Several years ago Polaris made a strategic decision to enter the electric vehicle market and has continued to execute on that strategy with their recent introduction of electric bicycles in partnership with EVantage. Leaving larger-sized electric vehicles for other manufacturers, Polaris has targeted smaller electric vehicles such a LSVs/NEVs through their GEM acquisition, small utility vehicles through their Goupil Industry SA acquisition, electric motorcycles with their Brammo investment and now e-bikes.
Launched last week at the bicycle industry trade show, Interbike, the e-bike offerings include three product lines with a total of seven models. The Vector, Strive and Meridian lines target trail/all-around applications, touring and urban commuting respectively. Key features of the e-bikes include:
DuoDrive motor technology that allows for switching between speed or higher-torque settings automatically to adjust for riding conditions
IC dashboard including a carbon footprint readout
Ability to use pedal assist or throttle control while riding
Comment: The EV strategy is also a strategy for Polaris to expand into and grow international markets. While all these vehicle types have a market in the US, their is currently greater potential for these vehicles internationally such as in Europe and India for small, urban utility/cargo vehicles and electric bikes in Asian markets.
Club Car has announced the recall of about 4,000 gas and diesel powered golf cars and utility vehicles sold between April and June of this year. The vehicle’s fuel tank filler neck can crack and allow fuel to leak, posing a fire hazard. The recall covers nineteen 2012 models across a number of product lines including Carryall, DS, Precedent, Transporter, Villager and XRT. Consumers should stop using the recalled vehicles immediately and contact Club Car( 800-227-0739 ext. 3831) for a free replacement fuel tank. The firm is directly contacting consumers who purchased the vehicles. For a list of models under recall or to learn more: CPSC.gov
A recent article outlines the factors driving India’s booming mini-truck market. The introduction of the Tata Ace mini-truck in 2005 established a new sub-segment and marked the beginning of a long-term growth trend in India’s Light Commercial Vehicle (LCV) market. These sub one-tonne vehicles along with 2-3.5 tonne pick-ups form the Small Commercial Vehicle (SCV) sub-segment of the LCV market (up to 7.5 tonne) accounting for an estimated 90% of the LCV goods segment and 75% of the total LCV market. Since 2005 sales of SCVs have grown at a compounded annual growth rate (CAGR) of 22%.
The growth of the four-wheeled SCVs have come at the expense of three-wheeled vehicles which saw their share of the LCV market decline from 71% in 2005 to 23% in 2012. The four-wheeled vehicles offer more payload capacity, more range, improved safety, better emissions, lower costs and greater social status. Besides three-wheel vehicle replacement sales are being driven by increased consumer spending and more widespread use of the hub and spoke model to deliver goods. In addition, regulations are limiting the use of large trucks in cities and low capital costs and operating expenses are enabling entrepreneurs to purchase the vehicles.
The growth trend for the vehicles is expected to continue at a 17-18% CAGR over the next five years as the underlying factors such consumer spending, more sophisticated retailing, regulatory trends, expanding rural and semi-urban markets and growing entrepreneurism are forecasted to continue. Not surprisingly the success of the Tata Ace and strong market growth has attracted other market entrants such as Mahindra’s Maxximo offering more power and payload, and vehicles from Force Motors, Piaggio and a joint venture between Nissan and Ashok Leyland. More competition is expected. Learn more: mydigitalfc.com