Polaris Industries reported a 26% increase in net income over the first quarter of 2013, but a 2.9% decline in on-road vehicle sales (comprised almost entirely of Victory and Indian Motorcycles). The company’s first quarter filings report a net income of $75.5 million, up from the $60.1 million reported over the same period in 2012. […]
What’s next for Polaris?
On-road division announced
The official announcement says the new division “maximizes cohesive and strategic growth for Victory Motorcycles and other on-road products and brands”.
Which begs the question: what other on-road products and brands?
Apart from the Victory line-up of cruisers and touring motorcycles, Polaris’ catalog consists of ATVs and snowmobiles. Oh, and they used to make watercraft as well. None of those can be considered “on-road” forms of transportation.
So what does that Medina, Minnesota company have up its sleeve?
Clues may be found if you read between the lines with the management team behind Polaris’ new on-road division.
Motorcycle Hall of Famer Mark Blackwell has been the man behind Victory Motorcycles since 2000, helping Victory’s expansion, producing bikes that compete against the big boys from Milwaukee.
Blackwell leaves his previous position as vice-president of Victory Motorcycles to become vice-president of motorcycles. See the difference there? It’s a slight one, but an important one. What we can infer from the change in job-titles is that Polaris will introduce other non-Victory motorcycles. If Victory is the “New American Motorcycle”, could we be seeing a NEW new American Motorcycle?
Polaris already has the cruiser and touring segments covered with Victory, and dirt bikes don’t fit the on-road descriptor.
What about moving into sportbikes like Harley-Davidson did with Buell? Or maybe, as pplasm suggests on the Motorcycle.com forum, a trike like their ATV competitor Can-Am’s Spyder? Heck, it could even be a Victory Vision scooter.
So far, Polaris isn’t talking, but we’ll keep our ears to the ground on this one.