Harley Davidson ferme l'usine de Castalloy Adelaide
Une autre victime de la crise economique
HARLEY-DAVIDSON will sever its Adelaide manufacturing ties in a decision that will cost 212 jobs.
The Milwaukee-based motorbike manufacturer yesterday announced it would close New Castalloy, the North Plympton business it saved from extinction in 2006 to secure its supply of wheels and wheel hubs.
Former premier Mike Rann praised Harley at the time, saying it would otherwise have resulted in "collateral damage for the SA economy" as the closure blew on to 100 other local businesses.
Company documents show the State Government agreed to purchase the land for almost $9 million in return for a financial guarantee by New Castalloy. The financial consequences of that guarantee ended on November 28, casting questions over the long-term value of government deals.
Harley operations and communications director Pat Sweeney said the company was committed to closing the facility by mid-2013 but would talk with unions and employees over the next two months to determine the timing of the closure.
"It is a very difficult decision,," she said.
"This workforce has been very passionate about what they do and we are very passionate about what we do."
Harley-Davidson will get its hubs from its Japanese and American manufacturing operations, which it had already cut back in an attempt to cope with the global financial crisis - not China as speculation had it.
"(Castalloy) had a number of cost competitive gaps we wanted to close. We are looking for long-term cost competitiveness in an economy that is becoming increasingly global," she said. "We have already done a lot of restructuring in our US factories. It was a question of how we become cost competitive and still deliver the products our customers want."
Harley has already wound back operations at New Castalloy. The company had 320 employees when it took over the business in 2006 but now has only 183 employees and 29 contract workers.
Employment Minister Tom Kenyon said the workers would likely find employment.
The Castalloy business reported a profit of $5.5 million last calendar year - up from $4.3 million.