SVR recently interviewed Jeff Salamon, Director of Marketing for MTD Products, the manufacturer of the Cub Cadet brand of products including the new Challenger series of UTVs, which we discussed at length. The Challenger represents a renewed commitment to the UTV market for Cub Cadet whose Volunteer line of UTVs has been on the market for a number of years. While the Volunteer is more of a heavy duty work UTV, the new Challengers, the 500 and 700, are more of a mixed use line that can be for both work and recreation. As Salamon states “Whereas we say work and off-road for the Volunteer we say task and off-road trail for the Challenger.”
With MSRPs starting at $8500 and $9500 respectively, the 500 and 700 are clearly priced for the value segment of the UTV market. But that is not to be confused with being low quality or bare boned in the features department. In fact, one of the prime selling points for the Challenger is their wealth of standard features including large 26″ off-road tires, alloy wheels, windshield, roof, 3,500 lb. winch, horn, digital dash display, bumper guard, halogen lights and hand brake. They also beefed up the vehicle’s hardware with a reinforced frame, high-strength steering components and dual row wheel bearings.
At these price points Cub Cadet is competing against the value priced imports from the likes of Kymco and CFMoto as well as the lower priced UTVs of the major players in the market like Polaris and John Deere. Against the former Salamon believes Cub Cadet has an edge with their strong and established American brand combined with a well-trained and well-stocked dealer network. Against the more established brands, the wealth of standard features gives Cub Cadet the advantage.
Cub Cadet expects to launch a crew version of the Challenger in the near future and will be building out the Challenger line on an ongoing basis driven by consumer demand and dealer feedback. Learn more: Cub Cadet Interview