Polaris Creates On-Road Vehicle Division


Polaris Industries Inc. has created an On-Road Vehicle Division to help establish what the OEM describes as "a significant on-road presence."

Polaris leadership says the new division takes existing skills and assets within the company and aligns them in a way that maximizes the strategy for Victory Motorcycles and other on-road products and brands that may be introduced in the future.

Several management changes were made to set the foundation of the On-Road Vehicle Division.

First among these changes is Mark Blackwell's new role as VP of Motorcycles. Blackwell has spent the past eight years leading day-to-day operations for Victory Motorcycles and played a key role in building the Victory brand.

Mike Jonikas, currently VP, Sales & Corporate Marketing, has been appointed to the newly created role of VP of the On-Road Vehicle Division. In this position, Jonikas will be responsible for the strategic direction for Victory Motorcycles and any on-road adjacencies the company may add in the future. He also will continue to lead the OEM's Sales & Corporate Marketing teams. Jonikas has held several key roles with Polaris during the past nine years, including director of Product & Marketing Management for ATV and general manager of the Polaris side-by-side business.

Steve Menneto has been promoted to the position of GM of Victory Motorcycles. Menneto joined Polaris in 1997, serving in positions such as region sales manager, director of Dealer Development and director of North American Sales.

Lastly, Judy Kulsrud has been appointed to the position of director of North American Sales replacing Steve Menneto. Kulsrud has been with Polaris since 1995, serving in management positions in Retail Development, Sales Operations, Regional Sales Management, and most recently as director of Dealer Development.

"By combining the diverse strengths of Mark, Mike and Steve to further develop our long-term strategies in the On-Road Vehicle Division, we are positioning ourselves for continued growth both in the motorcycle industry and, in the bigger picture, across all segments of the on-road marketplace," says Bennett Morgan, COO, Polaris Industries.

Polaris' net sales for the year ended Dec. 31, 2008, totaled $1.95 billion, up nine percent from $1.78 billion in 2007. Sales for the company's Victory Motorcycles division last year totaled $94 million, down from $113 million in the prior year.

—Submitted by Guido Ebert