Where are Harley-Davidson motorcycles manufactured, and who is the current owner of the company?

Harley-Davidson stands as possibly the most iconic motorcycle manufacturer globally. Renowned models such as the "Fat Boy," immortalized in "Terminator 2: Judgment Day," and the Livewire S2 Del Mar, pivotal in the EV revolution, consistently grab attention. However, the whereabouts of their production and the ownership of this classic company remain somewhat obscure to many. Yet, if you assumed Harley-Davidson is an American-owned entity, you'd be mostly correct.

Established in 1903 by William Harley and the Davidson brothers—Walter, Arthur, and William—Harley-Davidson is now publicly owned. With over 138 million free-floating shares and more than 24.5 million company-owned shares, it's held by American individuals, foreign investors, and various stock-market participants.

Notably, investment firms like Vanguard, BlackRock, and H Partners Management hold significant shares, with Vanguard alone owning over 9% of HOG (Harley-Davidson's stock ticker symbol). Despite this, many shares are included in index funds, ensuring individual ownership. Consequently, Harley-Davidson remains an American company with millions of American owners and numerous global stakeholders.

Regarding manufacturing, Harley-Davidson's history primarily involved production in the United States until recent years. Despite four U.S.-based factories operational until 2019, rising global demands and steel-import costs led to a plant closure in Kansas and the establishment of a new one in Thailand. Nevertheless, Harley-Davidson motorcycles sold in the United States are assembled in Wisconsin or Pennsylvania, maintaining its American-made reputation.

While assembly persists in the U.S., parts manufacturing occurs worldwide, including Mexico, Germany, Italy, Taiwan, and Japan. Although some parts bear the "Made in America" label, sourcing from diverse origins makes tracking origins challenging.

Overall, Harley-Davidson remains an American company, having weathered over a century of shifts in the global market. Despite outsourcing parts and production, its commitment to U.S. assembly underscores its enduring American identity.

Whether a fan or not, Harley-Davidson's American roots run deep since its inception in Milwaukee in 1903. Although it has diversified its business model and ventured overseas, every Harley sold in the U.S. is assembled domestically. While outsourcing parts manufacturing and assembly isn't new, Harley-Davidson has maintained its American brand reputation over its 120-year journey.