Harley-Davidson closes Buell, will sell MV Agusta

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The 2009 Buell 1125CR. Better buy one now, because they won’t be making them anymore.

Reeling from even worse than expected third-quarter results showing an 84.1 percent decline in net income over the same period last year, Harley-Davidson has announced it will shut down its Buell division and sell off MV Agusta, the Italian manufacturer H-D bought just last year. A visibly stunned and emotional Eric Buell, founder of the brand that carries his name, has posted a video announcing the planned December closure.

Eric Buell’s video, posted this morning on the Buell website, appears below:

Harley-Davidson had the following to say about the planned closure of Buell and sale of MV Agusta:
Details of Buell and MV Agusta Actions
“The Company will discontinue production of Buell motorcycles. Remaining inventories of Buell motorcycles, accessories and apparel, while they last, will continue to be sold through authorized dealerships. Warranty coverage will continue as normal for Buell motorcycles and the Company will provide replacement parts and service through dealerships.

“The decision will result in a reduction over time of about 80 hourly production positions and about 100 salaried positions at Buell. Employment will end for a majority of Buell employees Dec. 18, 2009.

“Harley-Davidson, Inc. expects to incur approximately $125 million in one-time costs related to the discontinuation of the Buell product line. The Company expects to incur approximately $115 million of that amount this year.

“Relative to MV Agusta, the Company will immediately commence efforts to sell the business, which is based in Varese, Italy.

“In the third quarter, Harley-Davidson, Inc. recorded a one-time fixed-asset impairment charge of $14.2 million related to Buell and a goodwill impairment charge of $18.9 million related to MV Agusta.”

For the full press release, click here.

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