President Trump’s trade war with the European Union has seen a couple new twists, with Polaris now thinking about an overseas factory for Indian, and Trump attacking Harley-Davidson on Twitter for contemplating the same thing.
A representative for Polaris has said a European production facility is a possibility, assembling Indian motorcycles overseas to avoid the import tariff attached by the EU as a retaliation for the US’s recent tariffs on aluminum and steel. While Indian doesn’t sell as many motorcycles in Europe as Harley-Davidson does, they’d still like to keep that market (and grow it).
The tariffs will make that hard; a local plant in Europe (Poland has been mentioned as a potential location) could bring the prices back down. Much of the manufacturing process could be completed in Indian’s facility in Iowa, with parts shipped over to Europe to be reassembled as a knock-down kit.
But Indian’s plans will most likely face opposition from President Trump. Ever since Harley-Davidson announced it had plans for overseas productions to avoid tariffs, Trump has been taking jabs at the MoCo via Twitter, claiming other companies are looking to move production to the US and that Harley-Davidson is going to end up a loser if it starts building bikes overseas—hardly morale-boosting stuff for the company’s employees at this difficult time.