Polaris acquiring Chrysler's GEM EV unit

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Polaris Industries seems to be on an acquisition tear. Fresh off last week's purchase of Indian Motorcycles, the company on April 25 announced it will acquire Global Electric Motorcars LLC (GEM), a wholly owned, Fargo, N.D.-based subsidiary of Chrysler Group LLC and manufacturer of premium electric-powered vehicles.

GEM is a major player in the low-speed vehicle market, with about $30 million in sales during the 2010 calendar year. Since the company was established in 1998, it says, it’s placed more than 45,000 electric-powered vehicles on the road worldwide.

“GEM provides Polaris with an established position in the low-emission small vehicle market and supports Polaris’ strategy of penetrating on-road market segments poised for growth,” Polaris CEO Scott Wine stated. “We are excited about the outlook for growth within this market space, and are looking forward to developing even stronger growth prospects for the GEM business.”

GEM has developed business-to-business sales expertise within the fleet and government vehicle markets, and reportedly has created a competitive advantage with core competencies in make-to-order vehicle fulfillment and mobile service support.

“Our vision is to accelerate profitable sales growth for GEM by combining Polaris’ strength in new product innovation with the most-recognized brand in the low-speed vehicle market space,” said Mike Jonikas, VP of Polaris’ On-Road Vehicle Division. “These new product efforts for GEM will be supported by an expanded distribution presence within select domestic and international markets.”

The agreement to acquire GEM will officially close within the next 60 days. Polaris won't be ready to disclose further plans until then, company officials noted.

Posted by Holly Wagner