Polaris Industries, the giant American firm behind Victory Motorcycles and Indian Motorcycle, have announced that they will immediately begin winding down the Victory Motorcycles brand.
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. The firm are keen to point out that this decision does not affect any other Polaris brands, including Indian. But with the firm struggling to establish the market share needed to be profitable, they say there was no other option.
Founded 18 years ago, the Victory brand has been a strong presence in the market, and was number four in the North American market on market share, but global sales were only running at just over 10,000 units globally. The process of winding-up the business starts immediately, and is expected to be fully complete in 18 months. All Victory patents, technologies and intellectual property remain the property of parent company Polaris, which means that Indian and other parts of the business, will benefit from the research and development Victory undertook.
“This was an incredibly difficult decision for me, my team and the Polaris Board of Directors,” said Polaris Industries Chairman and CEO Scott Wine. “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.”
“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," said Wine. "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.”
Isle of Man TT fans, as well as EV-friendly road bike riders, will also know that Polaris acquired Brammo in 2015, and have been racing with the technology under the Victory brand name. All Brammo patents, technology, intellectual property and Polaris enhancements will remain the property of Polaris and the firm says that they “will be applied to other products and business units as appropriate”.
So what does the demise of Victory mean for owners?
Dealers and owners won’t suddenly be cut off, and Polaris have committed to continue to provide them with the same levels of customer service and support they've come to expect from Polaris. There will be full parts availability for 10 years along with service, warranty coverage and other necessary support through dealers who choose to remain as part of the group. All existing UK Victory dealers are also outlets for sister firm Indian, so it’s likely that the supplying Victory dealer will still be owners’ first port of call. Each dealer will make this decision based on their unique circumstances and customer base, and some may offer service for 10 years or more.
So is there any good news? Well, yes. The demise of Victory frees up investment funds and other resources that will be used to accelerate the growth, product innovation and profitability of Indian Motorcycle.
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