Stealth Manufacturing, a maker of electric powered utility vehicles for hunting, has gone out of business. According to management they simply did not sell enough product and pointed to range and cost issues as well as a small developing market as reasons for their difficulties. A last minute investment or sale of the company could not be arranged. While some dealers are left with inventory and are out some money, they generally liked the latest line of vehicles.
The company started in 2007 in Louisiana before moving operations to Georgia in 2010. Stealth had become the main competitor to Bad Boy Buggies in the burgeoning market segment for electric hunting vehicles. Learn more: Dealernews.com
Comment: The relatively recent acquisition of Bad Boy Buggies by E-Z-GO is looking like a smart move. They are now in a dominant position in the segment and our interviews with dealers for our latest market study indicate that their product line upgrade has been well received. With E-Z-GO behind it, Bad Boy Buggies now has access to a large dealer network across the country, production and engineering expertise and the financial resources to develop as the segment grows.
While we have heard some remarks about the quality of Stealth vehicles, this may provide an opportunity for another manufacturer in the market to grab a fairly well-established brand in this sub-segment for a limited amount of money. In general, STOV manufacturers are diversifying into other market segment and an acquisition of Stealth assets could fit into that strategy. A couple of possibilities that come to mind are another golf car manufacturer looking to leverage their electric vehicle expertise and further expand into off-road utility vehicles. Another would be Polaris that has been making acquisitions in the electric vehicle and technology space with acquisitions such as GEM. As their dealers develop expertise in selling one electric vehicle line, they could leverage that experience as well as their access to recreational market segments by adding an electric hunting vehicle line.