The manufacturer of Indian motorcycles says it might have to shift some production overseas to avoid European tariffs.
The tariffs — which also have competitor Harley-Davidson looking to move some of its production to Europe — are part of a tit-for-tat trade war set off by trade policies implemented by President Donald J. Trump’s administration.
Polaris Industries, which makes snowmobiles and four-wheelers in addition to the revamped Indian brand, is considering moving production to Poland, a spokeswoman told The Associated Press.
“Nothing is definitive,” Polaris spokeswoman Jess Rogers said. “We’re looking at a range of mitigation plans.”
The European Union has imposed tariffs on $3.25 billion worth of American-made products, including on American-made motorcycles.
George M. Hendee and Carl Oscar Hedstrom founded Indian Manufacturing Company in Springfield in 1901. Hendee was a bicycle racer and the Indian brand gained fame on race tracks across the country. They called them motocycles, without the r.
Springfield’s Indian Motocycle quit production in 1953.
But since 2011, Minnesota-based manufacturer Polaris Industries has built and sold modern motorcycles with the Indian name and styling. The nearest Indian Motorcycle dealers are Indian Motorcycle of Springfield in Westfield and Wagner Indian Motorcycle of Central Massachusetts in Worcester.
Modern day Indian will have an apparel and accessory store in the new MGM Springfield Casino.
Ironically, the intricacies of international trade was among the factors that killed Indian production in Springfield, historians say.
To spur exports, early 1950s British government devalued the Pound. This made British motorcycles like the Triumph and the Norton less expensive, and made it hard for Indian to compete.