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Kansas City’s Harley-Davidson plant begins shutdown process

KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- The end is near for the Harley Davidson motorcycle plant in Kansas City north.

Many workers there will be working their final shifts Thursday and Friday.

Two of three shifts at the plant along Congress just south of I-435 will clock out for the final time. Around 180 workers total will say goodbye to a factory that has operated the past twenty years.

The actual plant is not expected to completely close until next year. One shift will continue to make motorcycles, but they will begin the process of moving operations from Kansas City to York, Pennsylvania.

Harley has a state-of-the art factory in Pennsylvania, and that is where they will soon make the three models of motorcycle they currently make in Kansas City.

All 800 Kansas City employees are expected to lose their jobs while York will gain 450 new jobs at their factory.

Workers have known this day was coming – Harley announced it planned to shut down the plant back in January.

Harley said they are not selling as many bikes and they once did. Because of this, Harley is building a plant in Thailand to sell more bikes in Asia - especially India, where there is a strong love for motorcycles.

Earlier this summer President Trump voiced his anger at Harley shutting down this plant in Kansas City and building one in Thailand, but Harley officials point out European tariffs on American bikes are very high. By making them in Asia, they can save a lot of money.

The Harley plant in Kansas City has been operating since 1998 – there's no word on what will become of the building after Harley leaves.

Due to the shut down, the Kansas City plant no longer offers factory tours and the visitors center – where they sell Harley merchandise – will close in early September.