Cleaning up the HOG pen
So, Harley-Davidson CEO got what he was looking for out of York and the Union voted today to accept the new labor agreement
Since his arrival in May, Wandell has been making fairly dramatic moves to reorganize the cost structures of Harley-Davidson; from dismantling Buell, to divesting MV Agusta, shutting down manufacturing for an entire month or quarter (depending on the facility), to laying off salaried employees. One of his key concerns was the structure of the manufactuing operation in York. He has repeatedly stated that the facility was simply not sustainable and that if York didn't find a way to become sustainable, production would move. Period.
It would seem that these moves are truly realigning the H-D cost structures for the longer term, which bodes well for future profits. Already dealers have commented on the effectiveness of the production cutbacks on inventories. HDFS has been able to secure funds for financing. The parts all look like they are falling into place.
Wandell was clearly what H-D needed (someone from the outside with a focus on the business instead of being "in the club"...so to speak). I give HOG two years to be back to peak form...and Wandell five years to take his turnaround talents to another company with a bigger challenge (GE anyone?).