Arctic Cat Introduces Wildcat 1000 X

Arctic Cat continues to roll out new models in their Wildcat line with the introduction of their Wildcat 1000 X. The newest Wildcat side-by-side features a 90 plus hp engine, 18 inches of rear suspension travel and 13 inches of ground clearance. The drivetrain includes a new drive and driven clutch from Team Industries and the suspension system has Fox Podium shocks and Arctic Cat’s new sway bar. The Wildcat 1000 X also comes with electronic fuel injection and variable assist electronic power steering and is available in Team Arctic Green and Vibrant Red Metallic colors. The vehicles will ship to dealers in March 2013.

Comment:  The Wildcat 1000 X is targeted towards the pure recreational side-by-side user. Models in this segment carry a hefty price tag but the market continues to grow.  Driven by higher income purchasers with discretionary funds to spend, the lackluster economic recovery does not appear to be a drag on this end of the market. One important growth factor is the increasingly competitive nature of the market segment as Polaris, Arctic Cat and Can Am churn out new models loaded with new features such as increasingly larger engines, EFI, electronic power steering, improved suspensions and drivetrains. With these features and improved vehicle performance the manufacturers are enticing buyers interested in the latest and greatest vehicles into the stores.

Learn more:  Arctic Cat

Club Car Recalls Vehicles

Club Car modified a previous recall of utility vehicles and golf cars, and has issued a new recall for a limited number of golf cars and transport vehicles. The modification of a previous recall from September 2012 involves a change in model and serial numbers. The complete list of relevant model and serial numbers is available at The recall still involves approximately 4,000 vehicles.

A separate recall involving approximately 950 golf cars and transport vehicles was initiated earlier this week. The recall involves five different gas-powered 2013 Precedent models.  The fuel hose could separate from the fuel tank, posing a fire hazard. Consumers should contact any Club Car dealer for a free inspection and repair of the fuel hose system. Club Car is also contacting owners directly. The relevant models and serial numbers follow:

Model Model number Serial number range
Prec i2 Signature 4 Pass Gas PW 1307-346775
Prec i2 Signature Gas PY 1307-346310 to 1307-346312
Precedent i2 4 Pass Gas PF 1307-345436 to 1311-352118
Precedent i2 Gas PR 1306-344140 to 1311-352109
Precedent i2L Gas CF 1307-345914 to 1310-349283

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BRP Recalls 25,000 Can Am Commanders

BRP recently announced a recall of approximately 25,000 Can Am Commanders due to a fire hazard related to debris buildup around the exhaust pipe area. There have been 18 reports of fires related to the issue. The recall involves a wide range of models from 2011 to 2013. The models affected include:

Model Year 2011
Can-Am Commander 800R and 1000
Can-Am Commander XT 800R and 1000
Can-Am Commander X 1000

Model Year 2012
Can-Am Commander 800R and 1000
Can-Am Commander XT 800R and 1000
Can-Am Commander X 1000
Can-Am Commander Limited 1000

Model Year 2013
(without Front Grill Kit)
Can-Am Commander 800R and 1000
Can-Am Commander XT 800R and 1000
Can-Am Commander X 1000
Can-Am Commander Limited 1000
Can-Am Commander DPS 800R and 1000
The vehicles were sold from April 2010 through November 2012.

According to the company, consumers should immediately stop using the recalled vehicles, check their exhaust for accumulated debris as described in the Cleaning Procedure of Exhaust Area guide and contact a BRP dealer to schedule a free update kit repair. The guide is available to consumers at their local BRP dealer or online at BRP has notified registered consumers directly about this recall and the vehicle’s cleaning guide.

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Polaris 4Q 2012 Earnings Report & Conference Call

Last week Polaris reported another strong quarter and year for 2012. They continue to lead the UTV market and are now making inroads in the LSV market with their GEM acquisition.  Polaris increased fourth quarter sales 15% to a record $900 million. Fourth quarter net income and earnings per share both increased 38% to $88.1 million and $1.24 per share, respectively. Full year 2012 sales increased 21% to a record $3.2 billion and net income increased 37% to $312.3 million. Net margins reached a record 9.7% and earnings per share rose $4.40, up 38%. Several days after the call management announced that the quarterly dividend would be raised by 14% to $0.42 a share. Some other highlights from the conference call:

  •  Revenue in the Off-Road Vehicle (ORV) segment grew 22%, powered by over 20% growth in North American side-by-side sales which outpaced the expansion of the overall market that was estimated at low teen percent.
  • While fourth quarter wholesale sales to Bobcat decreased, the full year retail sales there increased upper-single digits. 2012 milItary segment sales were flat.
  • Sales from GEM and Goupil increased over 50% in the fourth quarter with GEM up double-digits and orders up even more as distribution increased and a revamped 2013 model line-up was introduced. 
  • Overall revenue is expected to increase 7-10% in 2013 with net income and earnings per share projected to increase in the range of 10% to 15% over 2012.
  • The management expects a slowdown in the rate of growth in the UTV/side-by-side market but still expects the overall market to grow.
  • Sales of Off-Road Vehicles are expected to increase in the high-single digits percent range with retail sales of side-by-side vehicles and ATVs continuing to outpace the overall market, both in North America and internationally.
  • Europe and Middle East sales in the ORV market are expected to decline because of economic conditions.
  • A new $50 million manufacturing facility will begin construction in Europe in the first half of 2013 to cut costs, better match products to the local markets and alleviate anticipated production constraints in current facilities. It will be a 325,000 square foot facility for welding, painting and assembly of ATVs and UTVs. Production will begin in the second-half of 2014.
  • An India plant will also be built as part of their joint venture with Eicher with production expected to begin in 2015.
  •  The new RZR XP900 Jagged X was well received by dealers and sold out of it’s initial allotment within 24 hours.
  • Over 150 GEM dealers were added in 2012  and 2013 revenue is expected to grow double digits with a focus on growing B2B customers.
  • For Goupil, a new G5 hybrid product is launching in 2013.

Read the earnings call transcript:

New Vehicle Manufacturers at the PGA Show

There were a couple new vehicle manufacturers at the PGA Show looking to increase their distribution network. One was Oreion Motors that produces a number of street-legal vehicles with a Hummer body styling that they have licensed. They had their Hummer HX and the convertible version, the Hummer HX-T on display at the show.  Both are electric vehicles with 72v systems and AC motors. Range is claimed to be 60 miles or more with the pack of 9 eight-volt batteries and on-board Delta Q charger. A lithium option is also available for a 100 mile range. The upscale vehicles feature such amenities as alloy wheels, heated seats, LCD digital dash display, LED lighting and sport seating.

Hummer HX-T from Oreion Motors

The company also offers their Reeper model, a gas-powered LSV that is designed for use either off-road on trails or on local streets or within gated-communities.  This vehicle is street-legal in all but California. The vehicle can also be configured to travel at higher than typical LSV speeds.  The Reeper is a 4×4 and each wheel has a fully mechanical locking differential and disc brakes. The company currently has approximately 40 dealers in the US. The vehicles components are manufactured in China and some assembly is performed in the US.

Another OEM at the show was Donggan Ruida EV Technology Co., a Chinese manufacturer of electric golf cars, utility vehicles and people movers looking for distribution in the US. Their hunting/general utility vehicle was on display at the show. This vehicle featured a 72v power system, AC motor and LED lighting. The company currently has no distributors in the US.

Hunting/Utility vehicle from Ruida Electric Vehicle Technology Co. New Vehicle

LED lighting on the hunting/utility vehicle from Ruida Electric Vehicle Technology Co.

New Batteries at the PGA Show

Trojan – Trojan introduced their new Traveler 8V long life and Ranger 160 batteries. The Traveler is designed for the fleet golf car market and delivers over 40% longer life than Trojan’s current T-875 battery, according to management. The Traveler features Trojan’s Internal Battery Protection System which consists of thicker grids, membrane-wrapped plates, Maxguard multi-rib separators and T2 technology. It also has stronger case walls. The Range 160 is designed more for the consumer market for use in hunting buggies, utility vehicles and low speed vehicles. According to Trojan, the Ranger 160 will deliver 35% more runtime than their T-875 battery.  The 8v batteries include taller plates with more active material and the Maxguard T2 multi-rib separators. At 25 amps the Traveler 8V delivers 295 minutes of capacity and the Ranger 160 430 minutes.

US Battery– US Battery was promoting their XC2 (Xtreme Capacity) battery technology. The XC2 formulation is designed to allow the battery to achieve 100% rated capacity in fewer cycles than other batteries and to stay at that capacity for more cycles. The end result is that more energy is delivered over the lifetime of the battery. According to the company batteries with XC2 technology are also highly compatible with a wide range of chargers and deliver a high level of charging efficiency to meet new California Energy regulations related to battery/charger efficiency.