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Bryan's Blog

Victory Motorcycles Outsourcing to Mexico?

Thursday, May 20, 2010
Old meets new as the facade of this old machine shop in New Smyrna provides a nice juxtaposition to the futuristic-looking 2010 Arlen Ness Victory Vision.
Victory owners rally around their motorcycle manufacturer because of their claim that a higher percentage of Victory's parts are made in the US. Wonder how they feel with the news that Victory's parent company, Polaris Industries, is preparing to outsource American jobs to Mexico.
It’s another sad day for American motorcycling manufacturing. Polaris Industries, the parent company of Victory Motorcycles, released a statement that says it is ‘realigning its manufacturing operations’ which translates to the closure of its plant in Osceola, Wisconsin and the opening of a new plant in Mexico. I don’t know why, but the news hit me like a punch in the gut. Maybe because it means more American jobs lost. Maybe because Victory has worked so hard to establish its reputation as ‘the new American motorcycle.’ I know it had to be a difficult decision, but it still sucks. I feel for the workers in Osceola, which employs over 500 people. Polaris moved into the Osceola site in 1991 and is one of Polk County’s largest employers. Victory produces its V-Twin engines there.

I’m just wondering how well outsourcing to Mexico is going to sit with supporters of the company. One of the arguments I see in our forums all the time is slams against Harley-Davidson for the percentage of parts that they use that aren’t made here in the good ol’ US of A. Victory fans frequently use the ‘Made in America’ argument when defending their motorcycle manufacturer. Guess that argument won’t hold up as well any longer.

This comes after Polaris’ April 21 financial statement reported that sales were up 16% over last year’s first quarter. Its net income was reported to be up 127% to a record high of $19.8 million. If this is true, it makes me wonder why Polaris is choosing to move now, when the American unemployment rate in April was 9.9%.

Motorcycle sales have been down across the board, but I thought Victory was weathering the storm better that Harley-Davidson. Shows how much I know. The workers in York had to bite the bullet, but at least a good percentage of them are still employed. Will the outsourcing of jobs to Mexico irreparably damage the company’s reputation? Only time will tell.

* We talked to Victory Motorcycles Friday morning, a day after the blog was posted, and they assured us that engine production was not going to be done in Mexico but will be moved to Spirit Lake, Iowa, a fact that was unclear in its original press release. Read Victory Moving Engine Production to Spirit Lake for more details.
Post Tags: Victory Motorcycles, Polaris Industries, Victory Closing Osceola plant
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daryl42 -victory is still all american read the dam pess releases!!!!!! November 23, 2010 11:09 PM
bryan jumped the gun...he should have talked to victory before he assumed this and victory would have straightened him out.
victorys engines were made in oscela wisconsin,now they are moving the engine manufacturing to victorys spiritlake iowa plant were the rest of the bike is made.
victory is a division of polaris and they plan on making the spiritlake iowa plant the victory center of excellence!!!
so have no fear victory always has been and always will be made in the usa victorys entire bike is made at its spiritlake iowa plant.
none of victorys parts will be made in mexico they will remain in the usa at spiritlake iowa!!!!!!
RoadKen -34 year Harley Owner August 27, 2010 12:41 AM
I've been riding Harley's for over 34 years and always though AMF meant it was American Made (American Machine & Foundry) during that era they outsoursed to Italy and Japan, popped my bubble when I noticed the Showa on the fork legs. My next bike was going to be a Victory because it was all American made, I guess we have to get over the realization that we can no longer make a simple tennis shoe here in America, children in third world countries are making them. I ride a '95 Road King and it has USA on the gas tank, only in tradition is it USA. I'm heart broken that we have lowered our standards to letting third world countries take over our manufacturing and just put more and more good Americans in the unenjoyment lines. God Bless and help our once wonderful nation.
Dennis e. Read -BIGDENNY August 19, 2010 04:14 PM
You guys sound just like and old fart, you don,t do any reading too know if it is true or not ,you just hear someone say somthing and you are off and runing . Thats whats wrong with this place we live in , we just take things like they come and never look back as long as your belly is full why ask Question , thats why are country is in the shap it is in. TOO MUCH SAID RIAD SAFE AND BE GLAD YOU STILL CAN BIGDENNY
KC -More American Corporate GREED July 8, 2010 09:34 PM
Times are tough for everyone. If the stockholders dont make double digit profits for a few more quarters, oh well, join the rest of the USA. I was really ready to make the move, sell off my Harleys and add a Victory Cross Country to keep my old V92C company. I really don't care about what engine they are building at what plant. Its about buying an American made product, and if anyone reading this is foolish enough to believe that Polaris would not outsource the 106 engine to Mexico if there was more of a profit to be made, guess again. When no one in this country has a job anymore, then ALL of the industrial plants will close, maybe buying a horse and plow to prepare for sustinance farming is the way to spend what money we have left. Come on Polaris, do the right thing. How much savinga are you gonna pass along to the consumer?? Ummmmmmmm, ZERO I guess, just what I thought. Its all about American Corporate GREED!
mike -Yes I did read it. May 22, 2010 06:55 PM
This is what you said in your blog "Victory fans frequently use the 'Made in America' argument when defending there motorcycle manufacture. Guess that argument wont hold up any longer." Sounds pretty conclusive to me.

Look at the responses you received in this blog, and the several threads on other forums that refer back to this blog and you can see how the information you gave was taken.

Yes I did read the press release, but I didnt go telling everybody that victory is being out sourced to mexico. I looked for more info.

Yes, out sourcing any jobs to mexico, china etc sucks!
bryan harley -yes, i did read the press release. did you? May 22, 2010 08:11 AM
Yes, I did read the press release, I'm the one who posted it and nowhere does it state specifically that Freedom 106 V-Twin assembly was being moved to Spirit Lake. Here's what it states "... As part of the manufacturing realignment, certain Osceola manufacturing processes will be moved into the Roseau, Spirit Lake and Mexico facilities..." It states that motorcycle assembly will remain in Spirit Lake, which is great, but it was already in Spirit Lake.

I stated what I felt when reading the information. It's a blog, a forum for us to express our opinions, and my opinion is that outsourcing American jobs stinks.

We talked to Victory Motorcycles Friday morning, a day after the blog was posted, and they assured us that engine production was not going to be done in Mexico but will be moved to Spirit Lake, a fact they failed to make clear in the original release. Upon the news, I wrote another article and posted it as straight news on our site. Did ya read? Apparently not, so here's a link.
mike -Did ya read the press release ? May 21, 2010 05:44 PM
Victory is not being out sourced to mexico. If you were to go to the spirit lake victory plant right now you will see a sign that says "now hiring". The mexico plant will effect utv and atv production. Victory engines are now produced in wisconsin and will be moved to the victory plant in iowa where the rest of the bike is made. Do any of the writers actually read and investigate these things before they write or do they just assume. This kind of reporting is totally irresponsible.
Cruzin' Pete -Um - Iowa is not in Mexico May 21, 2010 11:58 AM
Howdy - if you actually read the press release you will see that Victory will consolidate it's Osceola, WI operations into the existing and awesome Spirit Lake Iowa (USA) plant. I had a chance to tour the place on a trip across the country - and I'm pretty damn sure I was not in Mexico. Seems to me that having engine and final assembly all in one spot would be a good thing - should lower prices and help ensure that quality remains as high as has been reported - not to mention create some more American jobs in Iowa (USA). Once the GL hits 100K (made in Ohio (USA)version BTW) I'll be trading in for a Cross Country - they GOTTA introduce a trunk soon anyway... See you on the road!
john l -not now May 21, 2010 11:51 AM
I ride an FZ1 but have ridden some victory mc's and really liked them I always felt that if I were to purchase a cruiser style bike it would be a Victory. Not Now
Out of a job -Soon to be former Polaris employee May 21, 2010 09:09 AM
Victory has worked so hard to establish its reputation as "The new American motorcycle." I guess they'll have to start calling the Victory as "The new Mexican motorcycle."
Tom -Very bad move May 21, 2010 05:47 AM
Yesterday I was proud to ride my Victory, now I'm embarrassed. When my Victory dies I will not buy another.
doc -victory the new mexican motorcycle May 20, 2010 09:14 PM
have bought two victorys and was in the process of trading my kingpin for a new vision--not now,i will not buy another bike from them the new mexican import