.
We will keep you updated and hope for your support!
Cologne in January 2022”
HD Cologne and Bonn
Managing Directors Daniela Kierdorf / Jan Schneider
#End of opinion
The following Harley-Davidson authorized dealers have been without an HD dealer contract since 2022
Harley-Davidson ignition system Austria
The former Austrian Harley-Davidson authorized dealer Zündwerk has said goodbye in an emotional post and announced that he will no longer be an official HD authorized dealer at the end of 2021 and will be closing his store. The workshop will continue until March 31, 2022. Link to the whole post
Harley Heaven Switzerland
Things were different in Zurich/Dietcon, however, when the now former HD authorized dealer Harley-Heaven had the HD contract withdrawn because, in Harley-Davidson's opinion, other motorcycle manufacturers in the immediate vicinity of the store did not fit the HD concept. Link to the whole post
External link to Harley-Davidson Cologne
External link to Harley-Davidson Bonn
Harley site 2022