Harley-Davidson is looking to cut its labor costs any way it can, even if it takes leaving Wisconsin. The Associated Press is reporting that the 107-year-old company has gone as far as to scout out other (likely southern) states in an effort to reduce its labor costs. Company CEO Keith Wandell says that the company will likely come to a decision in the next month or two, adding that Harley is open to tax incentives that will help keep the motorcycle facilities in the state of Wisconsin. Among the chief concerns of Harley-Davidson executives is the production schedules at its factories. Harley corporate wants to align production with seasonal demand, but as of yet, the union isn't too keen on the idea, so it's possible that the threat to move is posturing.
Meanwhile, the city of Milwaukee is already struggling to keep jobs in a down economy and the loss of 1,630 high-paying jobs would be a monumental blow to the community. The city already lost the headquarters of Miller Beer back in 2008, and Schlitz left the city in the 1980s due in part to labor strife. Harley-Davidson also brings tens of thousands of visitors from around the world, bolstering the local tourist economy. But although management is looking into moving its factories, it will reportedly keep its headquarters in the beleaguered city.