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Harley Announces Closure of KC Plant: Will Lay Off 800 Employees

Harley-Davidson announced that it will close its Kansas City plant by the summer of 2019 in an effort to reduce costs.

The world's largest maker of heavyweight motorcycles has struggled to reverse a four-year sales slide, with growth overseas somewhat helping offset a decline in the U.S. bike market.

The Milwaukee-based company said its net income fell 82% in its fiscal fourth quarter to $8.3 million, compared with a year earlier. Earnings per share were 5 cents, down from 27 cents a year earlier. Revenue was $1.23 billion, up from $1.11 billion.

The earnings drop came in part because of a charge associated with President Trump's tax cut and a $29.4 million charge for a voluntary product recall.

Harley-Davidson worldwide retail motorcycle sales fell 6.7% in 2017 compared to 2016. The company's U.S. sales fell 8.5% and international sales were down 3.9%.

Harley has taken steps to counter what's been a prolonged downturn, including tightening motorcycle inventories. 

In addition to slowing sales, Harley has been losing market share in the heavyweight touring cruiser market to its newly revived rival, Indian Motorcycles.  

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