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Harley-Davidson Celebrates First Production Motorcycles in Kansas City

6 January 1998

Harley-Davidson Celebrates First Production Motorcycles in Kansas City

    KANSAS CITY, Mo., Jan. 6 -- Harley-Davidson, Inc.
today celebrated the first motorcycles off the production line at
its newest plant, just completed in Kansas City.  That sets the stage for the
13th consecutive year since the company went public in 1986 that the number of
motorcycle deliveries to customers has increased.
    After more than a year preparing the $85 million, 330,000-square-foot
Kansas City facility for production of Harley-Davidson motorcycles, more than
200 employees, their families, and community leaders celebrated the event at
the new manufacturing plant today.
    "The Kansas City plant is an evolutionary turning point in
Harley-Davidson's history," said Harley-Davidson Chief Executive Officer Jeff
Bleustein.  "We've been able to utilize information and ideas gleaned from our
existing facilities over the years to create, from a clean sheet of paper, a
collaborative working environment for motorcycle production."
    Among the improvements at the Kansas City facility are
ergonomically-friendly production lines which raise, lower and rotate to
accommodate varying types of workers and jobs, and enhancements to
Harley-Davidson's unique labor and management joint leadership philosophy.
    Harley-Davidson expects to produce at least 145,000 motorcycles in 1998,
up from 131,000 in 1997.  The company began the 1990's by producing 62,000
motorcycles.  The opening of the new Kansas City plant is part of an overall
company plan to grow production capacity to 200,000 units by 2003,
Harley-Davidson's 100th birthday.
    Harley-Davidson's Kansas City facility will manufacture the company's
Sportster(R) line, including the Sportster 1200, Sportster 1200 Sport(TM),
Sportster 1200 Custom(TM), Sportster 883 and Sportster 883 Hugger(R), ranging
in price $5,245 - $8,670 (Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Prices).  The
company's York, Pa. facility, which currently manufactures the line, will
incrementally transfer Sportster production to Kansas City by mid-summer and
increase production of Harley-Davidson's Big Twin product lines.
    Kansas City Mayor Emanuel Cleaver joined Harley-Davidson's Kansas City
employees in adding their signatures to the second motorcycle to come off the
production line.  The autographed bike will be permanently displayed at the
Harley-Davidson Kansas City Visitor Center, expected to open in October of
this year.  Harley-Davidson also has earmarked the first production motorcycle
for its national archives in Milwaukee, Wis., the company's corporate
    "Harley-Davidson is a great example of Kansas City's efforts toward the
economic expansion of our city," said Mayor Cleaver.  "Harley-Davidson's
reputation for quality products and technology will become the benchmark for
local and state government in working together with a world-class
manufacturer.  Kansas City hopes to ride into the twenty-first century on a
    Harley-Davidson currently employs 203 people at the Kansas City facility,
of whom:
    -- 23 percent were hired from the Kansas City Enterprise Zone
    -- 30 percent are minorities
    -- 20 percent are female

    By the end of 1998, Harley-Davidson expects to employ more than 350 people
in Kansas City.  Fifteen percent of the value of the contracts awarded for the
plant's construction went to women and minority-owned firms.
    Harley-Davidson Motor Co., the only major U.S.-based motorcycle
manufacturer, produces heavyweight motorcycles and a complete line of
motorcycle parts, accessories, apparel, and general merchandise.  Eaglemark
Financial Services, Inc. provides wholesale and retail financing, insurance
and credit card programs to Harley-Davidson dealers and customers and similar
programs for other leisure products manufacturers.

SOURCE  Harley-Davidson, Inc.