Harley-Davidson CEO Jochen Zeitz right, on the Pan America.

Harley-Davidson wants to sue against punitive tariffs!

Harley -Davidson CEO Jochen Zeitz announced on Monday in Milwaukee that he would sue against the punitive tariffs . There is still no agreement in sight in the trade dispute between the EU and the USA; on the contrary, it is even being improved. From June, import duties on Harley-Davidson motorcycles are set to rise by 31 percent to 56 percent. This is not only bad news for the stock market, but also for all 369 European Harley-Davidson dealers. In the end, they would have to foot the bill and accept massive losses if that happens.

The German Economics Minister Peter Altmaier last indicated in June 2019 that there would be the possibility of an agreement at the turn of 2019 and 2020. The US president has now changed and the situation is getting extremely worse. The question is probably whether the good man is still involved, otherwise something would have certainly happened by today. It's also about the future of German companies, which apparently has no meaning whatsoever.

Jochen Zeitz can actually look forward to a positive future, the returns are right.
Jochen Zeitz can actually look to a positive future, the shares are rising and the returns are right.

The real problem is that not only vehicles from the USA should be subject to punitive tariffs, but also the entire Harley-Davidson product range, regardless of where they were produced. The company is actually back on track, the share price is stable and the prospects are positive. The renewed punitive tariff increase would mean the end for Harley-Davidson on the European market, said Jochen Zeitz. Apparently no one in the EU sees these connections, that it is not just a US company that is being harmed, but every Harley-Davidson dealer, employees and even trainees.

At the beginning of the punitive tariffs, Harley-Davidson covered the tariff increase itself without passing it on. A year later, production for Europe was relocated to Thailand, which caused major protests, particularly in the USA. Production in Germany is certainly not an alternative solution because of the high costs, at most if they only put the parts together in Germany. There are definitely parts from European suppliers, but that wouldn't be impossible.

The idea is unusual, but quite interesting if there were suddenly a Harley-Davidson “Made in Germany”. The lettering “Made in Germany” was created in 1887. Instead of customs, it was intended to be understood as a warning, that didn’t really work.

Jochen Zeitz currently has no choice but to take legal action. His argument: “Harley-Davidson is excluded from European competition by the punitive tariffs.” He's right, hopefully the judges see it the same way!

Text: Harleysite 04/2021

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