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After defying tariffs, Harley-Davidson kicks off birthday bash in Europe

At a time when the tariff battle is sending jitters across the corporate world, one company is in celebration mode despite being hit hard by President Trump’s latest trade policies. The management of Harley-Davidson (HOG) was pretty quick in their reaction to the import tariffs slapped by the US and the EU on each other, by shifting production of the iconic motorcycles from America to overseas facilities.

On Friday, the company launched its 115th birthday celebrations in the Czech capital of Prague, nearly two months after organizing a similar event at its headquarters in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. While the European event was scheduled much before the trade standoff intensified last month prompting Harley to take the hard decision, the company is reportedly going ahead with a full-throttle bash in Prague. The huge turnout of Harley-owners and enthusiasts at the event is expected to get bigger as the celebration enters the second day.

On Friday, the company launched its 115th birthday celebrations in the Czech capital of Prague

The market remains apprehensive about the long-term impact of the recent developments on Harley’s finances even as Trump continues to target the company ever since it announced the decision to stop using its US facilities to make bikes meant for Europe.

RELATED: Harley-Davidson moves production out of US

Meanwhile, the initial response from the European markets indicates Harley fans in the region are little bothered about the ‘Made in America’ tag, a sentiment that underscores their strong faith in the superbike maker.  It seems Harley-Davidson communities across the world are standing by the company in the difficult times so that prospective customers are not affected by the setback.

As usual, the Prez took to Twitter last week to express his displeasure over the high-end motorcycle company scaling down local operations. It all started when Harley-Davidson said it would shift a part of its production to facilities outside the US to avoid tariffs imposed by the EU in a tit-for-tat reaction to the Federal Government’s decision to levy tax on the import of steel and aluminum.

RELATED: Harley-Davidson Q1 results beat estimates

Harley-Davidson claimed the additional import duty would escalate prices by about $2,200 per unit. That would be substantial considering the fact that more than 16% of the bikes produced by the company are sold in Europe, with Germany, Britain and France being the biggest markets. Experts believe the action taken by the management is a hard blow to Trump’s ‘America First’ policy.

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