Polaris Acquires Brammo Motorcycles

January 15, 2015
Byron Wilson
Byron Wilson
Associate Editor|Articles|Articles RSS

Byron's sure to be hunched over a laptop after the checkers are flown, caught in his own little version of heaven. Whether on dirt, street or a combination of both, MotoUSA's newest addition knows the only thing better than actually riding is telling the story of how things went down.

Polaris Industries Inc. has announced its acquisition of Brammo’s electric motorcycle business. Polaris will also be a leading investor in a recapitalization of the Talent, Oregon-based company, which will now shift its “focus exclusively on the design, development and integration of electric vehicle powertrains.” As a result of the acquisition, Polaris plans to begin manufacturing electric motorcycles during the second half of 2015 in its Spirit Lake, Iowa facility.

“We have enjoyed our involvement with Brammo Motorcycles over the past three years, and our excitement about their industry-leading lithium-ion electric drivetrain technology has increased commensurate with their improvements in cost and performance. Polaris and Brammo share a goal of adding the most advanced and highest capability electric solutions to Polaris’ portfolio of leading powersports products,” said Scott Wine, Polaris Chairman and CEO.

“Today’s announcement strengthens not only Polaris’ commitment to bringing our consumers lithium-ion electric solutions, but also this partnership’s ability to continue innovating and developing leading electric drivetrain technology,” continued Wine. “We anticipate a return on these investments and believe the new alignment brings us that much closer to delivering world-class electric solutions across our products.”

Polaris has been a “strategic investor” in Brammo since 2011, the press release indicating that the two companies have “collaborated on a number of projects in motorcycles, off-road and on-road vehicles.” The Minnesota-based Polaris has become a veritable juggernaut in the powersports industry in recent years, with long-time success in the snowmobile, ATV and side-by-side segments along with the growing popularity of Victory Motorcycles since the late ‘90s. In 2011 Polaris took-over Indian Motorcycles, subsequently reviving the brand to wide acclaim. Other brands in Polaris’ portfolio include Goupil, a French-based manufacturer that also designs electric vehicles, Aixam Mega, manufacturer of on-road quadricycles and light-duty vehicles in Europe as well as Global Electric Motorcars, which Polaris purchased from Chrysler in 2011. Along with these are a variety of government contracts to supply tactical vehicles to defense forces around the world.

The full Polaris press release announcing the news is included below.

Polaris Industries Inc. (NYSE: PII) today announced it has acquired the electric motorcycle business of Brammo Inc. In addition, Polaris is acting as a leading investor in a recapitalization of Brammo that enables the company to focus exclusively on the design, development and integration of electric vehicle powertrains.

Going forward, the two companies will leverage Polaris’ leading position in the global powersports industry to market a variety of electric vehicles utilizing Brammo’s award winning lithium-ion electric drivetrain technology, while freeing Brammo to continue developing its innovative electric vehicle powertrains. Brammo supplies these products, including the Brammo Power battery pack and Brammo Power vehicle management systems, globally to a wide range of OEMs. As part of this transaction, Polaris will utilize the assets acquired to begin manufacturing electric motorcycles in the second half of 2015 at its Spirit Lake, IA facility.

“We have enjoyed our involvement with Brammo Motorcycles over the past three years, and our excitement about their industry-leading lithium-ion electric drivetrain technology has increased commensurate with their improvements in cost and performance. Polaris and Brammo share a goal of adding the most advanced and highest capability electric solutions to Polaris’ portfolio of leading powersports products,” said Scott Wine, Polaris Chairman and CEO. The agreement allows both companies to be more agile during the development cycle with clear accountability toward selling products that exemplify Polaris’ standard for delivering world class vehicles.

Polaris has been a strategic investor and partner with Brammo since 2011. During that time, the companies have collaborated on a number of projects in motorcycles, off-road and on-road vehicles. “Today’s announcement strengthens not only Polaris’ commitment to bringing our consumers lithium-ion electric solutions, but also this partnership’s ability to continue innovating and developing leading electric drivetrain technology,” said Wine. “We anticipate a return on these investments and believe the new alignment brings us that much closer to delivering world-class electric solutions across our products.”

Brammo has designed and developed numerous electric vehicles, including the award-winning Enertia and Empulse motorcycles. Testifying to its capabilities and technology, Brammo motorcycles have won a number of awards including: 2013 Playboy “Motorcycle of Year” and “Best Electric” (Empulse R), 2012 GQ “Best Stuff of the Year” (Empulse), 2011 Popular Science “Best of What’s New” (Empulse), 2011 Motorcycle.com “Best of 2011” and a 2010 Silver Edison Award. In addition, Brammo’s motorcycles have won numerous racing championships including the 2013 FIM eRR North American World Cup Champion and 2012 TTXGP World Championship.

About Polaris
Polaris is a recognized leader in the powersports industry with annual 2013 sales of $3.8 billion. Polaris designs, engineers, manufactures and markets innovative, high quality off-road vehicles, including all-terrain vehicles (ATVs) and the Polaris RANGER and RZR side-by-side vehicles, snowmobiles, motorcycles and on-road electric/hybrid powered vehicles.

Polaris is among the global sales leaders for both snowmobiles and off-road vehicles and has established a presence in the heavyweight cruiser and touring motorcycle market with the Victory, Indian Motorcycle and Slingshot brands.

Additionally, Polaris continues to invest in the global on-road small electric/hybrid powered vehicle industry with Global Electric Motorcars (GEM), Goupil Industrie SA, Aixam Mega S.A.S., and internally developed vehicles. Polaris enhances the riding experience with a complete line of Polaris Engineered parts, accessories and apparel, Klim branded apparel and ORV accessories under the Kolpin, Pro Armor and Cycle Country brands.

Polaris Industries Inc. trades on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol “PII”, and the Company is included in the S&P Mid-Cap 400 stock price index.

Information about the complete line of Polaris products, apparel and vehicle accessories are available from authorized Polaris dealers or anytime at www.polaris.com.

About Brammo
Brammo Inc. is a leading electric vehicle technology company headquartered in North America. Brammo designs and develops electric vehicles including the award winning Enertia and Empulse motorcycles. Brammo is the 2013, FIM eRR North American World Cup Champion. Brammo is an OEM supplier of its innovative Brammo Digital Drivetrain systems including the Brammo Power battery pack and Brammo Power vehicle management system. Brammo has vehicle distribution and marketing operations in North America, South America, Europe, and Asia.

Information about Brammo can be found at www.brammo.com.