Harley Davidson to lay off 40 employees in Wisconsin

FILE PHOTO: Harley-Davidson motorcycles are on display at the company’s headquarter in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, U.S., February 7, 2018. REUTERS/Rajesh Kumar Singh

CHICAGO (Reuters) - Harley-Davidson Inc has laid off 40 employees at its general merchandise division in Milwaukee as part of a restructuring exercise, according to a company official with knowledge of the matter.

In an emailed response to Reuters, the motorcycle maker confirmed the layoffs but didn’t share the details. Harley said it was reorganizing the division to manage its business with “focus and discipline”.

The merchandise division accounted for about 5% of the company’s revenues last year. However, sales have been falling since 2015. In the first half of this year, the unit reported a 4.2% year-on-year decline in revenues.

Harley is battling weak demand in the United States, which accounts for more than half of its sales. Declining sales have forced the company to revise down its motorcycle shipment forecast for the year.

The company official said the layoffs won’t impact any workers in its manufacturing division.

Reporting by Rajesh Kumar Singh; Editing by Kim COghill