Polaris, Robby Gordon Sign Marketing, Development Deal

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Polaris Industries has entered into a marketing and product development agreement with NASCAR driver and three-time Baja 1000 Trophy Truck winner, Robby Gordon.

Polaris says the three-year agreement includes Gordon providing insight on future products and promoting Polaris' Ranger RZR side-by-sides. As well as racing, Gordon operates Robby Gordon Off-Road, an aftermarket truck wheel, tire and accessory store that also serves as the home base for development of his trophy trucks.

"Our relationship with Gordon is unique because he'll not only promote our product but use his off-road expertise to help create future Ranger RZR vehicles and accessories," says Matt Homan, VP and GM for Polaris' Off-Road Division.

"We are excited to share this technology and knowledge with consumers through our partnership with Polaris," Gordon says.

The Polaris RZR is capturing an increasing amount of attention in SxS racing. Last year, teams running the RZR won championships in the SCORE, BITD, GNCC and WORCS series.

“Polaris is extremely happy with the success of the Ranger RZR during the 2008 racing season,“ says Craig Scanlon, product line sales manager for the Polaris Side x Side Division. “The Ranger RZR continues to show its versatility and endurance in side-by-side racing and with the addition of the Ranger RZR S, we look forward to a successful 2009.”

OEM Emphasizing SxSs As ATV Sales Decline
Polaris is placing an emphasis on its SxS business. Why? While worldwide sales of traditional ATVs declined as estimated 24 percent in 2008, the OEM estimates global SxS vehicle sales grew approximately four percent from 2007 to about 290,000 vehicles in 2008.

Dealers say customers buying SxSs tend to have 1) more income than consumers of traditional ATVs (thus having less of a need to seek financing for their purchase), 2) a desire for a vehicle with more utility functions than a standard ATV can offer, and 3) a desire for a vehicle that’s easier to operate by drivers less experienced with the nuances of operating traditional ATVs. Polaris retailers tell Dealernews the RZR’s relative success comes as a result of its sporty design in a market otherwise populated by units more utility-oriented.

The 800cc RZR retails from $10,799 for the base model to $13,999 for the RZR S. Earlier this month Polaris introduced four limited edition RZR models: the RZR LE in Sunset Red, Stealth Black and Passion Pink (MSRP $11,399) as well as the RZR 170 LE also in Passion Pink color ($3,999). The full size RZR LE models are already available, while the RZR 170 LE is destined for dealerships in late Spring.

- Submitted by Guido Ebert