Those parts are shipped the U.S. for final bike assembly. Many of the ones assembled here are then exported to those other countries where they’re still considered American-made. Considering the company’s long-running partnerships with other nations, why is moving some of its production overseas just now coming under fire? Has the origin of its parts detracted from its following here on American soil in the past? Based on continually rising sales, the answer would seem to be no.
Now, let’s look at the situation from a different angle. Certain automotive manufacturers, Ford and Chevrolet included, have some of their parts fabricated in other countries and sent back to their U.S. manufacturing plants for further production. Does this make them any less American? Are they now going to be taxed like never before as well?
Bringing It All Full-Circle
For millions of riders, both in the United States and abroad, Harley-Davidson represents the entire American biker culture as well as much of what the nation stands for. The company has spawned an entire community of people dressed for the ride, not the destination, with protective leather and meaningful slogans. Of course, it runs far deeper than outward appearance.
Harley’s diverse society is one in which pride runs deep and respect for your fellow man perseveres. Rebellious spirit and the sheer freedom of the open road reign supreme, like the ideals depicted in our biker t-shirt lineup. This image has been more than a century in the making even though foreign companies have had a hand in the brand’s manufacturing processes for almost as long.
All this may not have impacted Harley or its surrounding persona up until this point, but will current media coverage and our nation’s fearless leader’s outbursts change all that? As some people suddenly turn their backs on the brand altogether, hundreds of thousands of others will proudly continue to support this long-running American tradition.
In the Scheme of Things
Riding is about the freedom you experience out on the open road. It’s about facing those unexpected rainstorms. Jumping on your bike means feeling the wind on your face, seeing the world from an entirely different perspective than you would in a minivan. It’s taking off on an adventure to nowhere because you know better than anyone the whole experience is about the ride, not the destination.
Do Harley-Davidson’s plans to beat the EU’s motorcycle taxes change the way you feel about the company or the Harley Culture as a whole? Does it really matter where a few components come from? Please feel free to share your thoughts with us!