ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

Polaris plans to drop unprofitable Victory Motorcycle brand

SPIRIT LAKE, Iowa (AP) -- Polaris Industries will stop making its Victory motorcycles so it can focus on its Indian Motorcycle brand and other products.

SPIRIT LAKE, Iowa (AP) - Polaris Industries will stop making its Victory motorcycles so it can focus on its Indian Motorcycle brand and other products.

Polaris announced Monday that it is shutting down the unprofitable Victory brand after 18 years. The motorcycles were produced at the Minneapolis-based company's Spirit Lake, Iowa, and Spearfish, South Dakota, plants.

The company decided that its Indian Motorcycle brand has better growth prospects, Polaris CEO Scott Wine said.

"This decision will improve the profitability of Polaris and our global motorcycle business, and will materially improve our competitive stance in the industry," he said.

Polaris said it lost money on Victory in three of the past five years after sales of the heavyweight motorcycles peaked in 2012. The brand represented only about 3 percent of Polaris' total sales.

ADVERTISEMENT

Jefferies analyst Trevor Young said the move was a surprise, but it will likely help Indian Motorcycle sales. The Indian brand is second only to Harley-Davidson in the market.

"Over the medium-term, we think this is a positive, as it appears Polaris is doubling down on Indian," Young said in a research note.

The company will detail its profit outlook for the year when it releases its fourth-quarter earnings report on Jan. 24.

UBS analyst Robin Farley noted the move will eliminate an American motorcycle brand, but Harley-Davidson may not be able to take advantage of it because its customer base is aging and Indian Motorcycle has been gaining market share.

Polaris said it will help dealers liquidate their remaining Victory motorcycles, and it will continue producing parts for the bikes for 10 more years.

About 400 dealers nationwide sold Victory motorcycles, although about 150 of those also sell Indian motorcycles.

In addition to motorcycles, Polaris makes ATVS, snowmobiles, the three-wheeled Slingshot roadster and other vehicles.

Polaris' plants in Iowa and South Dakota will continue producing Indian motorcycles. It's not clear how many jobs will be lost at those plants with the end of Victory production.

ADVERTISEMENT

The company's Slingshot roadsters are made in Huntsville, Alabama.

What To Read Next
Members Only
“In our industry there aren’t a lot of young people in it. I like the fact that there are a lot of young people in agriculture here,” he said of the Mitchell area.
Members Only
After the departure of longtime superintendent Marje Kaiser and the hiring of Dan Trefz, who recently resigned, advocates say the specialty school needs help from lawmakers to reach its past heights.
Over the past year, the city has been mulling over bringing a secondary water source to Mitchell – a move Mayor Bob Everson said is aimed at positioning the city to grow.
At issue was the attendance at a legislative conference in Hawaii last December by Spencer Gosch and Jamie Smith.