Polaris Tailors UTVs for Police, Fire & Rescue

Ranger Law Enforcement

A Polaris UTV up-fitted for law enforcement use.

Polaris Ranger Fire UTV

A Polaris Ranger up-fitted for fire operations.

Another Polaris UTV with an alternative fire operations kit.

Polaris Ranger

A Polaris UTV up-fitted for rescue operations.

The Government and Defense division of Polaris Industries recently launched a line-up of Ranger UTVs specifically tailored for law enforcement, fire and rescue operations. The vehicles take a Ranger UTV and add a pre-set package of options for each type of operation. Additional customization is available as well. Polaris is using experienced third-party up-fitters Action Fleet, RKO Enterprises and Federal Signal to put the packages together.

The law enforcement UTVs include sirens, horns, PA system and emergency lighting from Federal Signal, the same as a typical squad car. Base vehicles include the Ranger XP 1000 Northstar HVAC Edition, Ranger Crew Diesel, General 1000 EPS, Ranger 570 and RZR S 900.

Firefighting units include a capable pump, hose and reel, a combination tank for water and a compressed air foam suppression system and the ability draft from a water source. There are flexible mounting options and a firefighting and rescue combo kit is available as well. Rescue units include a rear attendant seat and a stokes rescue basket. Rescue personnel can select between the full-length or break-apart basket for shorter overall length when not in use. Base vehicles include the Ranger Crew XP 900, General 4 1000 EPS, Ranger XP 900 and RZR XP 1000 for the most challenging terrain.

Learn more:  Businesswire.com

SVR’s Take – This approach of providing pre-set packages for specific end-use applications while still allowing additional customization is becoming more popular in the commercial UTV market. Club Car has successfully taken this approach to sell their utility vehicles to specific market verticals with their Fit-to Task series.  While Polaris is targeting police and fire and rescue applications the Club Car vehicles are targeting a range of facility management applications. ACE mini-trucks has taken a similar approach.

 

JLG Unveils UTVs for Rental Market

JLG 615G rental market UTV

The new JLG 615G UTV developed by JLG and Textron for the rental market.

JLG 315G UTV

The three person JLG 315G UTV for the construction and event site rental markets.

JLG, a leading manufacturer of telehandlers, booms and aerial work platforms is entering the utility vehicle market, or at least a very specific slice of it. The 3-passenger JLG 315G and six-passenger JLG 615G UTVs were developed for the rental market. The company knows this space well from products like aerial work platforms, which is predominantly a rental market. The UTVs were developed in partnership with Textron Specialized Vehicles and based on an Arctic Cat vehicle platform. (In 2003 JLG had acquired a telehandler business from Textron.)

JLG reasons that they can better serve the rental market since they already have relationships with rental companies, and, therefore, can simplify inventory management and more easily provide parts and service. In addition, the UTVs were designed for the construction and event sites that rental companies serve. Durability, reliability and safety are important equipment requirements for these end-use applications where renters rather than owners can abuse them. Some of the key features designed with this in mind include:

  • Front bumper
  • Boot guards
  • Steel braided cables
  • Skid plates
  • Dupont surlyn hood
  • Beefed up braking system and axles engineered by JLG parent company Oshkosh
  • 1,000 lbs dump bed that can accommodate a full skid
  • 25 gal. under-hood storage
  • Contoured seats with extra shoulder room and individual headrests
  • Generous room for exit/egress

Other specs include:

  • 45 hp, 695cc four-valve, single cylinder gas engine with fuel injection
  • Engine braking system
  • Electric shift-on-the-fly 2/4WD with 4WD Lock
  • Duramatic CVT transmission
  • 4-wheel hydraulic disc brakes
  • 26” tires
  • 10” of suspension travel
  • 10” of ground clearance
  • 1,500 lbs. towing capacity

In the future diesel versions are expected to be available.

Learn more:  Compactequip.com  and JLG.com

 

SVR’s Take: This seems like a smart way for JLG to enter the UTV market, though I think this product introduction is primarily about the company exploiting their existing distribution channel and relationships than a strong interest in entering the UTV market as a whole. This is a simple add-on to their existing product offerings and Textron is doing the heavy lifting on the product development and manufacturing end. For Textron this is another way to target the commercial segment. They already have partnerships with Caterpillar and Toro via Arctic Cat for this segment. These UTVs is another way to utilize partnerships to expand their distribution channels for commercial markets without having to develop a specific network of commercial dealers. A quick check of the leading rental companies indicate that John Deere, Kubota, Bobcat and Club Car vehicles are currently available in the rental space. Polaris has a partnership with Bobcat to develop utility vehicles. Bobcat already provides a range of equipment to the rental market.

Marc Cesare, Smallvehicleresource.com

Eicher Polaris JV Shut Down

Eicher Polaris Multix

The Multix utility vehicle, the first offering from the Eicher-Polaris joint venture.

Eicher Polaris, the joint venture between Eicher Motors of India and Polaris Industries and the manufacturer of the Multix small, task-oriented vehicle, has been shut down due to poor sales. Eicher reported that initial interest in the Multix was good but could not be sustained over the long term, especially in the rural markets. The Multix was marketed as India’s first personal utility vehicle that could be used to carry passengers or cargo. The vehicle was designed with flexibility in mind from the beginning so that it could be used as a work vehicle, a family vehicle and even a power generator for the home in rural communities.

The joint venture formed in 2012 and the vehicle launched in 2015 after a significant amount of money and resources were put into market research and product development. Management initially expected sales of 10,000 to 12,000 units that would grow to 100,000 units annually. However, the joint venture showed signs of difficulty by early 2017 and management adjusted their marketing strategy and put more resources into the effort including adding more dealers. These efforts targeted the original market, the rural customer, but failed to make inroads. Later in the year, the joint venture steered in a new direction and started targeting urban customers. Apparently this strategy did not produce enough results. Eicher and Polaris spent an estimated $60 million to bring the vehicle to market. For the last full year ending March 31, 2017 the Eicher Polaris JV reported a loss of approximately $14 million. Some people attributed the lack of adoption to conservative attitudes of the rural customer base that may have been unwilling try such a new vehicle concept.  Learn more: Autoindia.com

SVR’s Take:  This must be a disappointment for Polaris. A lot of time, effort and resources were put into the joint venture and the vehicle. If successful, the Multix would have been a nice addition to the Polaris international portfolio of small, task-oriented vehicle lineups like Aixam, Goupil, GEM and Taylor-Dunn. The Multix would have given them a foothold in the large and growing Indian commercial/work vehicle market and served as a potential jumping off point to export to other countries in the region. Polaris is intent on growing international sales and it is hard to believe they would abandon the Indian and Southeast Asia STOV markets altogether. One option may be to acquire an existing manufacturer.

Garia Golf Car Inspired By Mercedes Benz Style Premieres

Garia Golf Car Mecedes-Benz Style

The Garia Golf Car inspired by Mercedes-Benz Style is now available in limited edition release.

Garia aluminum rims

14″ black aluminum wheels with diamond-cut elements add style.

outdoor touchpad

The 10″ outdoor touchpad display is paired with bluetooth connectivity.

Under the moniker “The coolest golf car ever”, Garia premiered their Garia Golf Car inspired by Mercedes Benz Style at the 2018 Geneva Motor Show. Priced at $73,000, the two-seat Golf Car is the height of luxury and available for a limited edition release.

What makes a $73,000 golf car? You can start with unique styling unlike any other golf car that is a product of Garia’s partnership with Mercedes-Benz. This includes 14″, five spoke, black aluminum rims with diamond cut elements, uniquely designed headlights, carbon fiber accents, as well as Garia and Mercedes-Benz Style logos prominently placed around the vehicle.

The vehicle is handmade including hand-stitched leather “lounge” seats and Mansory carbon fiber parts like the black leather lined roof.The electric powertrain features a 10.24 kWh lithium battery pack good for a 50 mile range and a 70 km/hr top speed that can be limited to 25 mph to meet LSV regulations. For electronics the Golf Car features a 10.1″ outdoor touch screen that displays the scoreboard, bluetooth connection with hands-free streaming, and speakers in the roof and seat interior. Other amenities include a built-in refrigerator, water-proof leather, grab handles, dual size cup-holders and a tray for golf balls and tees. If you are interested, a $1,000 deposit is required to place an order. Learn more: Garia.com

SVR’s Take:  While I’m sure Garia would be happy to sell a bunch of these golf cars that’s not really the point. They are trying to fortify their image as not only a luxury golf car manufacturer but as THE luxury golf car manufacturer. In addition, the design pushes the concept of the golf car away from traditional golf cars and more towards automobiles. With the future of transportation alternatives in flux, this could be helpful in positioning Garia vehicles more towards the personal transportation end of the spectrum as opposed to the golf car end. If niches develop for lower speed urban transportation would you want a vehicle that looks like a golf car or an automobile? From a more current standpoint, elements from the Golf Car will likely find their way into some of Garia’s other lower-priced but still luxurious golf cars.

Marc Cesare, SVR

Cushman Introduces New Hauler 800 and 800X Utility Vehicles

Cushman Hauler 800X

The new Cushman Hauler 800X from Textron Specialized Vehicles.

Cushman Hauler 800

The new Cushman Hauler 800 from Textron Specialized Vehicles.

Cushman, a brand under the Textron Specialized Vehicles umbrella, recently announced new, upgraded versions of their Hauler 800 and 800X utility vehicles. Each vehicle comes in an electric powered or gas powered variant. The electric powered models feature a 48-Volt AC powertrain with a 4.4 hp motor, six 8-volt deep cycle batteries, DC PowerWise QE charger and 235 amp AC controller. The gas powered models feature a 13.5 hp Kawasaki, 4-cycle, 401cc engine.

“Customer research guided the design of the Cushman Hauler, and the new Hauler 800 and 800X provides an excellent go-to, light-duty utility option in our lineup,” said John Collins, Vice President, Consumer for Textron Specialized Vehicles. “A customizable bed, functional dash storage, and increased visibility allow the operator to be more organized and productive on the work site.” New options for the Hauler 800 and 800X include:

  • A floor mount attachment that enables you to transport and secure small equipment in the passenger area of the vehicle
  • An independent radio clip that has been ergonomically designed for easy reach
  • Glove box mat package to prevent movement of items in storage compartments

Additional key specs common for the vehicles include:

  • Seating for two
  • 8.4 cu ft of cargo deck capacity
  • Headlights
  • Brushguard
  • Optional bed divider
  • Welded Steel w/ E-Shield e-coat plus DuraShield™ Powder Coat

Some of the key differences between the Hauler 800 and the 800X include:

  • The Hauler 800 has slightly more cargo bed capacity at 400 lbs vs. 325 lbs and more towing capacity with 900 lbs vs. 500 lbs
  • The Hauler 800X has a faster top speed of 16.5 mph vs. 14.5 mph
  • The Hauler 800X has more ground clearance:  5.5″ vs. 4.3″

The Hauler 800 and 800X are available in Patriot Blue and Forest Green.

Learn more:  Cushman.com

SVR’s Take:  While the changes to the Hauler 800 and 800X are not drastic, they are very focused on the application specific needs of end users. These types of changes are indicative of how competitive the work side of the utility vehicle market has become as manufacturers tailor their vehicle offerings to specific sub-segments of the market. They are accomplishing this by adding new work specific features and offering a wider range of options and accessories for specific applications. In some cases, they are providing a pre-packaged set of options and features for certain end-use applications. This is often in the context of segment specific marketing efforts. For example, Club Car has identified certain market verticals they are strategically targeting, and Cushman is using different marketing material for commercial and golf segments for these Hauler 800 and 800X models.  These approaches demonstrate the functionality and versatility of utility vehicles that serve as a common work platform which can relatively easily be customized for a wide range of work environments and applications. Marc Cesare, SmallVehicleResource.com

 

Can-Am Enters Trail Segment with 2018 Maverick Trail Models

Can-Am side-by-side

New Can-Am side-by-side models for 2018 including trail specific models and application specific Defender  and Maverick X3 models.

Can-Am launched their entry into the trail riding segment with four 50″ wide Maverick Trail models for 2018. The new models are the Maverick Trail and Maverick Trail DPS, both of which have the option of a Rotax 800 or Rotax 1000 engine. They also added technical crawling-specific models, the 172hp Can-Am Maverick X3 X rc TURBO R and the 120hp Maverick X3 X rc TURBO.

New for the Defender line for 2018 are the mud ready Defender X mr HD10, the performance oriented Defender XT-P, and the Defender MAX LONE STAR HD10 targeting the rancher segment with a mixture of heavy-duty components and flair.

Can-Am’s 2018 model year is an extension of the company’s aggressive product development pace in the side-by-side market for the last several years. They have been updating their existing product lines while targeting market segments in which they have not had a presence. First was their introduction of the Defender line aimed more for work oriented applications, and particularly for farms and multi-acre home owners. Now they are attacking the trail segment that has largely been left to Polaris and Arctic Cat, now known as Textron Off Road. They are also continuing to differentiate within market segments with their existing product lines by adding application specific vehicles.

These are all trends that are occurring in the market in general as competition in the side-by-side market in both recreational and utility segments has revved up. For customers this has translated into better promotions and pricing, increasing vehicle functionality and performance and a better value proposition. In Can-Am’s case, their new product development strategy has led to increased revenue and market share from the success of their Defender line and annual improvements to the Maverick family.

In the last few years many manufacturers, both large and small, have revitalized product lines, added product lines and newly entered the market, particularly in the utility segment. The challenge is to remain committed to the market with the resources needed to regularly develop competitive vehicles and build out distribution channels. There is likely to be a shakeout in the market in the next few years as some companies will have difficulty remaining competitive product offerings in the face of aggressive product introductions by Can-Am and other manufacturers.

Marc Cesare, Smallvehicleresource.com

The following is the press release from Can-Am

Dallas, Texas, Sept. 20, 2017 – BRP (TSX: DOO) unveils four new 50”-wide Can-Am Maverick Trail side-by-side vehicles at its annual dealer meeting in Dallas, TX. People can now enjoy the Maverick experience while accessing many public trails and tucked-away destinations with ease. With their innovative design and extreme agility, Maverick Trail vehicles enhance the consumer experience and allow people to explore the wild with confidence.

The Maverick Trail vehicle is conceived to bring one of the best trail experiences to people with its bold Can-Am Maverick X3 heritage and its ingenious convenience features. Every feature is purpose-built to maximize consumer comfort, vehicle stability, and handling – a must for people who are looking for a full day of adventures.

“The Can-Am Maverick Trail lineup introduces our incredible X3 pedigree to trail exploration,” said Bernard Guy, Senior Vice President, Global Product Strategy at BRP. “People love riding trails because it’s an adventurous escape into nature to discover new destinations with friends, and these ingenious machines are built to maximize the user experience in every way.”

The fun doesn’t stop on the trail, though, as BRP also introduced two new technical crawling-specific models for 2018 – the 172hp Can-Am Maverick X3 X rc TURBO R and the 120hp Maverick X3 X rc TURBO. Rugged crawling is extremely popular (and growing), and BRP went to the rocks to gain real-world insight from owners before finalizing the design.
One critical takeaway for the best possible user experience was the need for a fully-lockable front differential. In response, the Can-Am team created a technology called SMART-Lok™*, which is an ingenious fully-lockable on-the-fly front differential with electronically-controlled automatic modes. That smart technology enhances the riding experience and amounts to traction in extreme conditions.

Maverick X3 X rc models are specifically designed for maximum maneuverability even at low speeds with a high ground clearance and large, specialized tires. They also come loaded with features for maximum protection including rock sliders, front and rear suspension protectors, and a front differential guard for enhanced defense against harsh terrain and rocks.

On the utility side of the lineup, BRP introduced three new specialty packages to its Can-Am Defender model family, each purpose-built for a specific, enhanced ride experience:

  • The Defender X mr HD10 is a mud-ready vehicle that’s built to tackle grimy conditions with ease. It also has a SMART-Lok front differential, and along with other tough and clever elements, is built from the ground up so people can conquer harsh environments.
  • The Defender XT-P brings performance to the workhorse-oriented Defender XT lineup, with upgraded shocks, multiple driving modes, and more. It’s an ideal balance between performance, comfort and convenience, and is packed with a sportier look.
  • The Defender MAX LONE STAR HD10 complements the swagger and grit of the Texas rancher and outdoorsman. It’s the perfect tool for day-to-day ranching tasks while making sure people stand out from the crowd. It features painted deep metallic black coloration, Lone Star trim, and heavy-duty components such as a steel front bumper and full hard roof.

For additional information and technical specs on these new models, as well as two all-new youth ATV models, visit www.CanAmOffRoad.com.

* Smart-Lok was developed in conjunction with TEAM Industries, a market leader in the drive train industry.

About BRP
BRP (TSX:DOO) is a global leader in the design, development, manufacturing, distribution and marketing of powersports vehicles and propulsion systems. Its portfolio includes Ski-Doo and Lynx snowmobiles, Sea-Doo watercraft, Can-Am off-road and Spyder vehicles, Evinrude and Rotax marine propulsion systems as well as Rotax engines for karts, motorcycles and recreational aircraft. BRP supports its line of products with a dedicated parts, accessories and clothing business. With annual sales of CA$4.2 billion from over 100 countries, the Company employs approximately 8,700 people worldwide.

UTV Industry News Briefs

CFMoto Motor company is planning to raise about $68 million in an initial share offering on the Shanghai Stock Exchange.  Learn more:  Reuters.com

Can-Am is the official off-road vehicle for the Luke Bryan Farm Tour. There will be vehicle display booths at each tour venue. A main target customer for Can Am’s relatively new Defender product line is farmers.  Learn more:  Powersportsbusiness.com

Wells Fargo Commercial Distribution Finance extended its preferred dealer financing program with Kymco USA, a long time client. Separately, Kymco is offering a “Customer Choice” offer of customer cash or extended warranty on purchases of 2015 and 2016 year models through Sept. 30, according to its website. Learn more:  Powersportsfinance.com

Kawasaki is donating five Mule UTVs to aid recovery efforts after the destruction left by hurricane Harvey. In addition the company is matching employee donations made to non-profit organizations.  Learn more: Thedrive.com

Yamaha Motor Corp. will launch their power-assist electric bicycles in the United states beginning in 2018. While the company has been in the e-bike business for decades, the US market has not been targeted until now. Four models will be available ranging from street cruiser to more of a racing bike. Learn more: LATimes.com

New SVR Market Study Predicts Solid Growth For STOVs

In a new market study on the small task-oriented vehicle (STOV) market in the US and Canada, Small Vehicle Resource (SVR), LLC predicts growth over the 2017-2021 period. The market research reveals four trends coming together that will result in market gains of mid to high single digits in the forecast period and an industry value in the range of $15.8 billion at retail including parts and accessories.

  • Growing appreciation in a highly diverse market for the effectiveness of STOVs specifically designed to meet individual segment needs;
  • Increasing competition that will drive new product development as manufacturers seek to strengthen current market strongholds and stake out additional market segments with new and/or expanded product lines;
  • Continuing focus on accessories and attachments to enhance the versatility and value of STOVs, boost revenues and supplant other vehicle types such as pick-ups and tractors for work and full-size vehicles for transportation;
  • Golf manufacturers emphasizing non-fleet markets over the continuing slow/negative growth golf car fleet market.

Steve Metzger, SVR Managing Director, states that, “While the fleet market remains in a downsizing mode, it is a marginal decline. It will remain a significant component of the golf car-type vehicle market. On the other hand, SVR forecasts continued sizable gains in the non-fleet market, including light utility and transporter vehicles and personal transportation vehicles.” Metzger also notes, “SVR anticipates that important new opportunities lie ahead, including self-driving technology applications, as well as potential for a much broader market on a global basis.”

Marc Cesare, SVR Managing Director adds, “The off-road utility vehicle market continues to be a competitive vortex for golf car manufacturers seeking new markets, the powersports industry, and traditional manufacturers of work related utility vehicles. While market growth will be slower than the recent high growth years, it remains solid,” Cesare notes, “ and competition will drive product innovation in both base vehicles as well as options and attachments that improve vehicle performance and versatility.

Approximately a third of the market value is from electric powered STOVs, primarily in the form of golf cars or golf car derived utility vehicles and personal transportation vehicles (PTVs). PTVs are golf cars modified for gated community or low speed public road use and include low speed vehicles (LSVs). Key trends and projections for the market include:

  • In total, demand for electric powered STOVs will increase to over 300,000 vehicles in 2021.
  • The demand for non-fleet golf car type vehicles will more than offset the slight decline in the fleet golf car market, moving from under 50% of the total demand to over 50%.
  • Light utility vehicles produced by golf car and other manufacturers are expected to grow approximately 10% annually to 2021.
  • PTVs will continue to grow low single digits during the trend period and electric powered PTVs will slowly increase to represent nearly 75% of the market by 2021. LSVs will account for about one-fifth of the PTVmarket.

Metzger, states that, “The potential for even greater electric powered STOV growth is there. In the PTV market the combination of market forces and emerging technologies could greatly increase the applicability of PTVs. Increasing urbanization is expected to create congestion and pollution issues, and the search for new transportation solutions. The advent of self-driving vehicle technology along with improved battery technology creates the potential for mobility platforms that can in part be based on small PTVs.” He further notes, “Gated communities with their more controlled environments could prove to be excellent testing grounds and the concepts could then migrate to urban environments that are well suited to low speed vehicle operations.”

The new study, the eighth in the series of studies produced by SVR since 2000, covers utility, off-road, and personal transportation vehicles, and fleet golf cars.

The study is entitled, 2017 Market Report on the Small, Task-Oriented Vehicle Industry: Transition and Growth –Trends from 2012; Forecasts to 2021. 

For additional, detailed information on study content a brochure is available with a table of contents ( Small Task-Oriented Vehicle Study – Analysis & Forecast (PDF)) or contact:

Steve Metzger,  smetzger@smallvehicleresource.com

(914) 293-7577

Eicher Polaris Changes Multix Marketing Strategy

Eicher Polaris Multix

The Multix utility vehicle, the first offering from the Eicher-Polaris joint venture.

Eicher Polaris has made a significant change in the marketing strategy for their Multix multi-purpose utility vehicle. Launched in 2015, the Multix was designed to be versatile and transformable from moving goods to carrying the family to generating electricity with the X-Port feature.

Based on extensive market research the original marketing plan targeted entrepreneurs in rural areas and small towns. The entrepreneur could use the vehicle for business during the week, for family outings on the weekend and even provide electricity in areas where the electrical grid can be unreliable. However, the product has not taken off as management expected, although the potential market is deemed quite large. The company points to more conservative rural people not being as quick to adopt such an innovative product.

Therefore, Eicher Polaris is changing course and now focusing on more urban areas. To that end the company is expanding from 77 to 100 dealerships with most of the new openings in metro areas. The hope is that metro locations will provide more exposure for the Multix to a wider range of end users in the urban environment. Management provides examples of end users that can conduct “business on wheels” with the Multix like laundry operators who can use the X-Port for ironing and carpenters to power tools.

Learn more: thehindubusinessline.com

Comment: The versatility of the vehicle may make it a success in the end. In the metro areas, rather than fitting the vehicle to a particular type of user, many different type of users can adapt the Multix to their needs. In the end the Multix may be used for a number of different end use applications that the company never even considered when developing the vehicle. The key will be exposing the vehicle to as many different end users as possible, and helping them adapt the vehicle to their needs. The next step may be to develop a broader range of accessories to cater to specific applciations.

Marc Cesare, Smallvehicleresource.com

Bad Boy Off Road Rebranded Textron Off Road

Vehicles like the gas powered Stampede 900 will now be sold under the Textron Off Road brand instead of Bad Boy Off Road.

Textron Specialized Vehicles recently announced the rebranding of their Bad Boy Off Road brand of vehicles to Textron Off Road. The rebranding is designed to take advantage of Textron’s association with strong engineering and manufacturing through their long established brands in aerospace, defense and automotive such as Bell Helicopter, Cessna, Beechcraft, Lycoming and Cushman.

The Textron Off Road brand of side-by-sides currently features the gas powered Stampede and Stampede XTR, the all-electric Recoil, Recoil iS and Recoil iS Crew and the hybrid Ambush iS.

“We are changing our brand from Bad Boy Off Road to Textron Off Road to better reflect the detailed design, precision engineering, manufacturing expertise and high performance for which Textron is known, across a number of major industries,” said John Collins, vice president, consumer for Textron Specialized Vehicles. “Our new name is more indicative of the level of performance, quality and innovation that we build into our side-by-sides, and demonstrates how serious Textron is about its future in the powersports market.”

The rebranding makes sense for Textron for a number of reasons. The Bad Boy name is fairly well known in the hunting segment of the utility vehicle market, but this is more of a niche market, and before being acquired in 2010 by Textron there were some quality issues associated with the brand. In 2016 Textron rebranded Bad Boy Buggies to Bad Boy Off Road so there has not been a lot of time to build brand value, and thus not as much to lose in rebranding at this time. While the Textron brand may not be as well known in the utility vehicle market, the company’s collection of more well known manufacturing brands generates higher brand awareness in general. In addition, utility vehicles from Cushman and E-Z-GO fall under the Textron umbrella and certainly are known in commercial UTV segments and, by association, Textron has some awareness there as well.

A bigger question than whether rebranding is good for business, is how the Textron Off Road product lines integrate with recently acquired Arctic Cat products. While their distribution networks are more likely complimentary than duplicative, the question is how their individual vehicles fit together. Textron Off Road’s electric UTVs are a nice compliment to Arctic Cat’s gas powered vehicles, but how does their Stampede line of UTVs fit with Arctic Cat’s Prowler, HDX and Wild Cat vehicles.

If you look at a comparison between the Stampede 900 EPS, Arctic Cat HDX 700 XT EPS and the Arctic Cat Prowler 1000 XT EPS, they have similar price points and features and specifications. One could imagine the Stampede line could be turned into more of a value-oriented brand with lower price points. Value UTVs have become a competitive segment of the market as better quality imported brands and lower priced offerings from established brands target value consumers. However, Stampede’s initial marketing campaigns have been aiming higher than value-oriented customers. Another option might be to target specific market sub-segments, perhaps, in conjunction with geographic targeting based on the Stampede’s distribution network. The greater the differentiation between the various Textron brands, the better chance Textron has of convincing dealers to carry several Textron UTV brands, and of leveraging the distribution channels of their different brands.

Vehicles under the Textron Off Road brand will be available in April, 2017.  Learn more:  Textron.com