While the motorcycle market has struggled during the past half-decade, Polaris Industries has enjoyed unprecedented success, and by all accounts 2013 will be another banner year. Sales, revenue and profits are all at record levels – fueled by its continued dominance of the domestic UTV market, as well as strong growth internationally.
Polaris got a lot done in 2013, breaching new sales and revenue records thanks to its thriving UTV business. But the Minnesota-based company also re-launched the Indian marque with an impressive 2014 model year.
In the third quarter Polaris sales exceeded $1 billion, a first for the company and sign of its growing success. And the cash-heavy company continues to wheel and deal, snapping up subsidiaries and buying back 3.96 million shares
from engine supplier Fuji Heavy Industries earlier this year. It also continues to enter into new strategic partnerships, most recently with outdoor equipment manufacturer Ariens
to share R&D and technology, along with providing the Wisconsin-based company a new work vehicle marketed under the Gravely brand. A similar collaboration with Bobcat developed into the 2013 debut of Polaris’ BRUTUS work vehicles
, based off the Ranger UTV platform and mounting equipment attachments.
The company continues to win defense contracts too, with some technology trickling down to the consumer like the new military-grade non-pneumatic tires
slated for ATV production.
On the two-wheeled side of the things, the sales aren’t as blockbuster as the quad business – but the potential is there. Victory continues to plug away, but Polaris delivered big with its much-anticipated 2014 Indian lineup. The Indian marque and its subsequent reboots have a track record of failure, but now backed by Polaris engineering clout the historic brand is poised for a legit revival and return as a true competitor for The Motor Company. Simply put, Polaris is firing on all cylinders making it an easy pick for 2013 Manufacturer of the Year.
Motorcycle USA gets dirty recapping the highlights of the 2013 riding season in its annual Best of Awards Dirt video
– including selections for best enduro, dual-sport and motocross bike, as well as four-wheeled selections in the ATV and UTV segment.