Victory Motorcycles to Cease Operations
Due to declining sales and loss of profit over three of the past five years (2011-2015), Polaris Industries will “wind down” its Victory Motorcycles brand. Basically, Victory Motorcycles is going out of business.
Polaris’s goal is to liquid all existing dealership inventory, but continue to supply parts, service and warranty coverage for a 10-year period. Polaris will now shift all focus on its “more recognized” motorcycle brand, Indian Motorcycle.
Victory Motorcycles, which began production in 1998 out of Spirit Lake, Iowa, peaked in sales in 2012. From there, though, it was downhill. In 2015, Victory Motorcycles only represented 3% of Polaris sales; that year, Victory dealerships sold on average 20 motorcycles a year.
“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.”
Polaris says Victory Motorcycles has struggled to claim its part of the market share and remain 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.”
From a business standpoint, it’s the only thing that makes sense: “This decision will improve the profitability of Polaris and our global motorcycle business, and will materially improve our competitive stance in the industry,” said 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.”
With this move complete, Polaris will now concentrate on Indian Motorcycle and its three-wheel Slingshot brand. This concentration includes increased cashflow for R&D, sales, more effective marketing, and increased floor space at Polaris dealerships due to the absence of Victory Motorcycles.
The Spirit Lake facility, along with the other in Spearfish, S.D., will focus only on Indian Motorcycle production; Slingshot production will remain in Huntsville, Ala.
Polaris says Indian distribution is anticipated to increase 1.5 times over the next three-five years; there are currently 350 Indian dealers globally, and 150 of those currently share space with Victory Motorcycles.
Polaris says Victory owners with concerns or questions may call 1-866-521-1683.