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.
Peter Alexander the Managing Director of Polaris Industries, Australia and New Zealand released a statement:
Peter Alexander, Managing Director Polaris Industries, Australia and New Zealand
“Today, Polaris Industries Inc. is announcing that we are winding down the Victory Motorcycles brand beginning today and through the next 18 months. We first launched Victory Motorcycles here in Australia in October 2008 with our flagship dealership in Melbourne that set new benchmarks for motorcycle retail in Australia. Victory Motorcycles, through its innovation and engineering prowess, also set new standards in Heavy Cruiser motorcycle design and performance.
“In just 8 short years there are now four flagship stores plus independent dealers in major markets in Australia and New Zealand, all conceived and driven by the Victory brand. The learnings and plain hard work of launching Victory has now set Indian Motorcycle on the path to even greater success.
“During the last 8 years, Australia established itself as the largest unit volume market for Victory outside North America. That’s an astonishing feat given our population and a testament to the enthusiasm, loyalty and dedication of our customers and our staff.
“To all Victory owners both new and old, we sincerely thank you for your passion and commitment. I have been privileged enough to meet and ride with many of you at rides and other events and look forward to riding with you well into the future. We and our dealer network are committed to continue to supply parts, service and warranty to ensure this happens.
“Although a tough time for all of our staff, dealers and of course riders who have put an enormous amount of blood, sweat and tears into Victory, there is a lot to be proud of and celebrate. Victory will always be a great motorcycle and a great brand that has punched well above its weight in Australia and New Zealand and forged a legacy that will take a lot of beating.
“Victory Owners will always be part of the Polaris family, they will always be welcome and we will be continuing to sell these world class motorcycles for some time. Although the history books will start being written a little earlier than we would have liked, I’d like to thank all current and future Victory Owners for helping write a little bit of that history.”
According to the Polaris Industries release 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.
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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.
Any one-time costs associated with supporting Victory dealers in selling their remaining inventory, the disposal of factory inventory, tooling, and other physical assets, and the cancellation of various supplier arrangements will be recorded in the 2017 income statement in respective sales, gross profit and operation expense. These costs will be excluded from Polaris’ provided 2017 sales and earnings guidance on a non-GAAP basis.
Polaris Industries Chairman and CEO Scott Wine
“This was an incredibly difficult decision for me, my team and the Polaris Board of Directors. 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 honoured 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.”
“This decision will improve the profitability of Polaris and our global motorcycle business, and will materially improve our competitive stance in the industry. 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.”
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