Who’s Surprised?

Polaris dropped a big #2 on the cruiser market this week with their announcement that Victory is a has-been. “Polaris Industries Inc. (NYSE: PII) today announced it will immediately begin winding down its Victory Motorcycles brand and related operations. 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.”

Blowing a little smoke up their fans and vanishing customers’ asses, they followed that in the formal announcement with “Several factors influenced today’s announcement. Victory has struggled to establish the market share needed to succeed and be profitable. 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.” Don’t hold your breath for Indian to last long. Polaris has been hustling too little, too late, with almost no future market awareness for years. Me-too is not a business plan.

Their customers were buying a vintage image, now it’s a vintage product and brand. They ought to feel “special.”

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