With US President Donald Trump’s trade war showing no signs of slowing down, American motorcycle manufacturers are steadily deciding to take drastic action in order to remain solvent.
Milwaukee giant Harley-Davidson recently announced its plans to move production of Europe-bound motorcycles overseas; and now Indian Motorcycle has expressed a similar desire.
Indian’s smallest motorcycle is the 999cc Scout Sixty. With tariffs being placed on all American motorcycles above 500cc, Indian’s entire range in Europe will be affected.
In a recent statement from by Polaris, the manufacturer talks about the burdens placed on it by the recently hiked EU tariffs. It also announced the possibility of shifting its production from Iowa to a factory based in Poland.
The statement reads, “Polaris has been supportive of the Administration’s pro-growth agenda, such as tax and regulatory reform that promote a robust economy and global competitiveness for all US manufacturers. However, the escalating trade war has the potential to erase the benefits Polaris received and the recent EU retaliatory tariffs have required us to expend time, energy and resources to evaluate mitigation plans, including the possibility of moving production of the Indian motorcycles that are destined for Europe from Iowa to our facility in Poland.”
“The growing impact of this trade war is increasing the costs for our vehicles,” the statement went on to say. “We continue to examine various options for managing these cost increases from both the tariffs and the domestic materials pricing.”
Trump has made his dissatisfaction towards Harley-Davidson’s decision to shift production clear in a series of tweets. If Polaris decides to go ahead with these plans, it is likely to garner a similar response from the American President. In his tweets, Trump claims that due to declining sales, Harley has wanted to move production overseas for many months now, and is only using the ongoing trade war as an excuse.
While there has been talk of Harley production moving to Thailand (earlier this year, the brand announced the closure of its Kansas City plant by mid-2019), Indian Motorcycle has made no such indications in the past. If Indian does indeed move production, it would cause a conflict with Trump’s statements about Harley-Davidson, since the Springfield manufacturer has seen its sales steadily rise since it was recently brought back to life.