Polaris, Bobcat Announce Partnership

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Polaris Industries Inc. and Bobcat Co. have announced a plan to share technology and co-develop and supply specialized work vehicles.

The alliance, which both firms dubbed a “long-term strategic partnership,” is to leverage the complementary strengths of both companies to produce work-related vehicles for sale globally. The first product is to be launched by the second half of 2010.

“This alliance is consistent with our stated strategy of diversifying Polaris beyond our core powersports segments and will enhance our efforts to accelerate the growth of our military and international businesses,” said Scott Wine, CEO, Polaris Industries. “Initially, Polaris will produce and sell highly-differentiated work vehicles to Bobcat for sale through the Bobcat dealer network. The breadth and depth of our cooperative efforts will expand thereafter to include co-developed vehicles for both Polaris and Bobcat, and further technology sharing.”

Polaris and Bobcat both market side-by-side utility vehicles (SxSs). Bobcat offers four models; Polaris offers 10 models.

Polaris was in the commercial equipment marketplace once before. In 2002, the OEM introduced the Polaris Professional Series, a line of heavy duty “workmobiles” targeted at lawn and landscape companies, equipment rental companies and construction operations. The Professional Series included a 500cc 4x4 ATV, 2WD SxS, 4WD SxS, 6WD SxS and ASL 300 skid-steer.

Bobcat Co., headquartered in West Fargo, N.D., and with facilities in Gwinner and Bismarck, N.D. and Brooklyn Park, Minn., is part of Doosan Infracore International, a U.S.-based subsidiary of Korea’s Doosan Infracore, which also owns small, medium and large-scale construction equipment brands in China, Belgium, France and the Czech Republic. Doosan purchased Bobcat from Ingersoll Rand Company, Ltd. in 2007 for $4.9 billion.

Polaris Industries is headquartered in Medina, Minn., and operates facilities in Roseau, Minn., Osceola, Wis., and Spirit Lake, Iowa.

- Submitted by Guido Ebert