Polaris Industries announced the acquisition of Aixam Mega, a leading manufacturer of quadricycles and light commercial vehicles based in France. The acquisition adds to the company’s portfolio of small, task-oriented vehicles which includes GEM LSVs and Goupil commercial vehicles and increases their footprint in Europe as management targets international markets for future growth. In addition, the acquisition puts Polaris in a strong position in the personal transportation segment of the small vehicle market in Europe while adding to their commercial market presence.
Quadricycles are a class of vehicles characterized by limits on vehicle weight, top speed and engine power. Light quadricycles have a top speed of 45 kph and can be driven without a license in Europe depending on the regulations of the individual country. In France they have a classification similar to mopeds. There is also a heavy quadricycle classification that requires a license to drive. Aixam Mega has annual sales of approximately $110 million.
Aixam Mega offers a diverse lineup of small vehicles covering personal transportation and commercial vehicles, light and heavy quadricycles and ICE and electric powered vehicles. Their product lines include the Aixam line of quadricycles for personal transportation and their Mega brand of light commercial trucks and vans. They recently launched a new lineup of all electric models for personal transportation. Their Mega utility vehicles feature both diesel and electric powered versions of trucks and vans.
According to company information Aixam Mega is the market leader in Europe selling approximately 10,000 to 12,000 quadricycles of the personal transportation variety annually with about half being sold in France. The company has a network of about 400 dealers throughout Europe and two production facilities in France. Their Mega brand of light commercial trucks and vans are distributed internationally including in the US through Columbia ParCar. Learn more: TwinCitiesBusiness
Comment: The regulations in Europe are more favorable for on-road small personal transportation vehicles than in the US where LSV regulations and road access are more restrictive. It will be interesting to see if Polaris tries to modify and export the Aixam personal transportation line into the US as an LSV. In contrast to many of the current LSV offerings on the market which still have a golf car like styling, the Aixam offers a more traditional automobile styling. On the other hand, the US LSV market is still largely commercial oriented and the personal transportation segment may be too small for the effort without changes to regulations allowing for higher speeds.
In the commercial segment, the Polaris network of dealers, especially those already offering GEM vehicles, provide an opportunity to expand the US distribution of the Mega commercial vans and trucks. The configurations of the Mega utility trucks are a nice complement to the GEM product offerings and I can envision dealers being able to sell both lines to a customer with a range of small vehicle needs.