Artic Cat Reports Fiscal 1st Quarter Results

Arctic Cat reported that net sales increased 18 percent to $74.9 million in the fiscal 2012 first quarter ended June 30, 2011, up from net sales of $63.4 million in the prior-year first quarter. The company’s first quarter net loss improved to $2.3 million versus a net loss of $4.5 million. Arctic Cat typically reports a first quarter loss because most of its revenue is seasonal, occurring in their fiscal 2nd and 3rd quarters. Management reported that “Revenue grew across all product lines, with particularly strong sales of our Prowler side-by-side utility vehicles contributing to the quarter’s results.”  Management also raised their guidance for full year sales to $520 to $530 million or a 12-14% increase over 2011.  The increase is expected to be driven in part by the launch of their new sport utility vehicle the Wildcat.  Learn more:

Polaris Introduces New 2012 RZR & Ranger Models

Continuing their history of introducing new models and upgrading older ones, Polaris announced a number of new models and improvements to existing ones for their RZR and Ranger product lines.  For the RZR line they have added the RZR 570 targeting consumers looking for the ride and dimensions of the RZR 800 but without all the power.

Polaris RZR 570

Polaris introduces the new RZR 570

The RZR 570 has an all-new ProStar 570 engine that’s a 4-valve DOHC unit which can power the side-by-side from 0 to 35 mph in 4 seconds according to Polaris.  Other features include:

  • A new, lightweight transmission
  • 9 inches of suspension travel front and rear
  • Front and rear anti-sway bars for flat cornering
  • On-demand all-wheel drive
  • Width of only 50 inches
The MSRP is $9,999 for the base vehicle. Other changes to the RZR lineup include upgrades to the 900 XP with Fox 2.0 shocks that feature new, convenient compression adjustment knobs for tool-less tuning, a rubber isolated prop shaft, new  front suspension geometry and a new passenger grab bar tube with an anti-rattle bushing for reduced noise.  The various RZR 800 models will all have
“…the new grab bar, improved cockpit fit and finish to reduce dust and heat on the operator, a front drive cage made from zinc for added durability, a durable dual clutch inlet for low and high speed cooling, and a 33-percent thicker skid plate. The RANGER RZR 800 also will receive a rubber jounce bumper in the shock assembly for improved durability and the RANGER RZR 4 800 also will feature the improved Fox 2.0 adjustable shocks with compression adjustable knobs.”
For the Ranger line Polaris has updated the Ranger 800 HD with their new Engine Braking System (EBS) which controls downhill braking to provide optimum control and smooth, even deceleration during descents.  Polaris has also added the Ranger Crew Diesel with a 904cc, three-cylinder YANMAR engine, a fully-sealed, fixed center distance clutch driveline, a 55 amp alternator to operate electric powered accessories, one-ton towing capacity, 2 inch hitch receiver and a 1,000 lb cargo dump bed with gas-assist dumping.  Learn more:

EV Market Focus: California

Coast Carts of Ventura, CA is an indicator of the growing market for LSVs in California.  With local government mandates and a push at the state level to reduce gas consumption by 50%, there are plenty of local and state organizations looking for alternative vehicles for short-distance transportation.  California also offers rebates above any available federal rebates and a rebate program specifically for farmers in the San Joaquin Valley switching to electric vehicles.

Coast Carts reports an increase in sales of 200% over the last twelve months.  In response to the demand the dealership has added several new lines including the Breeze LSV from Polaris, Taylor-Dunn utility vehicles and Club Car vehicles to existing models from Garia and E-Z-Go.  Learn more:

Polaris Reports Record 2Q Earnings

Polaris reported record 2Q earnings driven by growth across product lines and geographic areas with North American sales increasing 43% and International sales increasing 35%.  Management now expects full year sales growth to be in the 25% to 28% range.

Off-road vehicle sales which includes ATVs and UTVs were $482 million for the quarter and $870 million for the first six months of 2011 compared to $342 and $592 million for 2010 respectively.  These figures represent 41% year to year quarterly growth and 47% year to year six month growth.  Management reports gaining market share in both the ATV and side-by-side market segments in North America with ATV sales up less than 10% for the quarter.  Side-by-side sales were not specified but likely increased by over 20% for the quarter.  Off-road military, Bobcat related sales and international sales all increased for the quarter, the latter by 35%.  Learn more:

Can-Am Adds Model To SxS Lineup

Can-Am Commander 1000 LTD

For the 2012 model year Can-Am adds the Commander 1000 LTD

For the 2012 model year Can-Am is adding a Limited model to their Commander 1000 lineup.  The company refers to the new addition as the “…industry’s first luxury, touring side-by-side.”  The Comander 1000 LTD is similar to the Commander 1000 XT but adds the following package of features:

  • Front and rear Air Control Suspension (ACS) with Fox Racing Shox
  • Two-piece roof
  • Half windshield
  • Rear net
  • Removable Limited seats
  • Custom steering wheel
  • Two premium painted-plastic color options (Pure Magnesium and Orbital Blue)
  • Analog / digital gauge
  • Garmin GPS
  • Sound system with four speakers
The LTD’s suspension offers up to six different preset suspension preload levels selectable via a LCD display.  Other features available across the Commander product line include a 85 hp engine, selectable 2WD/4WD and a dual level cargo box with tilt assist for dumping that can handle 400 lbs up top and 200 lbs below.  Learn more:
Comment:  I would anticipate that we will see more “luxury” UTVs coming into the market moving forward. After adding performance features of on-road vehicles such as electronic fuel injection, I anticipate that they will follow the pattern of both pick-up trucks and SUVs which moved from utilitarian models to those with more comfort, convenience and luxury features. Of course, the slow economic recovery may put a damper on this trend in the short term.

Frost & Sullivan Asia Pacific NEV Report

A new report from Frost & Sullivan, Strategic Analysis of Asia Pacific Market for Neighborhood Electric , projects that China and India will be the leading sources for NEVs in 2016, accounting for over 50% of global production.  The market is currently dominated by Chinese and other Asian Pacific OEMs who largely export the vehicles to the US and Europe. According to the report, production of NEVs from the region is expected to grow to 116,900 units in 2016, representing a compounded annual growth rate of 39% since 2009.  Learn more:

Club Car Announces Recall Involving Brakes

At the end of June Club Car announced a voluntary a recall of golf cars and hospitality, utility and transport vehicles. The recall involves approximately 800 2011 DS golf cars and hospitality, utility and transport vehicles manufactured between April and May 2011. The specific reason for the recall:

The brake pedal mounting blocks can crack and separate, resulting in a loss of braking ability. This can result in a crash.

Club Car is offering a free brake pedal replacement and owners should stop using the recalled vehicles until they are fixed. Club Car is contacting all known owners of the recalled vehicles. For more information, contact Club Car at (800) 227-0739 ext. 3580  Learn more: