Polaris to 'wind down Victory motorcycles'

Not much of a victory

15
Visordown's picture
Submitted by Visordown on Mon, 09/01/2017 - 15:00

VICTORY Motorcycles is to be wound down, the firm's parent company Polaris has just announced. 

The move is to allow the firm to 'narrow' its focus onto more profitable areas of the business, including Indian Motorcycle. 

A statement just released by Polaris says it will 'immediately begin winding down its Victory Motorcycles brand and related operations'.

Dealers will be assisted in 'liquidating existing inventories' and parts will continue to be supplied for 10 years.

Servicing and warranty coverage will also continue. 

Polaris Industries Chairman and CEO Scott Wine said: “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.”

According to the statement, Victory has 'struggled to establish the market share needed to succeed and be profitable'. 

It says: '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.'

Wine added "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.”

Comments

Another one bites the dust. Polaris wanted some of that massive US market share of Harley, and they thought all they had to do was hop a very low bar to build a better bike. Harley customers don't buy motorcycles, they buy Harleys. They want the badge, the logo, the culture, the fringed leather and tattoos, the actual bike is about 6-8th on the list of priorities. So, they have to rely on the Indian badge, because this is a community of ultra conservative posers.
If they make a road version of the Indian FTR750 flat tracker hey would have a real winner for people who want a US brand without all the Harley cosplay. Given Ducati scrambler sales, I don't know what they are waiting for.

Harley customers don't buy motorcycles, they buy Harley's? The bike is 6-8 on the list of importance? What total and utter nonsense! But of course, you are right in your mind (crippled by ignorance as it is) and just want to tell the world about your amazing insight...

heavy, slow, brakes and suspension from the 1960s, and unreliable. Well finished and assembled, but they have many basic engineering problems they don't fix because Harley customers will buy anything with the right logo. I rent Harleys when I travel in the US, because that's all I can rent, so I have significant experience with the brand.

Such a shame. I will admit I know next to nothing about cruisers but to me they were probably the nicest ones on sale. Make most Harleys look even worse than are. But I suppose at the end of it if they don't sell then what's the point.

So you know next to nothing about cruisers. But Victory's make Harley's look even worse than they are?

Well having only ridden 3 Harleys in my life and no Victorys I can't make a direct comparison and the only other cruiser ive ridden is an intruder so like I said I know next to nothing about that sort of bike.
But even a simple Google search will tell you that the Victory motorbikes are cheaper, more reliable, more powerful, smoother, better engineered and imo better looking than Harley Davidsons
No matter what the test a Victory comes out on top.
The problem being that Harley has a badge following, They are the motorbike equivalent of an iPhone, people will blindly buy any product they sell then convince themselves it's the best product avaliable.

So yeah the fact Victory makes a bike that's superior in everyway and can be purchased for less money makes a Harley look like an even worse choice.

And like I said it makes no odds because people obviously aren't buying them

Revzilla review of the 883 Iron..blowing oil and piston slap from new.

he even can't avoid this

As a Buell owner and enthusiast, I know how painful it is when a huge corporation shuts down the niche motorcycle brand in which you've invested your money and enthusiasm.

Polaris management admitted that Victory motorcycles made up only 3% of Polaris sales. Therefore, they could have announced this shutdown months in advance, giving factory workers an opportunity to find other jobs, dealers an opportunity to line up replacement brands (and train the salesforce and service staff to sell and service the new brands), and customers fair warning that the new Victory motorcycle they were about to buy was to become an orphan in the not-too-distant future. Instead, they decided to screw the workers, dealers, and customers with a needlessly sudden shutdown.

I was very interested in the Polaris Slingshot, but I'm rethinking that interest. A couple of years of weak sales could mean I was suddenly left with an orphan vehicle just as Victory owners have been.

You need to read up on the major safety recalls on the slingshit. Polaris managed to make a three wheeled bike more dangerous than a two-wheeled bike. This won't make America "grate" again.
Big stuff: breaking steering boxes, failing swingarms, fuel fires, brake failures. It really could be a Harley.

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