Polaris’ announcement comes amid growing concerns over the stiff retaliatory tariffs the EU has imposed on some US imports, including motorbikes. The US-European trade spat has already prompted Harley-Davidson to move some of its production out of the country.
Polaris, a Minnesota-based motorcycle company, said on Friday that it was pondering moving production of its Indian brand of motorcycles out of the United States.
Jess Rogers, the spokesperson for Polaris, told the Associated Press that “nothing is definitive.” According to her, the company, which employs some 650 people in Spirit Lake, Iowa is “looking at a range of mitigation plans,” including moving some of its output to Poland.
The statement comes just days after Harley-Davidson, the only major US-based motorcycle manufacturer, announced that it would shift the production of some of its bikes overseas to mitigate the effects of Europe’s new tariffs on motorcycle imports.
Harley’s move was attacked by US President Donald Trump, who claimed that the company was using Europe’s new taxes as “an excuse” to justify changes in manufacturing it had already planned.
The EU announced that it would hit a range of US imports, including motorbikes, jeans, and bourbon, with tariffs starting in July after the White House announced new duties on metal imports.
The ongoing trade row between the United States and its long-standing trans-Atlantic partners was triggered by Washington’s decision to levy tariffs on steel and aluminum imports from the European Union, Canada and Mexico, citing “national security concerns.”
Indian was an iconic motorcycle brand in the early 20th century; in 2011 Polaris purchased the brand, making it the second most prominent US motorcycle producer, albeit with a US market share of less than 6 percent. Harley Davidson, according to Forbes, had a US market share of 53.1 percent as of Q3 2017.
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