Polaris Industries announced today that it plans to halt production of Victory Motorcycles. The motorsports firm, which manufacturers vehicles as diverse as ATVs, side-by-sides, snowmobiles, and the unique three-wheeled Slingshot, will assist dealers in selling off current Victory inventories and will continue to supply parts for ten years. Polaris says it will honor service and warranty coverage for Victory owners and dealers, too.
It would appear that Polaris wants to redirect resources to the Indian Motorcycle brand, which it acquired in 2011 and has experienced significant growth since. In the announcement, Polaris also cited Slingshot as a brand that would benefit from cutting loose Victory, which has "struggled to establish the market share needed to succeed and be profitable."
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"Our focus is on profitable growth, and in an environment of finite resources, this move allows us to optimize and align our resources behind both our premium, high performing Indian Motorcycle brand and our innovative Slingshot brand, enhancing our focus on accelerating the success of those brands," said Polaris Industries Chairman and CEO Scott Wine. "Ultimately this decision will propel the industry-leading product innovation that is core to our strategy while fostering long-term growth and increased shareholder value."
The Minnesota-based company started building Victory Motorcycles in 1997, with the first sales in 1998, in an attempt to capitalize on the success of Harley-Davidson and sell heavier, American-manufactured touring bikes. Since purchasing Indian Motorcycles six years ago, however, Polaris has had another outlet to build big, American baggers and cruisers-ones that carry an iconic name that is more than a century old.
Polaris apparently decided it doesn't make sense to have two brands producing similar motorcycles, marketed at similar audiences. A slide presentation with additional details, titled "Polaris to Wind Down Victory Motorcycles Operations," is available here.
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