My advice to Harley-Davidson is hold off. Hold off to see what happens. Let Trump do his work, and you'll be happy you did.
WIXOM, Mich. June 30, 2018
Bill Poulos, president and co-founder of Profits Run, Inc., today announced his stance on Harley-Davidson’s manufacturing move to Europe. The broadcast from Poulos comes after Harley-Davidson announced their plans to move production from the United States to Europe. Bill Poulos shared, “It's curious that Harley-Davidson would make this announcement in the midst of Trump's initiative to, after years of our trading partners taking advantage of the United States, try to overcome the disparity. Trump is not just trying, he is already effectively overcoming that disparity and already getting our trading partners to make concessions in favor of the US. So, how is Trump going to make trade agreement changes in favor of the US? He's doing it with, of course, tariffs. Some real, some imagined, some threatened, some imposed, but none of them expected to be permanent. That's what everybody's missing. They're all having apoplexy over these tariffs as if they're going to be permanent and, of course, they're not. They're just negotiating chips that Trump is using as leverage to gain parity when it comes to trade. So why would Harley-Davidson announce this move in the midst of all of that? A smart company would wait and let these negotiations play out at the geopolitical level before making such a decision. This is because before the day is done, or before the month is done, or the year, certainly Trump will have the European Union either removing or certainly relaxing the tariffs that are currently imposed on products—like Harley-Davidson motorcycles. So they could be looking foolish as a company by having to reverse their decision when that day comes.”
Business Insider reported (6/29/2018) that Harley-Davidson’s problems extend beyond Trump’s trade war, revealing that even before tariff implementations, estimates for the company were extremely low due to factors like negative demographic trends. The company saw a 12% decrease in US sales in its most recent earning report, making their stand-off with the President a risky PR move.
Reflecting on his time at General Motors, Poulos offered insight into unbalanced trade agreements between the United States and Germany, “Now, this disparity in the US trade with its major partners is not imagined. It's not just Trump saying it. It's real. I personally have experienced it during my time with General Motors, working with the Germans at the Opel. They had an Opel operation, which was then a subsidiary of General Motors and as such. I was well-familiar with Opel's competitors (directly or indirectly), including BMW and Mercedes. Although Opel didn't compete directly with them, they did so indirectly. I think the Germans enjoyed almost unfettered access to the US markets, exporting BMWs and Mercedes into our market, with hardly any restrictions. I think the Germans would actually be amused by the Americans. They would laugh at us for a couple of reasons. One, for letting them into our market without any restrictions to speak of while they, on the other hand, had all kinds of restrictions in terms of importing US products, US automobiles. Second, they jacked the price up because of the mystique around a BMW or a Mercedes, so they had the Americans fooled twice. Americans were paying too much, and they were not allowed to reciprocate and export into Europe. That's been going on for decades, so Trump's exactly right.”
Poulos concluded, “So, my advice to Harley-Davidson is hold off. Hold off to see what happens. Let Trump do his work, and you'll be happy you did.”
Bill Poulos is the president and co-founder of Profits Run. Prior to founding Profits Run, Poulos worked with General Motors for over 30 years. Through those years he worked his way up into upper level positions and retired as an automotive executive. Bill is a philanthropist, educator, and author. Poulos holds a Master of Business Administration with a major in finance. He received his bachelor’s degree in engineering from General Motors Institute (GMI). Bill and his wife, Karen, currently reside in Michigan. They have three children and have been married for over 48 years.
About Profits Run, Inc.
In 2001, Profits Run was co-founded by the father and son duo, Bill and Gregory Poulos. The company’s name derives from a popular trader saying, “Cut your losses and let your profits run.” The mission of ProfitsRun.com is to educate people on a simpler and safer way to invest. Profits Run, Inc. is headquartered in Wixom, Michigan.