Polaris Introduces The RZR XP Turbo S

Polaris RZR SP Turbo S

The new Polaris RZR XP Turbo S features 32″ tires, 16″ of ground clearance and 168 hp turbo engine.

Polaris RZR SP Turbo S

The RZR XP Turbo S has 25″ of usable front and rear suspension travel.

Polaris introduced their new, top-of-the-line RZR, the 72-inch RZR XP Turbo S. The RZR XP Turbo S was completely “redesigned and reengineered” with a reinforced chassis, stronger axels and other strengthened components. Like other high performance RZRs this model is powered by a 168 hp ProStar turbo H.O. engine. Rather than bump up the horsepower, Polaris beefed up almost every other aspect of the vehicle. The XP Turbo S features 32″ ITP Coyote tires 16″ of ground clearance and 25% more assist in power steering. This model also has the Dynamix Active Suspension system, 19″ or 21″ of wheel travel depending on settings and 25″ of what Polaris refers to as useable travel to the skid plate. The drive system is the new Isolated Xtreme Performance True On-Demand AWD/2WD with greater front drive impact strength, improved throttle control and a redesigned clutch box “..for better air flow and decreased belt temperatures.”

Other key specs and features of the RZR XP Turbo S include:

  • 4-Wheel Hydraulic Disc with Triple-Bore Front and Dual-Bore Rear Calipers
  • EPS
  • 2.5″/3″ FOX Podium Internal Bypass Shocks with Live Valve
  • Premium Sparco Steering Wheel
  • Bolstered Bucket Seats with 4-point Harness
  • Aluminum Roof
  • Bowed 1/4 Doors
  • Front Blacked Out White LED Low/High w/ Accent Lights & Rear Red LED Tail / Brake / Accent Lights
  • Rear Wired Camera
  • RIDE COMMAND™ 7” Glove-Touch Display with DYNAMIX Visualizer
  • Built-In GPS
  • Bluetooth & USB Smartphone Connectivity
  • GoPro® Control
  • In-Vehicle Communications Capable
  • Ride Command App Integration

The RZR XP Turbo S is available in Indy Red or Polaris Blue and has an MSRP of $27,499. The vehicle will be available at dealers in mid-March.  Learn more:  Polaris.com

SVR’s Take:  After years of manufacturers coming to market with new models with more horsepower the RZR XP Turbo S went in a different direction. They really focused on the ride and suspension as well as the ability of the vehicle to take a beating when powered by such a large engine. This introduction may signal that there are diminishing returns for increasing horsepower and/or that the rest of the vehicle features need to catch up with power of the engine. This could signal a market move towards focusing on durability, handling and creature comforts. How will other manufacturers in the market respond?

Mahindra Reveals Roxor Turbodiesel UTVs

Mahindra Roxor

The new Mahindra Roxor utility vehicle powered by a 62 hp urbo diesel.

Mahindra Roxor LE

The Mahindra Roxor LE adds features like a winch, soft top, LED light bar and more.

Mahindra, a well-known auto and tractor manufacturer, revealed two new turbodiesel powered utility vehicles, the Roxor and Roxor LE. The 152cc engine puts out 62 hp at 3,200 rpm and 144 ft lbs of torque at 1,400 rpm. The retro styled exterior is reminiscent of a classic Jeep and is married to a boxed steel frame. The Roxor seats two, has a top speed of 45 mph and 9″ of ground clearance. Both models are targeting recreational users. The vehicles are assembled in Mahindra’s Auburn Hills, Michigan plant. Other key specs include:

  • 3,490 lbs towing capacity
  • 349 lbs cargo capacity
  • 5 speed transmission
  • Selectable 2WD/4WD
  • Rigid leaf spring front suspension with stabilizer bar
  • Leaf spring rear suspension with hydraulic shock absorbers
  • Hydraulic front disc and rear drum brakes
  • Hydraulic power steering
  • Halogen headlights
  • Underseat storage
  • Available in Carbon Black, Classic White, Fire Orange or Tahoe Blue
  • MSRP:  $15,499

The Roxor LE adds the following features:

  • Bestop Bikini soft top
  • Warn 8,000 lb. winch
  • HD front bumper with mounting plate and HD battery
  • 40″ KC HiLites Light Bar
  • BF Goodrich KO2 radial off-road tiers
  • MTX AM/FM bluetooth sound bar
  • Side and rearview mirrors
  • ROPS mounted grab handles

The MSRP for this limited edition model is $18,899. Company marketing material indicates a Dune Edition will be coming later in California.

A marketing program to support the new vehicles will be launched this Spring and the vehicles will be available from over 240 Mahindra powersports dealers in the US.

Learn more: Roxoroffroad.com

SVR’s Take:  I think the very Jeep-like look could prove popular, although not everyone may want a diesel powered UTV. The styling really sets the vehicle apart in a market where there are plenty of options and more seem to materialize every day. If it proves popular I wouldn’t be surprised to see some of the larger players in the market come out with similar styling.

This is another example of an agricultural equipment company more aggressively moving into the UTV market to take advantage of their existing distribution channel. However, Mahindra appears to be putting more resources in the most by designing and manufacturing the vehicles themselves, and establishing dedicated new facilities in the US.

A quick perusal of their dealer network shows a large number of agricultural and power equipment dealers. The diesel powertrain makes the UTV a natural fit on farms. The company may have difficulty reaching beyond the farm and large area home owner market, which are a primary target given Mahindra’s popularity in the tractor market. It would appear that this vehicle could have wider appeal beyond these segments, but Mahindra may have to be creative in developing dealers or partnerships to expand the reach of their current distribution channel.

Marc Cesare, SVR


Kubota Updates UTV Lineup

Kubota RTV-XG850 Sidekick utility vehicle

The new Kubota RTV-XG850 Sidekick utility vehicle, gas-powered and with a 40 mph top speed.

Over the last few months Kubota has unveiled two significant model additions to their utility vehicle lineup that will be available at dealers in the first part of 2018. The first reveal was the all new RTV-XG850 Sidekick. The Sidekick is a gas powered UTV being marketed as fast, strong and agile with a 48 hp engine, 40 mph top speed, a CVT with centrifugal clutch and speed sensitive electronic power steering.

Kubota is clearly trying to expand their more work-oriented customer base with the faster, crossover oriented Sidekick. However, the RTV-XG850 still maintains solid work specs with a 15.2 cu. ft. and 1,000 lb. capacity steel cargo box and a 2,000 lb. towing capacity. The cargo box has an optional electric hydraulic lift.

Additional features of the Sidekick designed to widen the vehicle’s appeal include:

  • Improved ergonomics with a new digital display, steering wheel and shift knob
  • LED headlights
  • Green and Black color options beyond the traditional Kubota Orange and RealTree AP Camo choices
  • Sidekick specific accessories including a premium audio system, sports roof, alloy wheels and bed extender

Other key specs and features of the Sidekick include:

  • Selectable 2WD/4WD with limited slip front differential
  • 4-wheel hydraulic disc brakes
  • Front and rear independent suspension
  • 9″/8.5″ of front/rear suspension travel
  • 9.8″ of ground clearance
  • Tilt steering
  • Front guard (standard on Worksite and Special variations)
  • Optional spray-on bed liner

The Sidekick will come in three different variations:  General Purpose, Worksite and Special. The Special comes with a front guard, alloy wheels, tilt steering and spray-on bed liner standard. The Worksite comes with the front guard and tilt steering standard. The General Purpose does not come standard with any of these options. The Kubota RTV-XG850 Sidekick will be available at dealers in Spring 2018. A quick internet search shows pricing in the $13,000 to $14,500 range.

The other addition to the Kubota UTV lineup is an updated version of the RTV-X1120, a heavy duty work-oriented utility vehicle. The updated model comes with a significantly lower price tag compared to the older version, $13,999 compared to approximately $16,000.

The RTV-X1120 is powered by a 24.8 hp diesel engine and has a Variable Hydro Transmission, a top speed of 29 mph and 4WD with limited-slip front differential and foot operated rear differential lock. Kubota aimed to improve ergonomics and styling with new shoulder restraints, ergonomic 60:40 split bucket seats, digital display, easily accessible parking brake and under seat storage compartments.

Additional key features and specs include:

  • Hydraulic power steering
  • Steel cargo box with optional hydraulic lift
  • Front and rear standard 2″ hitch receivers
  • 1,300 lb. towing capacity
  • Optional machine-polished alloy or black alloy wheels
  • Optional spray-on bed liner
  • Colors:  Kubota Orange or RealTree AP Camo

The RTV-X1120 will be available in General Purpose, Worksite and Deluxe configurations with a starting base price of $13,999 The new RTV-X1120 models will be available at Kubota dealerships in February 2018.

Learn more:   Kubotausa.com

SVR’s Take:  The work and multi-purpose use segment of the UTV market has become more competitive over the last several years as manufacturers have identified the segments as key growth areas. No doubt Kubota has felt the encroachment of this competition on their traditional customer segments of farm, ranch, large area home owners and construction. This has come from larger brands such as Can-Am with their new Defender line, Honda with their expanding Pioneer line and market leader Polaris with their dominant Ranger line, as well as from smaller brands like the value oriented and expanding Cub Cadet Challenger line and the likes of Toro and New Holland that have partnered with larger UTV manufacturers to develop vehicles to sell under their own brands. The most recent in the latter category is the construction oriented Caterpillar.

As the pace of new model development in the UTV market has increased in the last five years, one could argue that Kubota has been at the slower end of the scale among the large manufacturers. The Sidekick in particular may be an indication that Kubota will be accelerating their product development moving forward with an eye towards expanding their appeal. A key difficulty for Kubota in growing their customer base will be how to reach new customers with their existing farm and construction oriented dealership network. They may look to add new types of dealers or partner with other companies to reach new distribution channels.

Marc Cesare, SmallVehicleResource.com

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


Polaris Q4 2017 Earnings

2018 Polaris Ranger XP 1000 EPS

The 2018 Polaris Ranger XP 1000 EPS helped drive sales for the quarter and the year.

Polaris Industries reported quarterly revenue of $1.431 billion and annual revenue of $5.429 billion, representing increases of 18% and 20% respectively compared to last year. Adjusted earnings per share for the quarter increased 25% driven by higher volume, lower promotional spend and operating expense leverage. For the year a 39% increase in earnings per share was driven by a combination of increased volume, an improvement in gross margins and a lower tax rate.

The following are highlights of the earnings call related to small, task-oriented vehicles.

  • ORV sales increased 14% in Q4 and 9% for the year
  • Average ORV selling price was up 4% for the quarter
  • ORV retail was up for the year but down for the 4th quarter as retail unit sales of Off-Road Vehicles were down just under 1%
  • Ranger sales were up for the quarter with strong demand for the new Ranger XP 1000 lineup
  • RZR sales declined for the quarter driven by “tapped demand and limited product availability”
  • For the quarter the ramp up of Ranger and RZR production was slower than expected in part attributed to the new quality initiative. This manifested as a production issue with a four-wheel drive component on the Ranger XP 1000, which was originally not up to the company’s quality standard.
  • Continued roll out RFM inventory and ordering system for side-by-sides and should be fully optimized by the second quarter
  • North American industry side-by-side growth was strong in Q4 but ATVs down.
  • Utility side of ORV is expected to grow but there is stiff competition on the RZR side which will not grow as much as competition increases
  • Agriculture markets were down in the fourth quarter and oil markets were up slightly, but there was no “substantial shift” in buying patterns.
  • In the side-by-side market decreased pricing is offset somewhat by decreased promotional costs and there is some commodity pricing pressures
  • Australia was a strong market as buyers switch from ATVs to UTVs
  • Global Adjacent Markets sales increased 19% in the fourth quarter, driven by strong growth in Aixam and Goupil, as well as continued strong sales growth in Government and Defense
  • For the year Global Adjacent Markets revenue reached almost $400 million including PG&A
  • Average selling price for Adjacent Markets increasing 14% for the quarter
  • For the full year Global Adjacent Markets sales increased 16% with all business lines growing
  • In Europe there is strong demand for small, inner-city delivery vehicles including electrics and that demand is increasing in the US as well
  • “More autonomous activities with both the military and Taylor-Dunn platforms than anywhere else in the company”

Guidance for 2018

  • Total company sales are expected to be up in the range of 3% to 5% with ORV market expected to be up
  • ORV market share is expected to be stable with continued momentum from Ranger and General product lines
  • ORV/Snowmobile sales are expected to be up low to mid-single digits with Snow about flat and ORV and PG&A sales up
  • Global Adjacent Markets sales are expected to be up mid single-digit percent with growth expected in all businesses.
  • The new long-term strategic targets for the company as a whole are 5% compounded annual growth rate for revenues and 15% for earnings
  • Management will be focusing on cost leadership more while maintaining innovation

Learn more:  Seekingalpha.com (Earnings Call Transcript)

Honda Unveils Swappable Battery for Electric UTVs

Honda Mobile Power Pack

Honda’s Mobile Power Pack recently unveiled at the CES.

At the recent Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, Honda unveiled a new swappable Mobile Power Pack battery system as well as UTVs and other products that use the system. As part of this Mobile Power Pack battery ecosystem Honda introduced a portable power system, “Mobile Power Pack Exchanger” and personal charging system.

Honda’s Mobile Power Pack is designed to have a capacity of 1 kWh or higher and envisioned as a method of storing and later using renewable energy produced during off peak hours. To that end, Honda presented several product concepts powered by the these swappable battery packs.

Honda ausnomous 3E-D18

The autonomous 3E-D18 combines Honda’s work in batteries, robotics and powersports.

One such product is the 3E-D18 which Honda refers to as “an autonomous off-road workhorse device utilizing AI”. The vehicle features a Honda ATV chassis with an electric powertrain. By changing the upper part of the vehicle, Honda anticipates the vehicle being used in fire-fighting, agriculture, sports training support or a myriad of other uses.

Honda Electric Pioneer 500

An electrified Honda Pioneer 500 powered by the new mobile power pack.

Honda electric Pioneer 500

A close-up of the Honda UTV showing a pair of the battery packs.

Another product presented was an electric powered UTV based upon their existing Honda Pioneer 500 model. They envision the vehicle being used for urban transportation, small cargo delivery and outdoor recreation. Other products included an electric powered scooter, a wheelchair type vehicle, a robotic cart for indoor use and a AI driven personal assistant called the “Empathy Concept”.  Learn more:  Honda.com

SVR’s Take

We have already noted some autonomous vehicle efforts in the UTV market by Yamaha and Polaris. This concept from Honda is the first to utilize electric power. These vehicles are likely to be used in highly-specialized and high value applications such as military and fire fighting first because of their high initial cost. As the cost of the technology decreases, they should be used in a wider array of applications. These type of vehicles require a range of competencies and technologies that likely relegates their development to only the largest UTV manufacturers or manufacturers from entirely different industries. Smaller or medium-sized players will likely have to look for technology partners to compete in this area.

The swappable battery concept may be a way of addressing range issues for electric UTVs. One can envision a UTV that is used for both work and recreation where work uses do not create a range or battery power issue, but an owner might want to bring along an extra battery pack for trail riding. In a work fleet scenario batteries could be swapped out similar to what is done with forklifts.

Another interesting point is that Honda lists urban transport and small cargo delivery as potential electric UTV uses. Neither of these uses are currently a primary use of UTVs and indicates a potential long-term growth area for the industry, although one that would require some changes to road use regulations.

Marc Cesare, Smallvehicleresource.com

2018 Polaris Ranger XP 1000 EPS Reviews

2018 Polaris Ranger XP 1000 EPS

The 2018 Polaris Ranger XP 1000 EPS.

The 2018 Polaris XP 1000 EPS seats three and is powered by a 999cc, 82 hp gas engine with EFI. This model features electronic power steering, High Performance On-Demand AWD/2WD/ VersaTrac Turf Mode, 11″ of front and rear suspension travel, 13″ of ground clearance, a 2,500 lb towing capacity and a 1,000 lb. capacity cargo dump bed with gas assist. This base model is priced at $15,299. Some key improvements over the 2017 model include a stiffer chassis, more suspension travel and ground clearance, increased payload, greater towing capacity, tighter steering system and improved cargo bed.

Polaris also offers what might be called a “premium” EPS model for a $1,000 more with several automotive style paint options as well as aluminum Black Xcelerator 2.0 wheels and cut and sew seats. For a further $200 you can have camo graphics. There is also a Northstar Edition for $23,999 which comes with a complete cab with heating and AC.

The following are summaries from a number of reviews of the 2018 Polaris Ranger XP 1000 EPS. These include reviews from trade magazines as well as user generated content. In general the reviews of this model are positive. Polaris made a number of improvements both large and small from the 2017 model and they were well received. Some of the more common features that reviewers liked included:

  • Improved ingress and egress
  • Large amounts of cab storage including a flip-up seat
  • Built-in electrical buses for easily adding accessories
  • Better low power delivery and smoother power delivery overall
  • Improved cargo bed

www.atv.com – Two days of testing at a hunting property in Louisiana

  • Slightly improved seat entry and egress
  • “Massive” amounts of storage in the cab including fold up passenger seat for more cargo area
  • Cargo bed has more molded in dividers
  • Easy access to engine for maintenance
  • Built-in electrical buses for easily adding accessories such as a winch
  • Quiet cab
  • Smooth power and throttle delivery

www.utvplanet.ca – Test drive in work and trail environment.

  • Great suspension on a variety of terrain at slower speeds and improved over 2017 model at higher speeds with less body roll.
  • Better low end power delivery
  • “This is the most fun Ranger we’ve ever driven.”
  • More comfortable seats with additional padding
  • Cup holders have handle cutouts for mugs
  • Lots of cab storage
  • “Love” the new truck-inspired exterior design
  • Improved handling with tighter steering system and better feel
  • Smooth and controllable power delivery
  • More trail capable with “.. improved control, ride quality and stability of the new, stiffer frame.”

Cycle Works Edmonton – Video walk through of various aspects of the vehicle

  • Pre-built busbars for easy accessory connection
  • Easy access to engine for maintenance
  • Reinforced cargo box
  • Easier cab ingress and egress
  • Lots of cab storage – “Really like” the lower storage area in the dash
  • Easy access and more storage with flip up seats
  • Older accessories except doors will fit on new machines
  • Skid plates and biggest standard bumper in the industry
  • Can switch suspension to outside positioning for heavier weight like cab
  • Tailgate can easily handle weight when sitting and latch system is beefier

User Forum – Actually a Honda forum but discussed the Ranger XP 1000.

  • A number of users noted the increased ground clearance and greater towing and cargo bed capacity
  • Several voiced concerns about reliability in light of all the Polaris recalls
  • A couple of posters wanted doors instead of nets
  • Some noted the improved suspension and improved belts which posters noted as a problem in the past
  • Some posters liked the new design which was compared to that of a Toyota Tundra while others did not like it

Polaris Marketing Video – Marketing video that highlights some of the key features of the Ranger XP 1000 EPS

Dirt Trax Television – In-depth look video presentation. Mostly a presentation by a Polaris employee but a thorough explanation of the many changes made compared to the 2017 model.

John Deere Recalls Large Number of Gator Crossover UTVs

Gator XUV utility vehicle

One of the Gator crossover utility vehicles part of a large recall by John Deere.

John Deere announced a large recall of their XUV crossover utility vehicle because of a steering shaft issue. The recall involves approximately 68,300 Gator XUV825, XUV825 S4, XUV855, and XUV855 S4 crossover utility vehicles sold between March 2012 and November 2017. The steering shaft can separate from the steering rack assembly and result in a loss of steering control. Consumers should immediately stop using the vehicle and contact their John Deere dealer for a free repair.

This is one of the largest recalls in the market in the last few years outside of the well publicized Polaris recalls in 2016. Any recall over 10,000 vehicles would be considered large compared to what typically occurs in the market. SVR tracks recent recalls of UTVs, LSVs and golf cars.  Luckily, there have been no reports of injuries and only nine reports of steering control loss.

The following is recall information from the Consumer Product Safety Commission.

John Deere Recalls Crossover Gator Utility Vehicles Due to Crash Hazard (Recall Alert)

Name of product:  John Deere Crossover Gator™ utility vehicles
Hazard:  The steering shaft can separate from the steering rack assembly and result in a loss of vehicle steering control, posing a crash hazard.
Recall date:  December 21, 2017
Units:  About 68,300
Description:  This recall involves John Deere models XUV825, XUV825 S4, XUV855, and XUV855 S4 Crossover Gator utility vehicles equipped with power steering. The model number and “John Deere” are printed on the side of the vehicle. The serial number begins with 1M0825 or 1M0855 and is located on the passenger side of the frame under the cargo box. The vehicles have seating for two or four passengers.

Remedy:  Consumers should stop using the recalled utility vehicles and contact an authorized John Deere dealer for a free repair. John Deere is contacting purchasers of the recalled utility vehicles directly.

Incidents/Injuries:  John Deere has received nine reports of steering loss. No injuries have been reported.

Sold At:  John Deere dealers nationwide from March 2012 through November 2017 for between $13,400 and $16,100.

Manufacturer(s):  Deere & Company, of Moline, Ill.

Manufactured In:  U.S.

Recall number:  18-709
Consumer Contact:  Deere & Company at 800-537-8233 from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. ET Monday through Friday and Saturday from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. ET or online at www.deere.com and select Product Recall Information on the drop-down menu under Services & Support for more information.

Polaris Recall Issues with RZR 900 & 1000 Models Persists

2016 Polaris RZR 900 EPS

The 2016 Polaris RZR 900 EPS is one of a number of previously recalled models still experiencing issues despite being repaired.

Polaris continues to have recall issues related to their RZR 900 and 1000 which were previously recalled. According to a joint statement issued by CPSC and Polaris, some vehicles that had been repaired under the recall are still experiencing fires. In addition 2017 RZRs not included in the recall are experiencing fires as well. The original recall was initiated in April 2016  and covered model year 2013 – 2014 RZR XP 900, 2014 – 2016 RZR XP 1000, 2015 – 2016 RZR 900 & S 900, and 2016 RZR S 1000 vehicles. The recall involved approximately 133,000 vehicles.

Polaris can’t seem to shake their recall issues. According to management they have put additional manpower and resources into addressing the issue in a systematic way to improve product development, quality control and issue tracking. What is not known is if these issues are related to previous systemic problems before new processes and people were put into place or if they show that problems still persists after the changes were made, which would be more worrisome. SVR has been tracking recalls from Polaris and other manufacturers.

The following is the joint statement from the CPSC and Polaris.

12/19/2017 10:54:00 AM
Joint Statement of CPSC and Polaris on Polaris RZR 900 and 1000 Recreational Off-Highway Vehicles (ROVs)
Minneapolis, MN (December 19, 2017) – The US Consumer Product Safety Commission and Polaris are informing the public about fires on model year 2013–2017 Polaris RZR 900 and 1000 Recreational Off-Highway Vehicles (ROVs). These fires have caused death, serious injuries, and property damage.

Most of these vehicles were voluntarily recalled by Polaris in April 2016 to address fire hazards (https://www.cpsc.gov/Recalls/2016/polaris-recalls-rzr-recreational-off-highway-vehicles-due).

However, users of the vehicles that were repaired as part of the April 2016 recall continue to report fires, including total-loss fires. The 2017 RZRs were not included in the April 2016 recall, but these models have also experienced fires.

The CPSC and Polaris continue to work together to ensure fire risks in these vehicles are addressed. However, at this time, the CPSC and Polaris want to make the public aware of the fires involving these vehicles.

The CPSC advises consumers to report any fire or overheating-related incidents at: www.SaferProducts.gov or the CPSC Hotline at 1-800-638-2772.

BRP Reports Quarterly Earnings – FY2018 Q3

Can Am Defender Max

The Can Am Defender Max and the Defender line as a whole helped drive sales.

Maverick X3 X RS Turbo R

The Maverick X3 X RS Turbo R and other X# models have helped drive sales as well.

BRP reported third quarter earnings for fiscal year 2018 of $1,241million ($C), a 15% increase from last year. Sales were driven by their Year-Round Products division which includes side-by-sides and Seasonal Products division which includes snowmobiles. For the quarter, Year-Round Products revenue increased $77 million or 20.1% to $460.9 million mainly on higher volume of Maverick X3 and the newly launched Maverick Trail.

The following are highlights of the earnings call related to the side-by-side market.

  • Side-by-side retail increased low 30% compared to an industry up high single digits
  • Launched the new 50″ wide Maverick Trail marking entry into the trail segment
  • Announced investment to increase their manufacturing capabilities in Mexico in response to ongoing strong demand for Defender and X3 models
  • North America side-by-side industry up low teen percent for the first third of the model year
  • Can-Am’s international side-by-side retail sales were up 80% for the quarter and the Defender and Maverick MAX models grew over 100% in markets like Mexico, China and Europe
  • The management stated that they did not follow some of their competitors who were aggressive with promotions in the quarter
  • The Defender line continues to make inroads into the farm and rural markets
  • Commander sales are flat to low single digit growth and the company has lost market share in that segment but gained share in the overall market
  • The management believes that better and more feature rich products across the industry are helping to drive replacement of older vehicles

Learn more:  Finance.yahoo.com (Earnings call transcript)

This marks another strong quarter for BRP as they continue to gain market share in the side-by-side market. Management expects to continue to follow their plan of adding new models every six months until 2020. The overall market appears to remain steady and strong with solid growth.

Marc Cesare, Smallvehicleresource.com