Mahindra To Build UTVs in the US

The Mahindra mPact XTV 1000 L utility vehicle is one of six models previously developed by the company in partnership with Intimidator, Inc.

Mahindra is planning on launching an off-road utility vehicle targeting farmers and hunters, and will build it in the US. In an interview by Barron’s, Mahindra & Mahindra’s CEO Pawan Goenka covered a range of topics including a new manufacturing plant in Detroit. The first product produced by the plant will be off-road utility vehicles.

In April 2015 Mahindra announced a partnership with Intimidator Inc. based in Arkansas to develop and manufacture Mahindra’s current mPact lineup of six UTVs. This latest interview indicates that moving forward they will be developing and manufacturing their UTVs themselves. According to the CEO Mahindra currently has about 540 dealers in the US who sell Mahindra’s tractors. While the brand is not necessarily a household name, it is not an obscure brand either in the farming market.

Comment:  This marks a more serious commitment to the UTV market. While some companies have developed partnerships to add UTVs to their product lineup, they have not had intentions of moving into manufacturing themselves. These partnerships have been a joining of complementary competencies and assets. Usually one company has the distribution channel while the other has the expertise and resources to develop the UTVs. In Mahindra’s case they likely used their partnership with Intimidator to test the UTV market in the US before making a more substantial commitment. They will offer some more competition for companies like Kubota, John Deere, Polaris and even Can Am which has been targeting the farm/hunting market segment lately as well. The investment shows that the UTV market remains highly competitive, but companies still view it as a growth market.

Marc Cesare, Smallvehicleresource.com

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

Polaris Industries Q2 2017 Earnings Results

RZR XP 4 Turbo EPS

RZR sales showed improvement in the quarter compared to the prior year results hurt by recall issues.

Polaris Industries recently announced their quarterly earnings results for the second quarter of the 2017 fiscal year. The quarter ended June 30, 2017. Management reported second quarter sales of $1,364.9 million, up 21% from second quarter 2016. Net income for the quarter was $62.0 million compared to $71.2 the prior year, and included some one-time expenses.

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

  • ORV sales increased 6% for the quarter
  • North American ORV unit retail sales for the second quarter of 2017 were down low-single digits percent from the 2016 second quarter as UTV sales increased low single digits but ATVs sale declined high single digits in a weak ATV market
  • Polaris ATVs lost market share in a heavy promotional environment
  • RZR retail turned positive while Ranger retail was flat for the quarter in a highly competitive segment with significant promotional activity
  • The General UTV product line has been good and the segment offers good opportunities according to management
  • Agriculture markets remain weak while oil markets are improving
  • Global Adjacent Markets segment sales increased 7% driven by the Work & Transportation group with good performances from Aixam quadricycles and Goupil light utility vehicles
  • Management expects Global Adjacent Market segment to increase mid-single digits percent for the year
  • Side-by-sides are expected to drive the improved guidance for the ORV/Snowmobile segment, which is now expected to see flat sales year-over-year

Learn more:  Seekingalpha.com (Earnings call transcript)

Polaris Announces 2018 UTVs

2018 Polaris Ranger XP 1000 EPS

The new 2018 Polaris Ranger XP 1000 EPS.

Polaris recently introduced their new UTVs for model year 2018. An updated Ranger XP 1000 priced at $16,299 features a redesigned exterior and interior. Key changes include:

  • Increased hp from 80 to 82
  • New large-ratio clutch and redesigned driveline
  • Redesigned under-hood air intakes and a new clutch cover provide increased air flow for cooler, longer-lasting belt life.
  • Improved driveline geometry is designed to increase efficiency and produce a quieter ride.
  • Increased towing capacity to 2,500 lbs.
  • Stiffer chassis
  • 27″ Maxxis tires with Black Xcelerator 2.0 aluminum wheels
  • New front end, larger headlights, new grill and larger front bumper
  • Integrated Polaris Glacier plow mount
  • Reduced steering ratio and tighter turning radius,
  • New front sway bar
  • Polaris engine braking system is now standard
  • More entry/exit clearance, more legroom and better bottom seat cushions
  • New flip-up passenger seat
2018 Polaris General 1000 EPS Limited Edition

2018 Polaris General 1000 EPS Limited Edition with military graphics.

For the GENERAL line a GENERAL 1000 EPS Limited Edition has been added with custom military-themed graphics on Matte Sagebrush Green automotive-style paint, and cut-and-sew leather-like custom seats. This model also has a:

  • 4,500 lb. Polaris HD Winch
  • Front Bumper
  • Maxxis Coronado Tires
  • Lock & Ride Headache Rack
  • $18,999 MSRP
 Polaris RZR XP Turbo EPS Dynamix

The new Polaris RZR XP Turbo EPS Dynamix Edition for 2018.

The RZR line in 2018 will include the RZR XP Turbo Dynamix Edition which features RZR DynamixActive suspension. Dynamix tunes the suspension on the fly with 200 adjustments per second and is integrated with the Polaris Ride Command system. The MSRP for this model is $25,999.

2018 Polaris ACE 570 EPS

The 2018 Polaris ACE 570 EPS

The ACE lineup now includes an all new ACE 570 EPS for $8,999. This model is $500 more than the ACE 570, but features:

  • Electronic power steering
  • Trail premium dual A-arm front suspension with more ground clearance
  • Factory installed quarter doors
  • Mud guards
  • Stainless steel exhaust
  • Improved seat slider
  • Slightly less weight

Learn more:  Polaris.com

Honda Introduces 2018 Pioneer UTVs

2018 Honda Pioneer 1000-5 Deluxe

for 2018 Honda has increased pricing slightly on their popular Pioneer UTVs like the Pioneer 1000-5 Deluxe shown here.

Honda has introduced their 2018 lineup of UTVs and it looks a lot like their 2017 lineup. There are six variations of the Pioneer 1000 including crew versions and four variations of the Pioneer 700. Honda has increased prices slightly for the 2018 model year with each of the Pioneer 1000 models including crew versions receiving a $300 increase in their MSRP. The Pioneer 1000 lineup price range is now from $14,199 to $21,899. For the Pioneer 700 models the MSRP has been boosted by $200 for each model except for the base model Pioneer 700, which increased only $100. The Pioneer 700 models now range from $10,599 to $13,699. A 2018 version of the entry level Pioneer 500 with a $8,999 MSRP has not been introduced.

Common specifications across the Pioneer 1000 lineup include:

  • 999cc engine
  • 6 speed automatic dual clutch transmission
  • High/low sub-transmission
  • QuickFlip seating for 5-passenger crew versions

Except for the base model the lineup also includes:

  • Electronic power steering
  • Tilt steering wheel
  • Manual shift mode (paddle shift)
  • “Sport” mode

The limited edition models add:

  • I-4WD brake traction control system
  • FOX QS-3 shocks
  • 27″ tires and 14″ aluminum wheels
  • Colored door and bed panels
  • LED head lights
  • Painted bodywork
Pioneer 700-4 Deluxe

The Pioneer 700 lineup also received a small price increase for 2018. The Pioneer 700-4 Deluxe shown in Pearl Orange.

The Pioneer 700 models feature:

  • 675cc, OHV engine
  • 2WD, 4WD and 4WD with Differential lock and  AT/MT modes with paddle shifting on the deluxe models.
  • 7.9″/9.1″ of front/rear suspension travel
  • 10.7″ of ground clearance
  • 1,000 lb. bed capacity
  • 1.500 lb. towing capacity
  • Tilt bed
  • Quickflip seating for crew versions to seat 2, 3 or 4 persons
  • EPS on the Deluxe models

All 2018 Honda Pioneer models will be available in August 2017.

Learn more:  Powersports.honda.com

Yamaha Adds New Viking UTVs to Lineup for 2018

Yamaha Viking EPS Ranch

The new Yamaha Viking EPS Ranch for 2018.

Yamaha Viking VI EPS Ranch Edition

Also new for 2018 is the Yamaha Viking VI EPS Ranch Edition

Yamaha has announced the addition of the Viking EPS Ranch and Viking VI EPS Ranch Edition UTVs for model year 2018. The Viking EPS Ranch features a hard sun top, aluminum wheels, over fenders, color-matched interior, underseat storage, comfort-grip steering wheel, center rearview mirror and Ranch Edition badging, and is available in Metallic Sand. Key specs for the 2018 Viking EPS Ranch include:

  • 686cc SOHC engine with EFI
  • On-Command 3-way locking differential – 2WD, 4WD, locked 4WD
  • Engine braking
  • EPS
  • 8.1″ of front and rear suspension travel
  • 11.8″ of ground clearance
  • 600 lb. cargo bed
  • 1,500 lb. towing capacity
  • MSRP:  $14,199

The six-passenger 2018 Viking VI EPS Ranch Edition features Metallic Sand painted bodywork with a color-matched interior, aluminum wheels, a soft sun top, rearview center mirror, mud flaps, over fenders, underseat storage, a bed grab bar, an aggressive front brush guard and Ranch Edition badging. Except for slightly lower ground clearance this model features many of the same key specs as the Viking EPS Ranch including:

  • 686cc SOHC engine with EFI
  • On-Command 3-way locking differential – 2WD, 4WD, locked 4WD
  • Engine braking
  • EPS
  • 8.1″ of front and rear suspension travel
  • 11.4″ of ground clearance
  • 600 lb. cargo bed
  • 1,500 lb. towing capacity
  • MSRP:  $15,599

Learn more:  Yamahamotorsports.com

Kawasaki Announces 2018 UTVs

Kawasaki Mule Pro-FXR

New for 2018 is the Kawasaki Mule Pro-FXR shown here in Atomic Silver.

Kawasaki recently announced their 2018 line-up of UTVs. One of the key additions is the new Mule Pro-FXR. The Pro-FXR builds on their successful Pro-FX and Pro-FXT models with new styling highlights and recreational features. In the styling department the Mule Pro-FXR  features a “truck like appearance” with painted bodywork, low-profile LED inner and halogen outer headlights, front and rear bumpers and contoured two-tone seats. For recreational riding the FXR is shorter than the other Pro Mules (about 12″ shorter than the FX) and sports a shorter turning radius (14.0 ft. compared to 16.0 ft. for the FX) and higher ground clearance (about 0.5″). Pricing has not been released for the vehicle. Other key features of the 2018 Mule Pro-FXR include:

  • 812cc, DOHC, 3-cylinder engine with EFI
  • 2WD/4WD/4WD with rear differential lock
  • Engine braking
  • EPS
  • 10.8″ of ground clearance
  • 1,000 lb. steel cargo bed
  • 2,000 lb. towing capacity
TeryxLE Matrix Camo Gray

The 2018 Teryx LE in a new color – Matrix Camo Gray.

Teryx4 LE candy Plasma Blue

The Teryx4 LE in Candy Plasma Blue, a new color for LE versions in 2018.

New for 2018, the Teryx LE can be purchased in Candy Plasma Blue or Matrix Camo Gray paint, while the 2018 Teryx4 LE is available in Candy Lime Green, Candy Plasma Blue, and Matrix Camo Gray graphics. It also appears that they lowered prices across the Teryx and Teryx4 models by $1,250 compared to 2017.

For the rest of the lineup in 2018 there appear to be no major changes except for some new MSRP pricing. The 2018 models for the Mule Pro-FX, Pro-FXT and Pro-DX lines all received a small $100 increase in their MSRPs compared to 2017. The Mule SX model lineup maintained the same pricing for the 2018 models as did the 2018 Mule 4000 and 4010 models.  Learn more:  Kawasaki

Cub Cadet Recalls UTVs Due to Brake System Issue

 

2016 Cub Cadet Challenger

2016 Cub Cadet Challenger CX500 and CX700 models are being recalled.

2016 Cub Cadet Challenger CX750 Crew

The 2016 Cub Cadet Challenger CX750 is part of the recall as well.

Cub Cadet recently announced the recall of approximately 4,000 2016 Cub Cadet Challenger CX500, CX700 and CX750 Crew utility vehicles. Air in the brake system can cause brake failure and pose a crash hazard to drivers or bystanders. Cub Cadet has received 80 reports of brake failures but no reports of injuries. Consumers should immediately stop using the vehicles and contact their Cub Cadet dealer for a free repair.

While not a large recall in relation to typical UTV recalls, this recall is large for a smaller volume brand such as Cub Cadet. In addition, these vehicles are part of their newest Challenger line which the company has used to revive their utility vehicle product offerings.

The following is information from the Consumer Product Safety Commission.

Name of product:  Cub Cadet 2016 Challenger utility vehicles

Hazard:  Air in the brake system can cause brake failure, posing a crash hazard to the user or bystander.

Remedy:  Repair

Recall date:  July 6, 2017

Recall number:  17-753

Recall Details

Description:  This recall involves four-wheel drive Cub Cadet 2016 Challenger utility vehicles. Model numbers included in the recall are: CX500 (37AW7CKD010, 37AW7CKD710, 37AW7CLD010, 37AW7CLD710, 37AW7CMD710, 37AW7CND710); CX700 (37AX7CKD010, 37AX7CKD710, 37AX7CLD010, 37AX7CLD710, 37AX7CMD710, 37AX7CND710); and CX750 Crew (37AY8CKD710, 37AY8CLD710, 37AY8CMD710, 37AY8CND710). The utility vehicles were sold in yellow, red, blue and camouflage. The recalled vehicles were manufactured between March 2016 through November 2016. A label located under the driver’s seat lists the model number and the month and year of manufacture.

Remedy:  Consumers should immediately stop using the recalled vehicles and contact an authorized Cub Cadet dealer or Cub Cadet customer service to arrange for a free repair.

Incidents/Injuries:  Cub Cadet has received 80 reports of brake failure. No injuries have been reported.

Sold At:  Independent Cub Cadet dealers nationwide from March 2016 through May 2017 for between $8,500 to $9,500.

Manufacturer(s):  Hisun Motors Corp. U.S.A., of McKinney, Texas

Manufactured In:  China

Units:  About 4,000

Learn more:  CPSC.gov

Kawasaki Recalls UTVs Due to Fire Hazard

2017 Kawasaki Mule SX

This 2017 Kawasaki Mule SX is part of the recall.

2017 Kawasaki Teryx

2017 Kawasaki Teryx models are affected as well.

In June, Kawasaki announced the recall of approximately 6,600 UTVs and ATVs due to the potential for the fuel gauge retainer to collapse, leak fuel and pose a fire hazard. The recall involves model year 2017 Teryx and Mule models. Consumers should immediately stop using the vehicles and contact Kawasaki for a free repair. No injuries have been reported related to this recall.

The following information is from the Consumer Products Safety Commission.

Name of product:  Utility vehicles, recreational off-highway vehicles and all-terrain vehicles

Hazard:  The fuel gauge retainer can collapse and leak fuel, posing a fire hazard.

Remedy:  Repair

Recall date:  June 20, 2017

Recall number:17-751

Recall Details

Description:
This recall involves 2017 Mule™ utility vehicles, Teryx® and Teryx4™ recreational off-highway vicles, and Brute Force® 750 all-t The 2017 Mule utility vehicle is a four-wheel off-highway vehicle with side by side seating for two to six people and automotive style controls. The model name is printed on the right and left front fender. For the Mule SX series and the Mule 4000 series, the vehicle identification number (VIN) is located under the seat. For the Pro models, the VIN is located on the steel frame between the right front lower A-arm mounts. The 2017 Teryx recreational off-highway vehicle is a four-wheel off-highway vehicle with seating for two or four people and automotive style controls. The model name is printed on the right and left front fender. The VIN is located on the steel frame between the right front lower A-arm mounts.The 2017 Brute Force 750 4x4i all-terrain vehicle is a four-wheel off-highway vehicle with seating for one person. The model name is printed on the right and left front fender. The VIN is located on the steel frame between the left front lower A-arm mounts. The vehicles were sold in various colors.

2017 Teryx Models:  Teryx, Teryx LE, Teryx Camo, Teryx4, Teryx4 LE, teryx4 Camo

VIN Range:   JKBRFCH17HB501204 – JKBRTCG10HB507422

2017 Mule Models: MULE SX, MULE SX 4×4 XC, MULE SX 4×4 XC Camo, MULE SX 4×4 XC SE, MULE SX 4×4 SE, MULE 4010 4X4, MULE 4000, MULE 4010 Trans4x4, MULE 4010 Trans4x4 Camo, MULE 4010 4×4 SE, MULE 4010 Trans4x4 SE, MULE PRO-FXT, MULE PRO-FXT EPS, MULE PRO-FXT EPS LE, MULE PRO-FXT EPS Camo, MULE PRO-FX, MULE PRO-FX ESP, MULE PRO-FX ESP LE, MULE PRO-FX ESP Camo, MULE PRO-FXT Ranch Edition, MULE PRO-FX Ranch Edition, MULE PRO-DXT, MULE PRO-DXT EPS, MULE PRO-DXT EPS LE, MULE PRO-DX, MULE PRO-DX EPS

VIN Range:  JKBAFSL19HB500313 – JK1AFCR14HB531308

Remedy:  Consumers should immediately stop using the recalled vehicles and contact Kawasaki for a free repair. The firm is contacting all known purchasers directly.
Incidents/Injuries:  None reported
Sold At:  Kawasaki dealers nationwide from March 2017 through April 2017 for between $8,000 and $15,000.
Distributor(s):  Kawasaki Motors Corp. U.S.A., of Foothill Ranch, Calif.
Manufactured In:  U.S.
Units:  About 6,600

Learn more:  CPSC.gov

Can Am Introduces 2018 Side-by-Sides

Maverick X3 X RS Turbo R

The Can Am Maverick X3 X RS Turbo R is one of the new 2018 models getting a horsepower boost.

Can Am Maverick X3 Turbo

A 120 hp entry level model, the Can Am Maverick X3 Turbo, has been added to the lineup.

can am Maverick X3 Max Turbo

An entry level crew version was added as well, the Maverick X3 Max Turbo.

Can Am introduced their new 2018 side-by-side models including a 172 hp Maverick X3 Turbo R model with a 0-60 mph time of just 4.4 seconds. This is a 12% increase in power from the previous 154 hp models. The MSRP for the Turbo R is $22,999. Other models featuring the 172 hp turbocharged engine include the Maverick X3 X DS Turbo R ($24,999) and Maverick X3 X RS Turbo R ($26,899) as well as the MAX/crew versions for all three models ranging in price from $24,999 to $29,399.

In a sign of the competitive nature and some slowing in the side-by-side market, Can Am also introduced entry level models, the Maverick X3 Turbo and the Maverick X3 MAX Turbo priced at $19,999 and $21,999, respectively. Both of these models feature a 120 hp turbocharged engine.

Can Am Defender Max

The Can Am Defender Max is a lower priced crew option for 2018.

Can Am Defender Max XT Cab

The Defender Max XT Cab features some improved off-road capabilities.

Similarly, an entry level crew model was added for the Defender line, the Defender MAX with an HD8 engine option. This model is priced at $12,399 but does not have power steering like the Defender MAX DPS priced at $14,699. Also added to the Defender line for 2018 is a new Defender MAX XT Cab model with the HD10 engine. This model features an enhanced ground clearance of 11″, arched A-arms, larger 220 mm brakes, and a wider 67″ width.

Can Am Commander XT

1000R variations of models like the Can Am Commander XT now feature more horsepower with a 92 hp engine.

For the Commander line the 1000R versions of the Commander DPS, XT, Limited, Mossy Oak Hunting Edition as well as the MAX crew models receive a boost in engine horsepower from 85 hp to 92 hp as well as larger brakes and a wider stance that is increased to 61.2 inches. The price of the entry level Commander 800R has been reduced $1,000 to $11,199.

Learn more:  BRP.com

Can Am is dedicated to rolling out new models on a regular basis. These newest models indicate that the horsepower competition between manufacturers is likely to continue. At the same time, the introduction of lower-priced entry level models show there is a sizable part of the market that is price conscious which manufacturers consider worth pursuing. New entry level models are also another indication of the increased competitiveness in the side-by-side market, which is experiencing both more manufacturers targeting specific market segments, as well as, slower overall market growth compared to just a few years ago. The pie is not growing as fast and there are more mouths to feed.

Marc Cesare, Smallvehicleresource.com