America’s Victory Motorcycles shuts the doors after 18 years
Polaris Industries has today announced it will cease operations of Victory Motorcycles, effective immediately.
The news is a bombshell for the American motorcycle marketplace and comes on the back of revelations Polaris was unable to make Victory profitable, given the enormous financial resources required to be competitive in the market.
“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.”
Recent years have seen Polaris shift an ever-increasing amount of attention and resources to the rebirthed Indian Motorcycle marque, one that has immediately found favor with riders worldwide thanks to a strong heritage and well-engineered machines, only now it’s apparent this growth has come at the expense of Victory Motorcycles.
“This decision will improve the profitability of Polaris and our global motorcycle business, and will materially improve our competitive stance in the industry,” said Scott Wine. “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.”
The decision to close Victory Motorcycles is still nonetheless surprising, given Polaris’ recent attempts to move the brand into a more sporting realm while re-establishing Indian and its rivalry with Harley-Davidson. The factory developed and raced their own Project 156 racebike at the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb in the hands of Cycle World journalist Don Canet and U.S. international Jeremy Toye, and competed at the Isle of Man with a factory team in the Zero TT with riders William Dunlop and Lee Johnston after acquiring the Brammo concern in January, 2015.
Regarding the Polaris facility at Spirit Lake in Iowa, Polaris says it “remains committed to maintaining its presence in the Spirit Lake, Iowa, community with Indian Motorcycle production and in the Huntsville, Ala., community with its Slingshot production.”
More on this story as it unfolds.