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Polaris Throws Down Against Mighty Harley-Davidson Wsj


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BLOOMINGTON, Minn.—In trying to expand its modest share of the motorcycle market, Polaris Industries Inc. PII +0.95% is up against the likes of Mike Meloy, who is fanatically loyal to Harley-Davidson Inc. HOG +0.53%


Wearing a black sleeveless Harley-Davidson T-shirt, the 65-year-old retired metal-recycling manager sat eating breakfast at a motel here last week. "I may be prejudiced," Mr. Meloy said when asked about the Indian Motorcycle brand that Polaris revived a year ago. "I've been riding Harleys for 46 years."


For riders like Mr. Meloy—one of more than 700,000 motorcyclists who belong to Harley riding groups in the U.S. and Canada—it isn't just about the bike, it's about the cult of Harley riders.


"It's their country club. It's their social construct," said James Hardiman, an analyst at Longbow Research. "That's not something you can re-create overnight."


Harley-Davidson has 52% of the broad U.S. motorcycle market, compared with a combined 3% to 5% for Polaris's Victory and Indian brands, estimated Robin Farley of UBS Securities. Honda Motor Co. 7267.TO -0.18% , Kawasaki Heavy Industries Ltd.7012.TO -0.76% and Yamaha Motor Co. 7272.TO +1.34% are all in the 9% to 11% range, while BMW AG BMW.XE +0.89% and Ducati Motor Holding SpA are below 5%, she said.


"We are not saying we are ever going to take over the No. 1 position but we are going to be a major player," Polaris Chief Executive Scott Wine said in an interview. By 2018, he said, Polaris should reach $1 billion in motorcycle sales, up from a projected $400 million this year, including parts, garments and accessories. Harley had $5.26 billion of motorcycle revenue last year, including $59 million in royalties from Harley T-shirts, jewelry and related merchandise.


Polaris is trying to grab attention from Harley at this week's motorcycle rally in Sturgis, S.D., an event that attracts several hundred thousand riders each year. Polaris on Saturday introduced a midsize model, the Indian Scout, a remake of a machine used by soldiers in World War II, with a retail price of about $11,000. That is well below the $19,000 to $27,000 for larger Indian motorcycles. "It really gives us access to that younger demographic," Mr. Wine said, predicting it would appeal to new riders, including women, as well as experienced enthusiasts seeking a second bike.


Polaris also introduced the Slingshot, a two-seat, three-wheeler, priced at about $20,000 to $24,000. Although it has a steering wheel and gas pedal, it is classified as a motorcycle.


Polaris, which is based in Medina, Minn., was formed in 1954 to make snowmobiles and later became a leader in all-terrain vehicles. Seeking a broader base, Polaris introduced Victory motorcycles in 1998, when Harley was struggling to keep up with demand.


"We built this from scratch," Mr. Wine said. "We didn't have the very best designs initially.…We learned all of the lessons from the school of hard knocks." In 2009, stuck with a small motorcycle business that Mr. Wine said was "very unprofitable," Polaris hired McKinsey & Co. The consulting firm concluded that the Victory brand "wasn't strong enough to take a large share away from Harley," Mr. Wine said.


So, in 2011, Polaris bought Indian Motorcycle from private-equity owners for an undisclosed sum and began resurrecting one of the most storied brands in motorcycle industry. The original Indians were sold in 1902, shortly before the first Harleys. In recent decades, though, the Indian brand floundered under a series of owners.


Indian gave Polaris "a ready-made brand" for those who cherish Americana, Mr. Wine said.


Polaris so far has invested well over $100 million in the Victory and Indian motorcycle business, the CEO said. The motorcycle division should be profitable in the fourth quarter and beyond, he said.


Polaris initially didn't devote enough resources to building up a network of Indian dealers, Mr. Wine said. "We were not on our A game," he said, but "we are getting better every day." The company has about 100 Indian dealers in the U.S. and Canada, with more than 50 additional dealerships in the works. It aims to have more than 300 dealer showrooms in the U.S. and Canada. Harley has 767.


About 10 Harley dealers have agreed to sell Indian as well, Mr. Wine said. "That number will certainly increase."


"One ride on the [indian] and I was sold," said John D'Errico, a biotechnology executive in Lincoln University, Pa., who traded in his Harley last year for an Indian. He cited the Indian's heritage, along with "the fit and finish and the value for money."


As for Mr. Meloy, he plans to test ride an Indian motorcycle. "The appearance of it didn't sway me," he said. "We'll see what it rides like."


Changing his allegiance would be awkward for Mr. Meloy, though. He has Harley tattoos on both arms.

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First time I have read one of the executives say that VICTORY was not going to ever make an impact against HD and they bought Indian to make that impact.....and that they were not on their A GAME with the brand last year in dealers and such.

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Polaris stock has skyrocketed due to the Indian acquisition as they are up 90% in bike sales since last September. That alone indicates Indian has been a huge success.

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First time I have read one of the executives say that VICTORY was not going to ever make an impact against HD and they bought Indian to make that impact.....and that they were not on their A GAME with the brand last year in dealers and such.

That's a bunch of crap since it came from "an executive " ?

 

 

"We built this from scratch," Mr. Wine said. "We didn't have the very best designs initially.We learned all of the lessons from the school of hard knocks." In 2009, stuck with a small motorcycle business that Mr. Wine said was "very unprofitable," Polaris hired McKinsey & Co. The consulting firm concluded that the Victory brand "wasn't strong enough to take a large share away from Harley," Mr. Wine said

 

I've been saying it for years....Polaris boys made that statement in Branson to a couple of us drinking beers with them

 

Ya fuckers never believed me I guess...

 

Again.." We poured $55 million into Victory marketing with very little return.."..

 

" we are buying Indian for its Street Cred"

 

 

 

Hey Victory honks....he said "Very Unprofitable" !

Edited by harleynot
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Wait till they pull a girder front end inline 4 outa their asses next year for the 75th Sturgis .....better buy stock now...

It was at $63 dollars when I heard that statement I posted above...it's split once and now it's at $155

 

862779E0-1163-46F3-B9E3-ABEB0802C896_zps

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Oh yeah.....

 

Why the heck is everybody all bent outa shape because the New Scout does not look like a Gilroy Scout ?

 

Am I missing something here ?

Edited by harleynot
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Anybody still think Victory will still be around in 2020? I been saying it since day one. They are GONE. Buy your Vision while they last.

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Oh yeah.....

 

Why the heck is everybody all bent outa shape because the New Scout does not look like a Gilroy Scout ?

 

Am I missing something here ?

Bent outta shape because they wasted the Scout name on a cheep bike that is...well less than full blooded Indian.

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You're famous!

 

Just don't call me "Infamous" LOL Been quoted in trade rags, but never the WSJ and for something that's my passion and not work.

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Bent outta shape because they wasted the Scout name on a cheep bike that is...well less than full blooded Indian.

They didn't waste it in my opinion...$$$$$$$$

 

imagejpg8_zpse40cb8f8.jpg

 

imagejpg1_zps90fa25bf.jpg

 

imagejpg2_zps15131181.jpg

 

Bitches need stitches too.....

 

0F6A2D01-44FD-4A49-8308-A902599878FC_zps

 

imagejpg5_zps2ebdc8f5.jpg

Edited by harleynot
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Back to topic....

 

BluChief sent me this on Sunday morning....morning after Sturgis Reveal.... Downtown Long Beach....CA

 

AA8B1807-531F-4101-859B-8CFE660339EB_zps

 

36B95477-222A-4113-8E9A-24C982A42AFA_zps

 

I heard Chicago and other cities had similar sightings.....

 

Knock Knock Milwaukee ....

Edited by harleynot
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That's a bunch of crap since it came from "an executive " ?

 

 

"We built this from scratch," Mr. Wine said. "We didn't have the very best designs initially.We learned all of the lessons from the school of hard knocks." In 2009, stuck with a small motorcycle business that Mr. Wine said was "very unprofitable," Polaris hired McKinsey & Co. The consulting firm concluded that the Victory brand "wasn't strong enough to take a large share away from Harley," Mr. Wine said

 

I've been saying it for years....Polaris boys made that statement in Branson to a couple of us drinking beers with them

 

Ya fuckers never believed me I guess...

 

Again.." We poured $55 million into Victory marketing with very little return.."..

 

" we are buying Indian for its Street Cred"

 

 

 

Hey Victory honks....he said "Very Unprofitable" !

No, I was stating that is the first time I have read or heard a Polaris executive say that the Victory bikes were not as successful as expected and they made a lot of mistakes and learned from school of hard knocks....it was very unprofitable and in 2009 they hired a firm to do some research and told them what they feared..>Victory would never make a foothold or impact against Harley Davidson.

 

 

Then they bought Indian and are using what they learned from their hardships with Victory to do Indian much better...though he admits they were not on their A Game this past year.

 

I had never heard anyone say that other than our own panel of experts and executives :)

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They didn't waste it in my opinion...$$$$$$$$

 

imagejpg8_zpse40cb8f8.jpg

 

imagejpg1_zps90fa25bf.jpg

 

imagejpg2_zps15131181.jpg

 

Bitches need stitches too.....

 

0F6A2D01-44FD-4A49-8308-A902599878FC_zps

 

imagejpg5_zps2ebdc8f5.jpg

 

You are right that the Scout name under the Indian banner will be HUGELY PROFITABLE for Polaris and Indian Motorcycle....it will put another dent in the Harley machine and have no doubt they will have 20% of the market share that Harley previously had FIRST DIBS on. They did use it poorly from a historical viewpoint in that it could have been so MUCH MORE......but I am sure they wanted the two most recognizable names in Indian history as their 1 - 2 punch.....one at top of the line as the flagship model...one on the bottom as the entry level price conscious model. I just hope the Indian 4 (if it comes) is not going to be modeled after a fucking BOSS HOSS or GOLD WING! LOL

 

 

Should have called this bike the War Pony....as it is definitely takign the fight to Harley Davidson's new market they are going after with the hipster, hemp oil, and bath salts crowd.

 

LONG LIVE THE SCOUTSTER!!!!! :pirate1:

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I had never heard anyone say that other than our own panel of experts and executives :)

brockandharleynot.jpg

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Should have called this bike the War Pony....as it is definitely takign the fight to Harley Davidson's new market they are going after with the hipster, hemp oil, and bath salts crowd.

 

1:

My thoughts as well squarely aimed at the " Cafe Racer " & IPA drinking crowd.....

 

Really I was trying to say its a chicks bike!.......... Air_Guitar3.gif

 

FYI two of our female IIRA girls have quietly told me they got Scout reservation numbers already!

 

I think that is frickin awesome !"........... smoke.gif

 

 

 

bitcheslovesmileyfaces.gif

Edited by harleynot
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Harley admitted last week or so that they already lost 30 basis points in market share and that was before the Scout and Roadmaster were released. I would be shorting HOG if I owned any.

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Harley admitted last week or so that they already lost 30 basis points in market share and that was before the Scout and Roadmaster were released. I would be shorting HOG if I owned any.

Chargerson.jpg

Edited by harleynot
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They didn't waste it in my opinion...$$$$$$$$

 

imagejpg8_zpse40cb8f8.jpg

 

imagejpg1_zps90fa25bf.jpg

 

imagejpg2_zps15131181.jpg

 

Bitches need stitches too.....

 

0F6A2D01-44FD-4A49-8308-A902599878FC_zps

 

imagejpg5_zps2ebdc8f5.jpg

If that is all that matters...

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If that is all that matters...

It does to an investor".......the female bike market is red hot...

 

 

 

Ya can't sell billions of dollars in " heritage " bikes to the masses....oh wait...

 

harley-davidson-beef-jerky-728101.png

Edited by harleynot
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$11,000 is not an entry level bike.

There are a number of choices below that mark that are even more powerful bikes.

 

Triumph makes 2 that are $8,000, the Scout is near 50% higher in cost.

When you get into the Asian brands there are many offerings in the lower price points.

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Last Resort thanks for putting this up. The link still will not open for me.

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