Polaris Industries announced their acquisition of Taylor-Dunn, a leading manufacturer of industrial vehicles. Taylor-Dunn will become a wholly owned subsidiary of Polaris. It will continue to be a distinct brand and operate from its current headquarters and manufacturing facilities in Anaheim. Taylor-Dunn will become part of the Polaris’ Work & Transportation division along side GEM, Goupil, Mega and Aixam in the Global Adjacent Markets business.
Just last week I was telling my colleague Stephen Metzger that I thought Taylor-Dunn and perhaps even Garia would be good acquisitions for Polaris. Taylor-Dunn is an excellent fit for Polaris for the following reasons:
- Brand Value – Similar to GEM before their acquisition by Polaris, Taylor-Dunn has a strong brand in a niche market that has not fully been exploited as innovation and product development has been relatively slow over the past decade.
- Innovation & Knowledge – Polaris has a strong tradition of product innovation driven by customer research. This should pair well with Taylor-Dunn that can offer a deep knowledge of the industrial vehicle market.
- Electric Powered Vehicles – The Taylor-Dunn product line provides another vehicle platform for Polaris to leverage their growing electric vehicle expertise. It provides not only revenue opportunities but more vehicles over which they can spread electric powertrain development costs.
- Complementary Market – Polaris has been expanding into different segments of the small vehicle market, especially commercial markets, but does not have a strong presence in the burden carrier and industrial segments.
- Distribution – Taylor-Dunn’s distribution network consists largely of material handling companies. Polaris has a limited number of dealers in this channel. This new dealer network provides an opportunity for Polaris to place their other Work & Transportation brands such as GEM into this distribution channel.
- International Presence – Taylor-Dunn has approximately 50 distributors outside the US and Canada. Polaris has been expanding their sales and manufacturing assets internationally in the small vehicle market. In the future, they could use their international manufacturing facilities to make Taylor-Dunn vehicles more cost effective in foreign markets.
- Efficiency – Part of the Polaris success story has been their cost efficiency in many aspects of their business. There is likely some good opportunities for knowledge transfer and some fat to be trimmed at Taylor-Dunn.