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Polaris Industries Shutters Its Victory Branch

Polaris Industries Shutters Its Victory Branch

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.

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Polaris Slingshot Is Now Legal In Texas

Polaris Slingshot Is Now Legal In Texas

As one of the last holdout states that have kept the Polaris Slingshot out of its borders, the state of Texas finally relented on the issue of allowing three-wheeled autocycles like the Slingshot to be registered in the state, thus officially making them legal.

The predicament surrounding the Slingshot and other vehicles classified as “autocycles” has had its fair share of debates in the past, including in Texas where the state’s Department of Motor Vehicles previously refused registering the Slingshot because it couldn’t classify it as a car or a motorcycle, leaving it stuck in some kind of automotive purgatory.

But state legislators sprang into action by introducing two separate bills, HB439 and SB449, intended to address the issue and, if necessary, put a specific classification under the term “autocycle” that would make it distinct from cars or motorcycles. SB449, in particular, contained a clear definition of the term, describing autocycles as “vehicles with seats, a steering wheel, and propelled by not more than three wheels.”

The bill eventually received unanimous support from the House, which voted 142-0 in favor of the bill, and more importantly, and more importantly, from state governor Greg Abbott, who signed the bill on May 22, 2015. With no dissenting votes on the bill, Abbott’s signature legalized the Slingshot in the Lone Star State with immediate effect.

A few sections on the bill contained clauses that effectively allow prospective owners of the Slingshot to register the autocycle as a motorcycle, making the wearing of helmets mandatory for riders under the age of 21 and those who have no additional insurance coverage and those who have yet to complete an approved safety course.

With the Slingshot now effectively legal in Texas, Polaris has already made all three trim models (the base model, the SL, and the SL LE) of the autocycle available at dealerships throughout the state.

Polaris Slingshots are now available at dealerships in Texas in all three trims, the base model, Slingshot SL and Slingshot SL LE. The company didn’t announce pricing details of any of three models in the state so expect them to go for the same MSRP price that’s posted on the company’s website.

That would mean that the base Slingshot will cost $19,999 while the SL and the SL LE will cost $23,999 and $24,999, respectively.

Continue reading to read more about the Polaris Slingshot finally breaking into the Texas market.

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Polaris Industries' Motorcycle Brands Post 1Q Sales Revenue Growth in the US

Polaris Industries’ Motorcycle Brands Post 1Q Sales Revenue Growth in the US

Polaris Industries is one of a handful of motorcycle companies that have released earnings reports from the first quarter of 2015, and just like BMW Motorrad, Polaris is throwing out words like “growth” and “record sales” in describing its 1Q 2015 sales performance.

According to the company, the three brands under its ownerships - Victory Motorcycles, Indian Motorcycles, and Slingshot - all combined to help Polaris increase its motorcycles sales revenue in the US to $137.4 million, in the first three months of 2015, a 74-percent improvement from the $78.9 million sales revenue the company earned in the same time period a year ago.

All three brands contributed significantly to the massive bump in sales, although according to Polaris, Victory and Indian Motorcycles each reported increasing their sales numbers by 40 percent compared to last year’s total. Slingshot, the ubiquitous builder of the three-wheeler bearing the same name, also did its part with retail sales “ahead of expectations.”

The sales numbers for all three brands were largely aided by certain additions to their respective product portfolios. Indian Motorcycles, in particular, leaned heavily on the arrival of the Chief Dark Horse while Victory motorcycles did the same with the market introduction of the Magnum X-1 bagger. Even Slingshot got in on the fun, adding a limited edition package for its three-wheeler to help boost the brand’s sales numbers.

Overall, Polaries Industries’ sales performance in the US is an encouraging sign that more and more American buyers are warming up to these Harley alternatives. The way they’re trending, it wouldn’t surprise me if more record sales numbers are in the horizon for Polaries and its three motorcycle brands.

Continue reading to read more about Polaris Industries’ sharp growth in US sales revenue.

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Polaris Continues Shopping Spree, Acquires Hammerhead Off-Road

Polaris Continues Shopping Spree, Acquires Hammerhead Off-Road

If this were the equivalent of a Black Friday sale, Polaris Industries is reminding everyone just how strongly it can flex its credit card. The motorcycle manufacturer, among other things has announced its latest acquisition, confirming that it has acquired HH Investment Limited, a Shanghai-based company that sells gas-powered go-karts and light utility vehicles. If you’re not familiar with the company, then you might recognize it by the name it uses in the US: Hammerhead Off-Road.

So basically, Polaris Industries is the new parent company of Hammerhead, making it the former’s second major acquisition in as many months. Last month, the firm also brought Brammo’s EV development division, further strengthening its position in the electric motorcycle market. Oh, the company also owns Indian Motorcycles and Victory Motorcycles.

What’s next? Is it buying Gas Gas, too?

That much is less certain, but what’s becoming evidently clear is that Polaris is using it financial might to expand its business and cover as much of the motorcycle industry as possible. With the purchase of HH Investment Limited, the company can now turn its sights into building and expanding its off-road lineup while also gaining significant entry in the Chinese market.

You can’t blame Polaris for taking advantage of the game because it’s got the means to do so. Hopefully, these new purchases translate to a successful business move by the company, now and in the future. That will only grow the bike and off-road industries, and that’s going to be good for all of us.

Click "continue reading" to read more about Polaris’ acquisition of Hammerhead Off-road.

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Polaris Trademarks Victory Charger, Could Be Sign of Electric Cruiser

Polaris Trademarks Victory Charger, Could Be Sign of Electric Cruiser

Polaris Industries’ recent acquisition of Brammo’s EV technology business could have some dividends sooner than we expected, at least if these recent trademark applications with the United States Patent and Trademark Office is any indication. According to the filing submitted to the USPTO, Polaris has registered the name “Victory Charger” that it is apparently planning to use with “electric motorcycles and structural parts therefor.”

Could it be that Polaris is in the process of developing an electric cruiser for its Victory brand? It’s not out of the question when you take into account recent developments surrounding Polaris’ acquisition of Brammo’s EV technology.

Put one and one together and what do you get?

Polaris didn’t explicitly say that it’s “Victory Charger” trademark application was made for the specific purpose of building a new electric motorcycle. But it does come with splashes of coincidence, doesn’t it?

The fact is that electric cruisers have a place in today’s world. Harley-Davidson is proving as much when it received a lot of attention for Project Livewire, it’s electric motorcycle program. It wouldn’t be surprising if Polaris is preparing to jump on board that bandwagon, too.

The acquisition of Brammo’s EV tech was the first towards that goal. This trademark filing could be the second step.

Personally, I wouldn’t be surprised if we do see an electric cruiser from Victory in the near future.

Click past the jump to read more about Polaris’ trademark of "Victory Charger"

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Polaris Posts Fifth Straight Year of Increased Motorcycle Sales

Polaris Posts Fifth Straight Year of Increased Motorcycle Sales

Polaris Industries has joined the handful of motorcycle brands that have posted strong sales reports in 2014. By my count, Polaris is the fifth company to release its report and just like everybody else, the motorcycle brand is all smiles over its successful year that was.

In 2014, Polaris reported an increase of 59 percent in its motorcycle sales revenue, a mark achieved by strong sales numbers of sub-brand Victory Motorcycles, as well as the successful relaunch of Indian motorcycle and the introduction of the Slingshot three-wheeler. For the year, Polaris reported earning $348.7 million in sales revenue from its motorcycle segment, a dramatic bump from its 2013 numbers when it earned “only” $219.8 million. The introduction of the Indian Roadster and Scout motorcycles also helped bump up the company’s sales numbers in the fourth quarter of 2014 when it earned $103.5 million, much better than the $68.8 million it earned in the same quarter of the previous year.

Polaris’ successful 2014 came in spite of a few problems, which can be expected for any motorcycle brand. In the company’s case, delays in production slowed down what could have been a stronger sales figure. The resulting backlog of bike products didn’t help Polaris, either, while the stop sale and ride order issued for the Slingshot could still have some long term ramifications for the company in the event a full recall is issued.

That said, Polaris remains optimistic that it can continue growing in 2015. The company already expects to grow its motorcycle division by 50 to 65 percent, a pretty high number that could be achieved if the high volume of sales attributed to Victory and Indian continues and the purchase of Brammo’s EV technology pays off in the electric bike segment.

Click past the jump to read more about Polaris’ successful sales year in 2014.

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Brammo Bares New Strategic Direction, Focusing More on EV Technology

Brammo Bares New Strategic Direction, Focusing More on EV Technology

Polaris Industries’ acquisition of “certain electric motorcycle assets” from Brammo made news the previous week, signalling a new opportunity for the former to expand its own lineup of existing models and venture into the the world of EV bikes. The same announcement also included pieces of information on what Brammo’s plans are moving forward. Today, though, we can say with all certainty that Brammo’s future will be dedicated solely on developing world-class electric vehicle drivetrain systems.

That was the announcement made by Brammo founder and CEO Craig Bramscher. According to Bramscher, the Polaris acquisition wasn’t made so that Brammo itself would fall in line with the former’s other bike brands, namely Victory and Indian. Instead, the acquisition fell more in line with the two company’s plans to work side-by-side to develop class-leading electric motorcycles.

Part of that exclusive agreement with Polaris calls for brim to supply its electric powertrains to Polaris, which will then use it for its motorcycles and other on-road and off-road vehicles. The technologies in play here include lithium-ion batteries, electric motors, and associated control electronics, so basically, the set-up would be for Polaris to build the bikes and for Brammo to supply the power trains.

Sounds pretty simple, right?

Click pas the jump to read more about Brammo’s strategy moving forward.

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Polaris Acquires Brammo's Electric Motorcycle Business

Polaris Acquires Brammo’s Electric Motorcycle Business

Polaris Industries has given new life to a start-up company with the full acquisition of Brammo Inc. The buyout is great news for the Brammo, which has been struggling to gain any traction as an electric bike maker amidst a segment that seems to be growing in competition as the years pass. Without the funding it needed to compete against the big boys, Brammo found itself in the unenviable position of fending for itself without any financial stability to stand on.

But with Polaris Industries coming into the picture, Brammo will not only live to see another day, but it will have a lot of weight lifted off its shoulders. Instead of building these bikes from the ground-up, Brammo will now be able to focus exclusively on developing and integrating electric vehicle powertrains, leaving the job of bringing these products to market to Polaris, which is in a much better position to do it and more importantly, get the job done.

Part of the buyout includes Polaris’ takeover of Brammo’s production facility in Spirit Lake, Iowa, which it will reportedly use to produce the electric motorcycles beginning in the second half of 2015. The buyout is also a significant step up in the relationship of the two companies that began in 2011 when Polaris invested $28 million in the company.

Now that Polaris has essentially absorbed a significant part of Brammo’s business framework, the two companies can proceed with developing new electric bikes that will fall under the Polaris brand name.

Click past the jump to read more about Polaris Industries’ purchase of Brammo Inc.

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