Harley-Davidson shut down its Pilgrim Road Powertrain Operations Wednesday afternoon when a worker tested positive for the COVID-19 coronavirus and is thoroughly cleaning and disinfecting the building, per the company’s coronavirus response protocol. “We recognize the unprecedented nature of this global crisis. In order to best support our employees and following the social distancing guidance issued by public health authorities, we are temporarily suspending the majority of production at our U.S. manufacturing facilities,” said Jochen Zeitz, acting CEO and president, Harley-Davidson. “We will continue to monitor the situation and take necessary steps to prioritize employee health and safety.”
Harley-Davidson had been watching the COVID-19 contagion carefully, taking proactive measures in the interest of health and safety of its employees, dealers and consumers. Its most recent measures include temporarily suspending the majority of production at its U.S. manufacturing facilities beginning this evening, March 18, through March 29 to help support employee health and further bolster coronavirus containment efforts. Facilities temporarily suspending production include York Vehicle Operations in Pennsylvania and Wisconsin facilities Tomahawk Operations and Pilgrim Road Powertrain Operations.
Harley-Davidson will continue monitoring the situation closely and make additional adjustments as necessary in accordance with World Health Organization (WHO) and Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidelines. The majority of its U.S. production employees will be on temporary layoff with medical benefits. The company will use this time to continue deep cleaning and disinfecting its production areas and common areas to further protect workers upon their return.
On Monday, Harley had asked employees at its Milwaukee-area headquarters and Product Development Center to work remotely through at least the end of March. Additionally, the company is proactively working with its dealers to assess individual impacts and its encouraging dealers to follow the public health guidelines in their communities for the safety of its consumers. In accordance with social distance guidelines, all Harley-Davidson sponsored events have been cancelled until mid-April.