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Report: Harley-Davidson to close Kansas City plant

Harley-Davidson isn't backing down from the recent plans it released to close its Kansas City plant, according to an article in Milwaukee's Journal Sentinel.

The plant, which Harley announced last month would be closing due to falling consumer demand for motorcycles, will cost the city about 800 jobs. But Missouri lawmakers sent a letter to the heavyweight motorcycle manufacturer last Friday, urging the company to reverse its plan. The letter made note of the many tax incentives given to Harley over the past two decades. 

State and local leaders initially offered a $6.4 million incentive package to lure Harley to Kansas City initially and those subsidies grew by tens of millions of dollars over time, according to a January story in the Kansas City Star.

Harley spokesman Michael Pflughoeft told the Journal Sentinel in an email Friday the company had not yet seen the letter. But he said the decision to close the plant was based on market conditions.

“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 wrote. “Unfortunately, there’s nothing our unions or local or congressional members could have done to relieve the pressure of excess capacity we have in the U.S. today. If there was, we would have reached out to discuss options."

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