Will New Vision Prop Up Victory Sales in '07-'08?

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Tom Tiller, CEO of Polaris, says he hears dealers' concerns over the slowdown in the cruiser market, and vows that his company will proceed cautiously with its Victory Motorcycle line as it begins pursuing the $3 billion touring market with the new Victory Vision.

Tiller, speaking to investors in mid-October, said shipments of Victory units were down 17 percent in the third quarter of 2007.

"Overall expectations for Victory are a bit more cautious than they were 90 days ago," he acknowledges. "Dealers are concerned about the slowdown in the overall cruiser market, so we will be more cautious about the cruiser part of our business as we chase the touring segment."

Victory began shipping the Vision in September, "right on schedule," claims Tiller. "Production during the first several months will be primarily dedicated to those consumers who placed deposits with dealers."

Tiller told investors that he expects Victory motorcycles will continue to grow in the low single digits. "Cruiser shipments will likely be a little lower in 2007 as we monitor the overall market and competitive action," he says.

Guido Ebert