Harley-Davidson CEO Calls Trump’s Attacks ‘Unfortunate Attention’

July 30, 2018, 4:00 PM UTC

Harley-Davidson CEO Matt Levatich said little when pressed about President Donald Trump’s recent attacks on his company.

Speaking to CNBC’s Morgan Brennan in an interview on Monday, Levatich called the president’s recent tweets against Harley-Davidson “unfortunate attention.” He added that his company has made strides to not be “a political organization” and continually works at being “apolitical.”

Harley-Davidson announced in June plans to move its production on motorcycles that cater to the European market outside of the U.S. The move was a response to European Union tariffs in response to the Trump administration’s own moves on tariffs against Europe.

The president responded on Twitter saying that Harley-Davidson “should stay 100% in America.” He also seemed to take the move personally, saying, “I’ve done so much for you, and then this.”

“Other companies are coming back where they belong,” the president continued. “We won’t forget, and neither will your customers or your now very HAPPY competitors.”

Levatich’s comments on Monday came alongside his company’s announcement of a new initiative that will expand its lineup of light motorcycles for several markets around the world, including China and India. Harley-Davidson is also changing its retail strategy and expanding its push internationally following declining U.S. sales.

Levatich didn’t mention Trump by name in his comments to CNBC. He did, however, say that his company needs to “deal with what we have to deal with.”

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