Lehman Trikes in Spearfish has laid off a number of workers but said it is a temporary measure before receiving a major investment and that the workers could be hired back.
"We are absolutely viewing this as a good news event," said Ken Hines, the company's president. "That good news event is a highly qualified investment firm with motorcycling experience that will bring capitalization, and, my belief is, new products."
Hines wouldn't say how many employees had been laid off or how many workers remained. But he emphasized the potential for those workers to get their jobs back.
"We are viewing this as temporary," he said. "As we've put some folks onto the street, each and every one of them has been told that they will be first on our recall list."
Hines said he views the layoffs as a "30-day event."
Part of the layoffs, Hines said, were because of ordinary structural factors related to this being a slow time of year.
He wouldn't elaborate on why the potential for investment had caused workers to be let go.
"This is not a dramatic event," he said. "We're not closing the plant. We're still conducting business. I really think we'll absolutely come back out of this as a stronger company because of capitalization, which allows us to invest into the future."
Lehman Trikes USA is a publically traded firm with the symbol LHT. Those shares are currently trading at 2 cents, where they have been since the beginning of October. The stock's five-year peak was at 72 cents in 2007.
In 2010, Lehman Trikes lost its contract to produce Harley-Davidsons when Harley-Davidson moved that production to its own plant. Lehman had that contract since 2008.
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