Kansas City out of running for Harley-Davidson plant

September 1, 2009

Central Indiana’s chances for landing a Harley-Davidson motorcycle plant have been improved by the elimination of Kansas City from the list of potential sites.

Harley is considering sites just south of Indianapolis in Shelbyville, as well as in Shelbyville, Ky., and Murfreesboro, Tenn., for a new plant to potentially replace an old facility in York, Penn.

Harley employs about 2,300 people in York, but the new plant is likely to have fewer employees.

Executives of Milwaukee-based Harley-Davidson Inc. broke the news to Kansas City economic development officials yesterday, according to the Kansas City Star. The company did not provide a specific reason for dropping the city from its list, but officials told the newspaper that other states apparently had provided more competitive offers.

It’s unclear what Indiana might be proposing. Officials from the Indiana Economic Development Corp. have declined to discuss Harley’s interest in Shelbyville. But incentives are expected to play a key role.

Company officials were in Shelby County Aug. 19 to assess potential locations for a new plant.
Pennsylvania is not giving the plant up without a fight. Its governor has pledged $15 million in incentives to keep the iconic company in York.

Harley is expected to make a decision by the end of the year.


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