GEM Adds Gas & LSV Utility Vehicles to Their Product Lineup

The new 2015 Polaris M1400, a gas powered utility vehicle being sold by GEM dealers.

The new 2015 Polaris M1400, a gas powered utility vehicle being sold by GEM dealers.

GEM adds an LSV version of the electric eM1400 for 2015.

GEM adds an LSV version of the electric eM1400 for 2015.

The GEM brand of transport and light utility vehicle, owned by Polaris Industries,  recently expanded their product lineup to include a gas powered M1400 and a street legal version of the electric eM1400, the eM 1400 LSV. The eM1400 was introduced last year. The press release follows below with more details. The base MSRP for the M1400 is $7,999 and for the eM1400 LSV is $10,999, which is $1,000 more than the eM1400.

What’s interesting from a marketing perspective is that the gas-powered M1400 is carrying the Polaris brand but is available from GEM dealers and is included on the GEM website. While GEM has always been associated with electric powered vehicles, the distribution network and brand have a strong presence in commercial and institutional venues such as colleges, universities, municipalities and parks where customers are purchasing gas and diesel powered STOVs as well. GEM’s established distribution network and experienced commercial/institutional oriented sales force is an important asset. Polaris is trying to leverage this strength to sell more non-electric commercial vehicles but, at least for now, maintain a distinction between the electric GEM brand and non-electric vehicles. This expansion will also broaden the competition between Polaris and the golf car manufacturers that are already selling both electric and gas vehicles into these markets. Historically Polaris has attacked markets by segmenting them and creating models for specific sub-segments. It is likely that they will continue to add more gas-powered vehicles as well as electrics to be sold under the GEM umbrella.

GEM® Extends Offerings for Dealers with New Gas and LSV Models

Gas-powered Polaris® M1400™, electric eM™1400 LSV now available through nationwide dealer network

 MEDINA, Minn. (Aug. 21, 2014) – Polaris® Industries Inc. (NYSE: PII) has expanded its GEM® line product offering of transport and light utility vehicles to include the new Polaris® M1400™ gas-powered commercial side-by-side utility vehicle and the GEM eM™1400 LSV street-legal electric utility vehicle.

 As the first gas-powered utility vehicle available for purchase through authorized GEM dealers, the Polaris M1400 is a 4×2 vehicle designed specifically for light-duty commercial utility applications. The vehicle is equipped to handle the demands of a jobsite with 1,400 pounds of payload, a cargo box capacity of 1,100 pounds and the ability to tow up to 1,500 pounds.

 “Our number one priority at GEM is to help customers find the right solution for their unique needs,” GEM General Manager Tim Blinkhorn said. “It is very common for accounts to require a fleet with a mix of electric and gas-powered vehicles. By adding a Polaris engineered gas utility vehicle to our line with an extensive range of accessories, GEM dealers are ready to provide the best tool – electric or gas – for the job.”

 The M1400 features a Polaris ProStar 31-horsepower engine with electronic fuel injection and reaches a top speed of 26 mph, which can be limited with the optional Polaris Speed Key. Independent rear suspension and front IFS MacPherson Strut ensures the safe and efficient transport of people and cargo even when hauling at maximum capacity.

 On the electric front, the GEM eM1400 LSV has all the features of the eM1400 introduced last fall, and is also LSV compliant with a horn, headlights/taillights, turn signals, an automotive-grade windshield, a windshield wiper and three-point safety belts.

 Like all of GEM’s street-legal models, the eM1400 LSV reaches a top speed of 25 mph, produces zero emissions, can be driven indoors or outdoors and on most city streets with posted speed limits of 35 mph or less.  

 Available options and accessories make it easy for customers to configure the Polaris M1400 and GEM eM1400 for their specific jobsite application and unique needs. Factory installed options include removable bed sides and a fully enclosed max box. Additionally, both utility vehicles support Polaris’ innovative Lock & Ride® and Lock & Work™ accessories.

 The Polaris M1400 and GEM eM1400 come with a two-year limited warranty and can be ordered through more than 250 authorized GEM dealers in North America. To set up a test ride, or for more information on the complete Polaris GEM lineup, visit

Polaris Industries Inc.         Media Contact: Megan Langenkamp
2100 Highway 55              Phone: 414-292-0246
Medina, MN 55340-9770


String Of UTV Thefts At Minnesota John Deere Dealership Group

The type of Gator UTV being stolen from SEMA Equipment dealerships.

The type of Gator UTV being stolen from SEMA Equipment dealerships.

SEMA Equipment, a John Deere dealership group, has reported the theft of eight Gator utility vehicles across three locations in 2014. Despite locking and chaining the vehicles, thieves are coming equipped to steal the vehicles valued around $15,000 each. Learn more:

Comment:  This story highlights what seems to be a growing trend of UTV thefts. With the increasing popularity of work and recreational UTVs it should not be surprising that thefts appear to be on the increase. We have no hard numbers but from tracking news stories across the US, thefts of these vehicles appear to be on the rise. While many stories point to a crime of opportunity and sometimes joyriders, these thefts point to a more purposeful and planned thefts. If it becomes a bigger issue, manufacturers may respond with more robust anti-theft technology for these vehicles.

ePower Trucks Sells First Ligier Flex L3 Low Speed Electric Truck In UK

Flex L3 All Electric Truck

Flex L3 All Electric Truck

Earlier this year ePower Trucks became distributor for French manufactured Ligier Flex L3 all electric trucks and they have now announced that Newcastle University’s EAT@NEWCASTLE catering service has purchased the first such vehicle. The Flex L3 is a street legal low speed electric vehicle with a top speed of 25 mph, range of 35 miles and payload capacity of 400 kg. The truck costs approximately 22,500 USD.

The catering service will use the vehicle to deliver hot and cold food and beverages to various venues on campus. For their purposes the Flex L3 has a box body but the vehicle can also be configured with a flat bed, cage or tipper. The electric drive train is powered by a lead-acid gel battery pack which can be recharged in 8 to 10 hours. Learn more:

John Deere Offers Two New Special Edition Gators

John Deere recently announced two new special edition Gators, the Midnight Black XUV825i and Midnight Black RSX850i. Appealing to customers who are looking for additional styling, the UTVs feature a matte black paint scheme with gray decals.

Key features of the  XUV825i Midnight Black Special Edition include:

  • Matte black paint scheme with charcoal gray decals
  • Sport steering wheel
  • Power steering
  • High performance exhaust
  • Long-range light kit
  • Poly half doors
  • Matte black alloy rims and Maxxis® 2.0 Bighorn tires
  • Deluxe cargo box with spray-on liner
  • Optional power and front protection package with power lift, a heavy-duty front brushguard and fender guard, as well as floor mats

Key features of the RSX850i Midnight Black Special Edition include:

  • Matte black paint scheme with charcoal gray decals
  • Black and silver alloy rims with Maxxis® 2.0 Bighorn tires
  • Trail-sport package with a special edition door closeout panel with Gator image, PreRunner bumper, and a Warn® 3,500 lb. winch
  • Full underbody aluminum skid plate
  • Mounted HELLA® HID Sport lights
  • FOX® 2.0 Performance Series shocks
  • 2-inch front receiver hitch
  • Side nerf bars
  • Cargo box rails.

The MSRP for both special edition UTVs is $15,999. Both vehicles are currently available in limited quantities at John Deere dealerships. Learn more:

Comment:  With MSRPs $3,000 more than their respective base models, these special edition Gators are at an entirely different price point. They are designed to appeal to the real Gator enthusiast who is looking to make a personal statement with their vehicle. It is also a way for John Deere to tap into the popularity of different paint and graphic schemes that have become more prevalent in the UTV market, especially at higher price points. While the iconic green and yellow John Deere paint scheme is an important part of the brand image, the company needs to be able to break away from that standard paint scheme to remain competitive and take advantage of consumer demand for different paint/graphics schemes. Rolling out special edition vehicles is one way to address this demand.

GEM Now Offers Solar Panel Option

GEM now offers a solar panel option for their models.

GEM’s new solar panel option for their models.

As part of their 2015 product line launch, GEM recently rolled out a solar panel option to supplement vehicle charging. GEM is offering two solar panel models, the Ra Power Pro 220 and Ra Power Pro 410 which provide 220 to 410 watts of energy daily to the vehicle’s battery system. The panels are manufactured by SolarDrive US and include their Maximum Power Point Tracking (MPPT) controller that has been specifically designed and programmed to work with GEM’s 72 volt battery set systems.

The panels can be factory installed when ordering 2015 GEM models:   e4, e4S, e6®, e6®S, eL and eL XD. They can also be retrofitted by dealers for 2005 and newer models.  Learn more:

Comment:  The solar panel option could be particularly popular in the College/University and Parks market segment and with other commercial buyers that have green or sustainable initiatives. For dealers this option could be a nice little add to their revenue. The installed base of older GEM models at these institutions offer an opportunity for retrofitting whole fleets.

Polaris Announces New 2015 Side-by-Sides

New 2015 Ranger 570 Full-Size

New 2015 Ranger 570 Full-Size

New 2015 Ranger ETX

New 2015 Ranger ETX

New 2015Ranger RZR XP 1000 EPS High Lifter Edition

New 2015Ranger RZR XP 1000 EPS High Lifter Edition

New 2015RZR XP 1000 EPS Desert Edition

New 2015RZR XP 1000 EPS Desert Edition

Polaris announced their 2015 off-road vehicle lineup including the new RZR 900, RZR S 900, Full Size and Two-Passenger RANGER 570, as well as the Sportsman ACE 570.

Changes to the RZR product line include:

  • A 50 in. RZR 900 with a 75 hp ProStar engine and dual a-arm rear suspension
  • A 60 in. RZR S 900 with a 75 hp ProStar engine and dual a-arm rear suspension
  • Special edition RZR XP 1000’s for specific off-road terrain:  the RZR XP 1000 High Lifter Edition for mud and RZR XP 1000 Desert Edition for sand.
  • The Desert Edition also features the new Polaris Digital Interactive Display, a full-color, 4.3 in LCD display with Bluetooth™ capabilities.
  • Polaris Digital Interactive Display will be available on RZR 900 XC Edition and the RANGER XP 900 EPS Vogue Silver Deluxe.
  • Previously announced RZR XP 1000 and RZR XP 4 1000 with a higher output 110 horsepower engine and and new direct flow intake covers, new belt and a new clutch cover with more ducting providing two times more airflow directly to the clutches.

Changes to the Ranger product line include:

  • An upgraded 68 horsepower Ranger XP 900.
  • A new Ranger 570 Full-Size with a 44 hp ProStar 570 engine.
  • A Ranger Diesel, with a 3-cylinder, Tier 4 compliant KOHLER® diesel engine.
  • A new entry level Ranger ETX with 31 hp and electronic fuel injection.
  • Upgraded features on the Ranger 570, Ranger EV, Ranger ETX and Ranger Crew 900 include Lock & Ride™ PRO-FIT™ cab accessory integration, increased horsepower by 10 percent to 44 horsepower, and 20 percent more towing capacity, increased fuel range, more storage, and an improved bench seat for added comfort on the Ranger 570. All updates will also be integrated to the four-passenger Ranger Crew 900.
  • Three deluxe edition Ranger XP 900 EPS for specific uses including: the Ranger XP 900 EPS Vogue Silver Deluxe Edition for the trail, Ranger XP 900 EPS Hunter Deluxe Edition for hunting, and Ranger XP 900 EPS NorthStar Deluxe Edition for cold weather and work.

Polaris also added to their new Sportsman Ace product line with the Sportsman Ace 570 which uses a ProStar 570 engine with 45 hp.

Comment:  Polaris keeps on rolling out new vehicles and upgrades faster than any other manufacturer in the market. They saturate a market segment with specific price points and feature combinations to target specific sub-segments. While some OEMs may have one or two vehicles in a particular segment, Polaris will have numerous models and keep adding to the lineup if they see potential in dissecting the market segment even further. This also makes it difficult to compete against them since you either put out models with a more general feature set that must compete against a range of vehicles with feature sets more tailored to certain end-use applications or you have to limit your focus to a particular sub-segment and compete on a model to model basis. In recent years they have also leveraged their own engine development efforts as they recognized the importance of horsepower and other engine characteristics as critical selling points in the side-by-side market. On that note, I noticed they now display horsepower information for each model directly on the home pages of their 2015 Range and Sportsman product lineups.