Victory Motorcycles gets the ax from Daddy Deep-Pockets as Polaris Industries cuts back on the number of projects under its umbrella (ella ella eh eh...) in an effort to focus its energies and resources on the popular Indian Motorcycle brand and the Delta-trike Polaris Slingshot line.

Continue reading for more information on Polaris’ decision.

My Take

Polaris Industries Shutters Its Victory Branch
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To be perfectly honest, I really never felt the love for the bulk of Victory’s products, with the notable exception of its bad-ass Octane bike and the battery-powered Empulse that made history at the Isle of Mann TT last year. The “Nessy” swoop was bound to appeal to a limited number of buyers, and while it’s true that the Ness clan has enjoyed quite a bit of success over the years building custom bikes for a niche market, turning that look into a viable product for mass production was a risky move. Seems like Polaris finally agrees with me. Having said that, I expect someone to buy up the name and push ahead, and while I don’t know right off who might make the attempt, I will be watching this closely to see what happens next. At the very least, I hope someone snaps up the Empulse since it’s one of the more successful EV rides and that sector needs all the credibility it can get as we push into the brave, new world of clean transportation.

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Press Release

MINNEAPOLIS (January 9, 2017) — Polaris Industries Inc. (NYSE: PII) today announced it will immediately begin winding down its Victory Motorcycles brand and related operations. Polaris will assist dealers in liquidating existing inventories while continuing to supply parts for a period of 10 years, along with providing service and warranty coverage to Victory dealers and owners. Today’s announcement does not affect any other Polaris business units.

“This was an incredibly difficult decision for me, my team and the Polaris Board of Directors,” said Polaris Industries Chairman and CEO Scott Wine. “Over the past 18 years, we have invested not only resources, but our hearts and souls, into forging the Victory Motorcycles brand, and we are exceptionally proud of what our team has accomplished. Since inception, our teams have designed and produced nearly 60 Victory models that have been honored with 25 of the industry’s top awards. The experience, knowledge, infrastructure and capability we’ve built in those 18 years gave us the confidence to acquire and develop the Indian Motorcycle brand, so I would like to express my gratitude to everyone associated with Victory Motorcycles and celebrate your many contributions.”

Several factors influenced today’s announcement. Victory has struggled to establish the market share needed to succeed and be profitable. The competitive pressures of a challenging motorcycle market have increased the headwinds for the brand. Given the significant additional investments required for Victory to launch new global platforms that meet changing consumer preferences, and considering the strong performance and growth potential of Indian Motorcycle, the decision to more narrowly focus Polaris’ energy and investments became quite clear.

“This decision will improve the profitability of Polaris and our global motorcycle business, and will materially improve our competitive stance in the industry,” said Scott Wine. “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. 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.”

Polaris will reduce the appropriate operating cost based on this decision, while continuing to support the future growth of the ongoing motorcycle business. Polaris remains committed to maintaining its presence in the Spirit Lake, Iowa community with Indian Motorcycle production and in the Huntsville, Alabama community with its Slingshot production.


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