POLARIS SAYS it will forego a shot at increased market share to pull the reigns on Victory production and clear out non-current product in the pipeline.
Wholesale Victory was down 17 percent in 2008 compared to the previous year, and the OEM expects sales in 2009 to be down 25 to 40 percent compared to 2008.
Polaris Industries CEO Scott Wine says that, while the company is “not happy” with its current market share levels, it will continue with its ongoing efforts to reduce stacked up dealer inventory.
“We’re not actually playing a market share game this year,” Wine says. “We are extremely committed to fixing the channel – and by that I mean reducing the mix of non-currents at our dealers and helping the retail sell-through.
“We’re not in a position where we’re going to play the very aggressive promotion game that we see some in that industry playing. We’ve actually scaled back a little bit of our research and development in Victory and shifted some of those resources and funding into the front end of our business, and we expect to see results from that throughout the year.”
Wholesale sales of Victory motorcycles during the first quarter 2009, ended March 31, totaled 13,836 units, down 49 percent compared to 27,346 units sold during the same three-month period in 2008 (which coincided with and benefited from the Vision model launch).
The company’s effort to reduce inventory levels in response to the weak overall market conditions appears to be working – dealer inventory levels were 24 percent lower at the end of the first quarter 2009 than at the end of the first quarter 2008.
“Yes we are disappointed with where we currently are,” Wine says, “but we do feel like we will use 2009 to get the business model better suited to support long-term growth.”
For 2009 Victory offers 17 models in seven model families: Custom Cruisers, Muscle Cruisers, Low Cruisers, 8-Ball Cruisers, Classic Cruisers, Touring and the Ness Signature Series. Prices range from $13,799 for the Vegas 8-Ball to $28,999 for the limited edition 10th Anniversary Vision Tour.
- Submitted by Guido Ebert