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YORK, PA-Amid a sharp downturn in sales Harley Davidson is deciding whether to reinvent its 230-acre, one million-square-foot manufacturing facility here or start over somewhere else. The analysis is part of a cost-cutting effort that has the Milwaukee, WI-based company reducing production and employment, closing its Franklin, WI, parts and accessories distribution center in favor of a third-party provider, consolidating its two Milwaukee-area power train plants into one facility, and consolidating its York paint and frame operations into one plant.

Harley Davidson’s York manufacturing facility is its largest, with 1 million square feet of built space on 230 acres. Opened in 1973, the facility is currently used for final assembly of Harley-Davidson’s Softail and Touring motorcycles. After announcing its original cost reduction plan in January, the company determined that the 42-building facility “is not currently competitive or sustainable” and undertook a study to determine whether major, additional restructuring at York could change that. Concurrently, in case the determination is “no,” the company has been scouting locations for starting fresh somewhere else.

In an attempt to keep the two thousand or so jobs Pennsylvania is reportedly offering assistance with job training and infrastructure improvements, and has offered low-interest loans and $15 million for upgrades. The company has reportedly maintained that remaining in Pennsylvania is its preferred option. The other cities in the running for a relocated manufacturing facility are believed to be in Shelbyville, KY; Murfreesboro, TN; Shelbyville, IN; and Kansas City, MO, where the company already has a facility. A decision is expected later this year. The company also has facilities in Wauwatosa, WI and Tomahawk, WI.

Harley Spokesman Bob Klein did not return phone calls seeking comment. In addition to being out of date, Harley’s facility in York suffers from soil and groundwater contamination. Prior to Harley acquiring the York facility in 1981 the facility was used by the US Navy and AMF. In January 1995, Harley entered into a settlement agreement with the Navy that calls for the Navy and Harley to split the cleanup cost 53% to 47%. Harley estimates that its share of the future cleanup costs at the York facility will be approximately $6.2 million.

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