Road Use Regulation Roundup – November 2018

golf cart signRoad Use Regulation Summary

The following is a summary of some of the road use regulations for golf cars, LSVs, ATVs and UTVs that have been passed or are being considered at the state, county and city levels since June, 2018.

Some trends in this latest regulation roundup:

  • There is a fairly even split between ordinances that will allow more small vehicles on the roads and ordinances that will restrict use or clarify existing regulations.
  • California is allowing San Diego cities and the county to create a regional LSV plan..
  • Once again most of the legislative activity occurred in the Midwest and Southeast.
  • Florida municipalities were the most active followed by Minnesota, Wisconsin and Ohio.

Road Use Regulation by Location

Largo, FL – Largo officials denied a request from a mobile home community to allow the use of golf cars on nearby public roads. Officials cited safety concerns and potential cost issues as signs would be needed to notify other drivers that golf cars might be on the roads.

St. Johns County, FL – The county Board of Commissioners is replacing the existing golf car ordinance with one that would provide more clarity and uniformity in the county so the Sheriff’s Office can provide better enforcement.

Panama City Beach, FL – The Florida Highway Patrol reported a number of low seed vehicle and golf car accidents on Back Beach Road which is a state highway route. According to road use regulations the vehicles are not allowed on the route.

Holmes Beach, FL – The town commissioners are considering new golf car regulations that would require the addition of limited safety equipment or a full LSV set of accessories. In addition, they are considering keeping the vehicles off main thoroughfares.

Oconto, WI – The Oconto City Council revised an existing golf car ordinance to allow the use of utility vehicles on city streets. In response to citizens, the Council is considering an ordinance allowing ATVs and UTVs on some city streets.

Greendale, WI – The Greendale Village Board passed an ordinance to allow the use of low speed vehicles on certain city streets.

Austin, MN – The local police department is making an effort to educate citizens that UTVs and ATVs are not allowed on city streets.

St. Cloud, MN – Stearns County passed an ordinance to allow golf cars and LSVs on public roads. A similar ordinance had sunsetted in May.

Covington, OH – Operators of OGGO and Gest low speed vehicle transportation companies asked the city to amend their current low-speed vehicle ordinance to allow the company’s LSVs to operate on certain streets. The transportation is free for the riders. The services will be operating in Cincinnati and Newport as well and generate revenue from advertising.

Toledo, OH – The City Council is considering making permanent an ordinance that allows recreational and commercial use of golf cars in certain areas of the city. Currently a pilot program, the council is also considering expanding the areas of the city where the ordinance would apply.

Edmonton, KY – The Edmonton City Council approved an ordinance that would allow golf cars, ATVs, UTVs and mini-trucks on city streets.

Reedsville, WV – The City Council considering changes to the local vehicle ordinance listened to concerns of citizens regarding the use of UTVs and ATVs on town roads. Some citizens use their vehicles for practical purposes while others are “joy” riding on off-limit streets. The vehicles can be used on certain roads for a legitimate farm use. The changes would require drivers to show proof of farm use and have safety signage attached to the vehicle.

Woodstock, GA – The Woodstock City Council tabled a small vehicle ordinance in order to further discuss the definition of golf cars, ATVs, low-speed vehicles and personal transport vehicles, and the safety features required for each.

Poplarville, MS – The Board of Alderman is sending a resolution to the state legislature to allow the use of golf cars and other low speed vehicles on city streets.

California – Governor Brown signed a bill that gives cities in San Diego County and the county itself the authority to establish a LSV transportation plan.

South Carolina – A new law is about to go into effect designed to more easily allow police to enforce violations related to driving golf cars and other low speed vehicles. Violating any golf cart rule will be a misdemeanor punishable with a maximum fine of $100 or 30 days in jail, unless the offense is deemed to be a felony.

 

 

Arcimoto FUV: A Threat to PTVs?

Arcimoto Fun Utility Vehicle - FUV

The electric powered Arcimoto FUV (Fun Utility Vehicle) is just coming to market.

Oregon based Arcimoto is beginning to roll out their three-wheeled Fun Utility Vehicle (FUV). The combination of price point, size, electric powertrain and ability to travel public roads makes the Arcimoto FUV an intriguing alternative to golf cars, PTVs and LSVs.

Update – Arcimoto responded to a number of questions I sent them and I have added the information to the relevant sections below.

Arcimoto FUVs already on the Road

The first 10 FUV prototypes hit the road this past June. The company completed another 15 vehicles, referred to as their beta series, in September. These went to five customers and the remainder to rental locations. Vehicle rental franchising in tourist locations is a key part of Arcimoto’s marketing plan. As of the end of June the company has 2,800 reservations for the FUV.

Volume Production

Management expects to begin production and delivery of their A series of vehicles during this quarter. The A series marks the move to higher volume production. Plans call for a run rate of 200 vehicles/week or roughly 10,000/year by the end of 2019. The company has deliberately designed smaller sized production facilities that can produce approximately 10,000 vehicles per year.  A production facility costs approximately $10 million. This limits initial capital costs and creates a facility that can be profitable relatively quickly. Furthermore, the facility can be easily replicated in other parts of the country or the world.

Vehicle Features and Specs

The Arcimoto FUV is a three-wheeled vehicle powered by a 67 hp electric motor and a 12 or 20 kWh lithium-ion battery for a range of 70 or 130 miles and a top speed of 80 mph. As a three-wheeler, most states classify the FUV as a motorcycle or similar vehicle. Therefore, it does need the same  safety requirements as a full-sized, highway capable vehicle. The FUV can seat two passengers, one behind the other, and features regenerative braking, hydraulic brakes, a windshield with wiper and defrost, and heated seats and hand grips. Additional options include full HVAC, soft or hard shell doors, rear cargo box, bluetooth speakers and racks for golf clubs, bikes, surfboards, etc. The target price for the base model is $11,900 with a fully decked out model reaching the $19,000 range.

Arcimoto FUV Dimensions

Arcimoto FUV Dimensions

Versatility and Price Point Creates an Alternative to PTVs

The FUV is a versatile vehicle for gated communities. The vehicle can move from golf course, to community pathways to public roads. On public roads the FUV faces none of the restrictions of a golf car, PTV or LSV since it is classified as a motorcycle. Therefore, it can travel on higher speed roads and at night. The FUV can travel faster and farther as well. In terms of speed, the FUV may need a speed limiter option for use on golf courses or within communities depending on local regulations. According to Arcimoto, the vehicle does have the capability to cap speeds to meet specific needs.

The company is targeting a $12,000 base price. Therefore, the FUV is pricier but competitive with LSVs and fancier PTVs given the trade off between price and functionality. One of the reasons LSV sales never really took off in gated communities as expected is that the additional price premium did not offer a significant benefit over new or refurbished golf cars. LSVs are most successful where regulations greatly restrict the use of PTVs or golf cars on local roads. However, if anything, municipalities are becoming less restrictive regarding golf car use. Furthermore, in states like California, Massachusetts, Maryland, Arizona, and Illinois there are tax incentives available for the FUV. There is also the possibility that electric motorcycle or similar incentives could be brought back at the federal level. The company is lobbying to have the tax credits for motorcycles and three-wheeled vehicles brought back. This additional cost reduction could further boost the attractiveness of this alternative vehicle.

Arcimoto FUV Drawbacks

There are some potential drawbacks to the Arcimoto FUV in the gated community setting.

Higher Driving Speeds

Some communities may object to the vehicle’s higher speed capabilities. Some type of speed limiter could address this, or not, depending on the locality. In addition, given the older demographic in gated communities, some drivers may not feel safe driving at higher speeds on local roads. Nevertheless, driving up to 40 to 45 mph would include a large swath of vehicle usage inside and outside a gated community. In effect, the FUV could displace both PTV miles and a sizable chunk of driving performed with highway capable vehicles.

Seating Configuration

Seating configuration is another potential drawback. The seating in an FUV is one passenger behind the other rather than side by side. Some users may feel this reduces the social aspect while riding in the vehicle, particularly on a golf course.

Vehicle Storage

For seasonal usage by vacation home owners, there is often a need to store the vehicle for several months without any usage. This can be an issue or at least require some planning for the current battery powered vehicles. According to Battery University a lithium ion battery should be stored at 40% percent charge if being stored for an extended period. Arcimoto did not answer my question directly on this subject but expect to have a battery pack with a lifetime of “…8-10 years with normal vehicle usage, and still maintain more than 80% of their original charging capacity.” The pack replacement cost is expected to be under $2,500 inclusive of the residual value.

Marketing, Pricing and Local Regulations Critical to Success

The success of the Arcimoto FUV in displacing golf cars, PTVs and LSVs will depend on three key elements:  marketing, pricing and local regulations. The last may be the most important. If gated communities object to the FUV’s higher speed capabilities, and there is no technological fix, foreclosing the market. The pricing may be the easiest to address. If Arcimoto can hit their target price at volume production, even without tax incentives there is a compelling cost benefit story for the FUV.

The marketing element depends in part on where Arcimoto’s management wants to invest resources. The gated community market may be too small to target during the initial phases of the vehicle’s rollout. In addition, golf car dealers mainly serve this market. The company likely does not have relationships with this distribution channel. On the other hand, their rental franchise plan could overlap with these dealers as some are located in tourist oriented beach communities and have high PTV use. This angle could serve as an entry point to the market. In response to my questions Arcimoto stated that they put on a test ride event for the FUV at The Villages, a gated community in Florida, on November 12th. They also noted that the short drives and warm weather make resort communities a great market for the vehicle.

In a years time we will have a better idea whether the Arcimoto FUV has met with success, and whether it threatens the PTV market.

Marc Cesare, SVR

Tariff Questions Dominate Polaris Earnings Call

Polaris 2019 Ranger XP 1000 EPS 20th anniversary

The 2019 Ranger XP 1000 EPS 20th Anniversary edition helped drive sales despite tariff concerns.

Financial Results Overview

Tariff questions dominated the Polaris Industries earnings call to discuss their Q3 financial results for fiscal year 2018. The manufacturer of the RZR, Ranger and General side-by-sides reported adjusted revenue of $1,653 million, an increase of 12% from $1,480 million from third quarter 2017. Net income increased 21% from $98 million to $118 million. (Financial figures are compared to Q3 2017 unless noted)

STOV Segments Perform Solidly

Overall ORV/Snow segment revenue increased 3% from $1,007 million to $1,036 million. Lower snowmobile revenue was more than offset by a 12% increase in ORV revenue. ORV includes UTVs and ATVs. North American (NA) retail sales, driven by side-by-side sales, increased 1% in the quarter against a tough comparable. In comparison, management estimated that industry wide NA ORV sales improved low single digits for the quarter. Polaris side-by-side market share for the quarter remained the same.

The average selling price of ORVs overall increased 5%. Management reports that the initial launch of the 2019 model year was successful with good response from consumers and dealers. In particular, the new Ranger XP 1000 variants drove sales. Furthermore, the company’s inventory management system, RFM, is producing results with the best side-by-side delivery performance to date. In addition, lower promotional costs accompanied the stronger sales. Comments on individual markets indicated that the oil and gas customer segment improved while agriculture decreased some.

Global Adjacent Markets Gain

The Global Adjacent Markets (GAM) segment made solid gains as well. Sales increased 5% from $92 to $98 million. This segment includes vehicle sales to commercial, government and defense clients in addition to Aixam quadricycle sales in Europe. In addition, the GAM segment includes vehicles like Ranger and Brutus UTVs, military RZRs, GEM electric vehicles, Taylor-Dunn industrial vehicles and Goupil electric vehicles based in France. Management reported solid sales for  Goupil vehicles and strong orders from fire and police departments, and other government agencies.

ORV and GAM Drive International Growth

Sales to international markets jumped 10% with a strong showing from the ORV/Snow segment, up 9%, and the GAM segment, up 6%. Looking at sales by region, the Europe and Middle East drove overall international sales while Latin America increased only slightly and the Asia Pacific region decreased.

Full Year Guidance Improves

Polaris increased their guidance for the ORV/Snow segment. They now expect a low double digit increase in sales.The GAM segment should increase sales by low double digits, which is unchanged from previous guidance.

Tariff Impacts

Tariff impacts raised expenses by $8 million for the quarter and are expected to total $40 million for the year. The renegotiated NAFTA deal, the USMCA, is expected to have a neutral effect. However, the 301 tariffs, especially the upcoming List 3 tariffs could have more severe repercussions. Currently, the company is dealing with List 1 and List 2 tariff impacts. Polaris is at a disadvantage related to 301 List tariffs because their main competitors produce their vehicles in Mexico or assemble them in the US using Japanese parts. Therefore, these companies are not subject to the same tariffs.

Tariff Mitigation Plans

Management laid out a three pronged approach to mitigating the potential List 301 tariffs. First, they will try to negotiate with their suppliers to share some of the increased costs. Second, they may increase prices. Thirdly, they hope to lobby the current administration to obtain an exemption from the tariffs. Polaris argues that the tariffs are primarily hurting them, but they are the only US based manufacturer among the major players in the market. Furthermore, the company has been increasing their US based manufacturing. At this time, Polaris is not providing any specific quantitative guidance for tariff impacts for 2019.

Other Future Factors

For the powersports market in general, management expects that there will be a need to increase pricing to offset inflation, tariff impacts and increasing commodity and logistics costs. Furthermore, management stated, “As the industry leader, we’re not afraid to lead on price.”

The newly launched Factory Choice program, which gives the customers and dealers an opportunity to make differentiated vehicles from the factory and has been popular, gives Polaris optimism. The program should help drive sales in the future.

The dealer inventory profiles produced under the RFM program this year for side-by-sides significantly improved product availability. The increased availability bolstered sales, raising similar expectations moving forward.

Learn more:  Polaris Earnings Call Transcript (Seekingalpha.com)

SVR’s Take

This was another solid quarter for Polaris. The sales increases for side-by-sides were not gangbusters at first glance, but they are being compared to a really strong third quarter in 2017. The new 2019 vehicle lineup should drive sales more fully in the fourth quarter. The GAM segment is slowly growing into a significant business and could become a $500 billion business in about two years. On a cautionary note, the tariff impacts could slow progress for Polaris, especially in contrast to fast growing and Canadian based Can-Am. Increased pricing could potentially hurt sales, although as a premium brand Polaris can pass on some pricing. The other alternative is that they will take hit to their margins and generate less income.

 

 

Textron Off Road Struggles with Arctic Cat

Textron Off Road Wildcat XX

Textron Off Road’s Wildcat XX. Wildcat models were previously sold under the Arctic Cat brand.

Textron 2018 Q3 Earnings Results

Textron, Inc recently reported fiscal year 2018 third quarter earnings. They point to a struggling Arctic Cat brand which was acquired in early 2017. The company embedded the Arctic Cat brand under their new Textron Off Road brand in their Specialized Vehicle business, which is part of their Industrial segment. Specialized Vehicles also includes E-Z-GO golf cars, Cushman utility vehicles, towing tugs among other small, task-oriented vehicles. Management reported that poor Specialized Vehicle results hurt the Industrial segment that in turn reduced overall quarterly performance for the company.

Weak Performance but Faith in the Product

The Q&A part of the earnings call pointed to problems with products formerly sold under the Arctic Cat brand. CEO Scott Donnelly remarked that  “…the most fundamental challenge in the business is around particularly the dirt side, the consumer side of that business and that’s the area that where we need the most work”. Furthermore he noted that,

” Industrial, segment profit was breakeven primarily due to unfavorable operating performance in specialized vehicles. Specialized vehicles has undergone significant change over the past two years, as we have expanded the product portfolio. While we’ve seen increasing revenue in the segment, we haven’t seen the planned level of growth or do the operating levers necessary to support the expected returns.”

Nevertheless, management remained positive about future performance and confident of the products they are putting on the market. Donnelly further stated,

“We’ve got great feedback from customers, the performance side we don’t have a product problem I mean we have still gaps which again as I said we’re working on it as we go forward but I think the progress on what the product is and how the product is performing we’re very pleased with.”

The management expects better performance in the fourth quarter.

 

Sales Channel Issues

Additional management comments indicated other issues in the sales channel may be limiting performance. Management noted the need to manage the channel but that some dealers are doing very well. Overall the retail sell through did not meet expectations. Furthermore, management allocated more funds to product discount programs to reduce inventory. In addition, management expressed a desire to improve the sales tools that help customers get to the product.

Pricing Changes Reflect Sales Issues

The pricing changes across the Textron Off-Road vehicle lineup from 2018 to 2019 reflects the poorer than expected retail performance. Management reduced prices for nearly every model, slashing prices for the Wildcat side-by-sides the most. Wildcat price cuts ranged from $500 to $2,500 with most at least $1,000. In contrast, many other manufacturers maintained pricing or slightly increased pricing by around $200 in most cases.

Textron Earnings Call (Seekingalpha.com)

SVR’s Take:

If management likes the product and some dealers are doing well, it sounds like it may possibly be a dealer issue. Either dealers are in the wrong location or they are not performing well. The management’s comments about getting customers to the product raise additional potential issues.

“I think in general how we manage that channel is something that frankly we just haven’t done as well as we should have. And our sales tools and how easy we make it for perspective customers to figure our product, have access to the dealers, have a natural way to help customers move to our product is just something we didn’t do well.”

This could cover a lot of ground from advertising to website performance to in-store marketing material to how dealership personnel interact with customers from first contact to sale.

Marc Cesare, SVR

Polaris 2019 Ranger Crew XP 1000 Reviews

Polaris 2019 Ranger Crew XP 1000 EPS

The 2019 Ranger Crew XP 1000 EPS in Sunset Red Metallic from Polaris.

2019 Ranger Crew XP 1000 Overview

The six-passenger  2019 Ranger Crew XP 1000 from Polaris features a number of improvements compared to the 2018 version including more power, ground clearance, towing capacity and larger tires. The Sage Green base model starts at $16,299 and there are four models in the lineup including a Premium model with automotive paint, a 20th Anniversary Limited Edition with special paint scheme and stitched seats, the Northstar Edition with a full HVAC cab and a High Lifter Edition for mud riding. Some of the key features and specs of the 2019 Ranger Crew XP 1000 include:

  • 82 hp engine
  • High Performance On-Demand True AWD/2WD/VersaTrac Turf Mode
  • Engine braking system
  • Electronic power steering
  • 27″ Maxxis tires on aluminum Black Xcelerator 2.0 wheels
  • 11″ of front and rear suspension travel
  • 13″ of ground clearance
  • 1,000 lbs capacity cargo bed
  • 2,500 lbs towing capacity
  • 4-Wheel Hydraulic Disc with Dual-Bore Front Calipers
  • Under seat storage and pass through for longer items
  • New front fascia design

Reviews Summary

These reviews focus on the base and Premium model with some owner added options as noted. In general, the reviews are very positive. Owners like the power, ride and storage of this model. The only common issue is that the response of the vehicle on initial take-off can be “jerky”. The first two videos discuss some of the key features of the vehicles and are from dealers. Actual owners with time on the machines made the latter two and are more informative.

Vehicle Walk Arounds

Video walk around of the 2019 Ranger Crew XP 1000 by Family PowerSports in Lubbock, TX provides a nice overview of key changes from 2018 model. These changes include:

  • New front fascia
  • Increase ground clearance from 11″ to 13″
  • 26″ stock tires to 27″ 6-ply tires
  • Increased horsepower from 80 to 82
  • Increase towing capacity from 2,000 lbs to 2,500 lbs
  • Widened front and rear entries for easier ingress and egress
  • 25% thicker seats for more comfort
  • Cleaner dash design
  • Added storage under passenger seat

Video walk around of the 2019 Ranger Crew XP 1000 by Leone Polaris in Peru, IL. This video provides more footage of vehicle specifics but is also a little harder sell. The presenter noted similar changes over the 2018 model as in the video above and added the following:

  • Best crew model on the market
  • 25% tighter turning radius
  • Highest grade tires and wheels
  • Tailgate quality similar to a good pickup truck

Owner Reviews

Video review from owner with the 2019 Ranger Crew XP 1000 EPS Premium

  • First-time UTV owner reviewing after about 800 miles and 75 hours using the vehicle
  • Use the UTV when camping and added front full glass windshield, rear plexiglass window and roof from Polaris and a bluetooth audio system from a third party provider
  • Owner is from South Dakota and used vehicle on gravel roads and farmland
  • Compared to base model this one has different gauge and dashboard along with automotive paint
  • Would have bought full glass rear window instead of plexiglass which probably won’t last that long
  • Love the ride:  “Drives like a Cadillac” and seats are “top notch”
  • Takes bumps and river bottoms really well in front and rear seats
  • Love the look of the front which looks like a pickup truck
  • Crew size is good for family with three boys
  • Lot of room for storage
  • Like the power. Have easily towed trailer with pavers.
  • Don’t like the dust in the cabin even with half windshield we tried from neighbor; Better without windshield but our area has a lot of bugs
  • No grab handle for the driver seat which makes it difficult for older person to enter the vehicle
  • Accessories are extremely expensive e.g. doors would cost $5,000 more
  • Machine is long. You will need a 14 ft. trailer.
  • Commenters responding to the video talked about having a “jerky” initial takeoff. Others suggested this lessened with breaking in of the belt and using lower gear at start.
  • Another commenter noted the “amazing power” of this model

First impression video review by a new owner of the 2019 Ranger Crew XP 1000 in Sage Green which is the base model. The owner drove the vehicle around a duck hunting camp in Alabama checking and pulling game cameras.

  • First time UTV and Polaris owner with a couple of hours of use on the vehicle
  • Added front and rear glass. The Plexiglas option when scratched can be difficult to see through in low light.
  • Sage Model doesn’t have adjustable driver seat and just a digital gauge instead of additional analog gauges.
  • Like the large amount of storage
  • Might put in 1/4 doors up front in contrast to the standard side nets
  • Reached 52 mph top speed
  • Driving in work mode seems to have a smoother throttle response in contrast to the other modes
  • 2″ higher ground clearance is good for use in the water
  • Very happy with it

 

Can-Am Defender XT Reviews

2019 Can Am Defender XT UTV

The 2019 Can Am Defender XT in hyper Silver

Defender XT Overview

The 2019 Can-Am Defender XT is a three-seat utility vehicle priced at $15,799. You can choose to power this model with the 50 hp HD8 or the 72 hp HD10 engine option. In either case, the Defender XT features a PRO-TORQ transmission with Quick Response System and a drive train with a lockable rear differential and Visco-Lok QE auto-locking front differential. This model also has electronic hill descent control, three driving modes and dynamic power steering. The Defender Xt is designed for work primarily and therefore can haul up to 1,000 lbs in the cargo box and tow up to 2,500 lbs. Other features include:

  • Twin Tube Gas Charged Shocks
  • 10″ of front and rear suspension travel
  • 11″ of ground clearance
  • 27″ Maxxis Bighorn 2.0 tires
  • 220mm hydraulic disc brakes
  • 650 W Magneto
  • Winch
  • XT Front Bumper
  • Full HMW Skid Plate
  • Full Hard Roof
  • Adjustable Tilt Steering
  • Multifunction digital/Analog Gauge
  • Available in Hyper Silver, Intense Red or Mossy Oak break-Up country Camo

Reviews

The 2019 models have not been out that long so there aren’t too many reviews available and they aren’t any based on long term usage of the vehicle. However, the reviews are pretty positive. The amount of interior storage the ability to remove some of the storage bins impressed the reviewers. The reviews are complimentary as one focuses more on the drivability of the Defender XT and the other comments more on the interior and usability of the vehicle.

UTVDriver.com -Trail riding with the Defender XT in the Black Hills of South Dakota

  • Vehicle had the more powerful HD10 option
  • Smooth, linear power delivery with no noticeable power loss at 6,500 ft.
  • Normal driving mode is most responsive
  • Comfortable seating for larger driver even after many miles
  • Glove box that doubles as removable tool box and other removable storage is a positive
  • Handled a variety of terrain well including uphill, downhill and fallen trees
  • Feels solid

Fisher’s ATV World – Video review of a Defender DPS HD10 which is basically the same as the Defender XT but without a few extras

  • Quiet ride
  • Do not feel heat from the engine
  • Easy in/Easy out
  • Really like the small turning radius
  • Plenty of storage
  • Can haul and tow a lot

ODES Industries Launches 2019 UTV Lineup

ODES Industries 2019 Dominator X2 LT Zeus

The ODES Industries 2019 Dominator X2 LT Zeus features a touchscreen and LED lighting.

ODES Industries, self-described as a value UTV brand, recently announced their 2019 UTV lineup as they push for even more growth. According to company statements ODEs Industries has been growing for the last several years including a doubling of sales from 2016 to 2017. The 2019 lineup includes 10 models including the new XForce 2 and XForce 4 models which feature an enclosed cab. Probably, these models are aimed at heavy duty work applications in challenging weather environments. Prices range across the lineup from $9,795 up to $23,495.

ODES Industries Dominator Models

The Dominator line includes the following models:

  • The entry level Dominator X2 ST Model V1 – MSRP $9,795
  • The Dominator X2 ST Model V2 – MSRP $9,995 (Adds Doors, OTR Tires and Matte Black Wheels)
  • The premium level Dominator X2 LT Model V1 – MSRP $13,095
  • The top level Dominator X2 LT Zeus Model V1 – MSRP $14,795 (Adds 7″ Full Touchscreen LCD, Heated Seats)
ODES Industries 2019 Dominator X2 ST

The 2019 Dominator X2 ST

The Dominator X2 ST versions have the following features:

  • 800cc Engine
  • Digital Dash Display
  • Full Roof
  • Heavy Duty Front Bumper
  • Full LED Lighting
  • Electronic Dump Bed
  • Rearview Mirrors
  • Door Nets
  • Front 3,500 lbs Winch
  • Towing Hitch
  • 14″ Wheels
  • 26″ Tires
  • Lockable Storage Boxes

The Dominator X2 LT models have the following features:

  • 800cc Engine with 1000cc option for Zeus model
  • Long Travel – Vi-LOCK Suspension
  •  Digital Dash Display
  •  Full Windshield
  •  Full Roof
  •  32″ LED Light Bar
  •  Heavy Duty Front Bumper
  •  Heavy Duty Rear Bumper
  •  Full LED Lighting
  •  Electronic Dump Bed
  •  Rearview Mirrors
  •  Metal Frame Doors
  •  Front 3,500 lbs Winch
  •  Rear 3,500 lbs Winch
  •  Towing Hitch
  •  15″ Wheels
  •  29″ Tires
  •  Lockable Storage Boxes
  •  Radiator Guards
  •  A-Arm Guards
  •  Electronic Power Steering
Also, there are three Dominator X4 models which seat six as a result of stadium style seating. These versions are similar to the two-passenger lineup with a Dominator X4 ST V1($11,295), Dominator X4 LT Zeus V1 ($16,495) and Dominator X4 LT V1 ($14,795).

Sport Model

ODES Industries Ravager LT Zeus

A 1000cc engine powers the sporty Ravager LT Zeus from ODES Industries.

The two-passenger Ravager LT Zeus gives ODES Industries a pure sport model in the lineup. A 1000cc engine powers the Ravager which features a Two Brothers Racing Exhaust, 3M graphics kit, Two Brothers/Dyna Jet Juicebox kit, front winch, 29″ OTR Dirt Master tires and 15″ OTR Matte Black wheels. The company revamped the model for 2019. Ravager LT Zeus features include:

  • 7″ Touchscreen LCD Display
  •  Long Travel – Vi-LOCK Suspension
  •  Full Windshield / Roof
  •  32″ LED Light Bar
  •  Two Brothers Racing Exhaus
  •  Passenger Grab Bar
  •  Cargo Bed
  •  Rearview Mirrors
  •  Metal Frame Doors
  •  Front 3500lbs Winch
  •  Rear Towing Hitch
  •  15″ OTR Matte Black Wheels
  •  OTR Dirt Master 29″ Tires
  •  Radiator Guards
  •  A-Arm Guards
  •  Electronic Power Steering
  •  Heavy Duty Front Bumper
  •  3M Graphics Kit
  •  Powder Coated Bars – Yellow or Blue
  •  Two Brothers / Dyna Jet Juicebox Kit

New XForce Models Feature Cabs

ODEs Industries XForce 4

ODES Industries added a cab to their latest offering, the Force 4, which seats six.

Finally, rounding out the lineup are the two newest models from ODES Industries, the XForce 2 priced at $20,995  and the XForce 4 priced at $23,495. The X2 can seat up to three and the X4 up to six. Both feature AC/Heating systems, heated front seats, 10.6″ LCD touch screen and a 1000cc engine. Standard features include new mapping, GoPro integration, front and rear camera options, temperature controls, digital displays, Bluetooth connection for phone and text display and direct screen audio control. The latter feature makes it easier to just ride rather than play with electronics.

  • Integrated Media w/ Bluetooth and USB
  • Onboard GPS Nav with Trail Tracking
  • Front and Rear 640×480 Cameras
  • In Screen Go Pro Integration
  • ODES Ultra LCD Integrated Software
  • Aluminum RollcageAC and Heat System w/ Fan Control
  • Onboard Generator for Power Support
  • Front Glass Window w/ Wiper System
  • Front Window Adjustment, 3 Settings
  • Glass Door Windows w/ Electric up/down
  • Single Row LED Directional Light Bar
  • Full Enclosure System
  • Interior Lighting
  • 3 Captains Chair Seating
  • Heated Driver and Passenger Seats
  • Fold Down Center Seat for Console Storage
  • Folding Aluminum Dump Bed
  • 800LBS Capacity Electric Dump Bed
  • Exterior Rear Working Light
  • Oversized Side Mirrors
  • Aluminum A-Arm Guards
  • 16 Gallon Gas Tank
  • 4500LBS Wireless Winch w/ Nylon Rope
  • Reversible Front to Rear Winch Hitch w/ 2″ Ball
  • Winch wire quick disconnects
  • Snorkeled CVT Air Intake System
  • Exterior Panel Light and Bed Controls
  • LED Front and Rear Lights
  • OTR Dirt Master Tires 28×10-14
  • OTR Steel Wheels
  • Interstate Battery
  • Royal Purple Ice Coolant
  • Stage 4 Made in USA Kevlar CVT Belt
  • Double Wishbone Independent Suspension
  • Ground Clearance of 327mm
  • Aluminum Box 1076x1561x260

Learn more:  Odesindustries.com

SVR’s Take:

ODES Industries is another value brand that appears to be having success offering solid features at a reasonable price. These brands typically have a starting price point in the $9,000 to $10,000 range for their entry level UTV, although some start even lower with fewer features. According to ODES Industries website, they source parts from around the world and partially assemble vehicles in Asia. The remaining assembly appears to be in the US. The company moved assembly from California to Dallas, TX in 2016.

John Deere Recalls XUV590 Gator UTVs

John Deere XUV590 S4

The John Deere is recalling the XUV590 S4 Gator utility vehicle due to a throttle cable issue.

The two-passenger John Deere XUV590 is part of the recall as well.

John Deere XUV590 Recall

John Deere is recalling XUV590 and XUV590 S4 Gator utility vehicles sold between September 2017 and August 2018 due to a powertrain issue. The powertrain hardware can become loose and cause the throttle cable to stick. As a result, the operator may not be able to stop the vehicle. The recall involves approximately 4,700 vehicles including 200 in Canada. To date John Deere is reporting no injuries because of this issue. Vehicle owners should stop using the vehicles immediately and contact their local John Deere dealer for a free inspection and repair.

Compared to John Deere’s overall Gator utility vehicle sales, this recall is fairly large but small compared to typical recalls in the industry. SVR maintains an ongoing list of recent recalls of UTVs, golf cars and LSVs.

The following recall information is from the Consumer Product Safety Commission.

Name of product:  John Deere XUV590 and XUV590 S4 Gator™ utility vehicles
Hazard:  The powertrain hardware can come loose, causing the throttle to stick. This could result in the operator not being able to stop the vehicle, posing a crash hazard.

Remedy:  Repair
Recall date:  September 11, 2018
Units:  About 4,700 (In addition, about 200 were sold in Canada)
Consumer Contact:  Deere & Company at 800-537-8233 from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. ET Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. ET on Saturday, or online at www.deere.com and click on “Product Recall Information” on the drop-down menu under “Services & Support” for more information.

Recall Details

Description:  This recall involves John Deere Gator utility vehicles with model number “XUV590” or “XUV590 S4” printed on the hood. “John Deere” and “Gator” are printed on the cargo box. The serial number is located on the frame on the rear of the machine above the hitch and begins with 1M0590 and falls within the ranges on the chart below. The recalled utility vehicles were sold in green and yellow, olive drab and camouflage and have four-wheel suspension with side-by-side seating for two or four people.

Serial Number Range

1M0590EAxxM010001 – 1M0590EAxxM020029

1M0590EBxxM010001 – 1M0590EBxxM020004

1M0590EDxxM010001 – 1M0590EDxxM010014

1M0590EExxM010001 – 1M0590EExxM010008

1M0590MAxxM010001 – 1M0590MAxxM020071

1M0590MBxxM010001 – 1M0590MBxxM020025

1M0590MDxxM010001 – 1M0590MDxxM010018

1M0590MExxM010001 – 1M0590MExxM010012

1M0590MFxxM010001 – 1M0590MFxxM020004

1M0590MGxxM010001 – 1M0590MGxxM010049

Remedy:  Consumers should immediately stop using the recalled vehicles and contact an authorized John Deere dealer for a free inspection and repair. John Deere is contacting all known purchasers directly.

Incidents/Injuries:  John Deere has received two reports of the throttle cable sticking. No injuries have been reported.

Sold At:  John Deere dealers nationwide from September 2017 through August 2018 for between $10,000 and $13,000.

Manufacturer(s):  Deere & Company, of Moline, Ill.

Manufactured In:  U.S.
Recall number:  18-766

Caterpillar Adds 5-Seat UTVs

Caterpillar CUV105 D

The 5-passenger diesel powered CUV105D is a new addition to the Caterpillar UTV lineup.

Caterpillar’s new 5-passenger CUV85 is gas powered.

Caterpillar recently expanded their utility vehicle lineup with the 5-seat CUV85 and CUV105 D models in order to add a crew-sized offering. The CUV85 is gas powered and the CUV105 D is diesel powered because of the need to meet the diverse fuel options of their target market. The expansion is a follow up to their entry into the UTV market earlier in 2018 with the CUV82 and CUV102 D two-person models. As a result, the lineup now includes four models. Textron is manufacturing the new models under a partnership agreement with Caterpillar.

Key Caterpillar UTV Features

The two latest models have a 1,000 lbs rear cargo bed capacity and can tow up to 2,000 lbs in order to meet the rigors of heavy duty work applications. The CUV85 features a 50 hp, 3-cylinder gas engine with a 45 mph top speed. In contrast, the CUV105 D is powered by a 25 hp, 3-cyclinder diesel engine and has a 25 mph top speed. The CUV85 comes with quarter doors, probably due to the higher vehicle speed. Common features across both models include:

  • 5-passenger capacity
  • 2WD/4WD/Electric Rear Locking Differential
  • CVT transmission
  • 10.5″ of ground clearance
  • Four-wheel independent A-arm suspension with front sway bar
  • Electric assist power steering
  • Single and dual piston disc brakes
  • ROPS
  • 25″ tires on steel wheels
  • Steel cargo bed
  • Digital gauge
  • Halogen headlights
  • Dual LED taillights
  • Adjustable tilt steering
  • Adjustable driver’s seat

Additional Features

Furthermore, Caterpillar marketing material points to specifc features designed for work use including a steel cargo bed, smooth acceleration, clear sight lines and engine braking. Additional features in order to produce quiet and comfortable operation include a design to minimize noise and vibration, ample head, elbow and leg room, and removable passenger seat base. Likewise easy access points facilitates maintenance and advanced diagnostics reduce troubleshooting time.

Learn more:  Constructionequipment.com

SVR’s Take:  Similar to other manufacturers, Caterpillar has expanded their product line with the addition of crew-sized models. In contrast to some models on the market, these are pretty basic vehicles but with solid features which are appropriate for the work applications they are targeting. If Caterpillar is successful with this lineup they will likely continue to introduce new models.

Can-Am Market Share Increases

2019 Can-Am Defender HD8

New models like the 2019 Can-Am Defender HD8 help increase Can-Am market share.

Can Am Defender Max

Can Am Defender Max

BRP Reports Strong Fiscal Q2 Earnings  

BRP Inc., manufacturer of Can-Am vehicles announced strong earnings for their fiscal second quarter (ending July 31, 2018) and improved Can-Am market share for their side-by-side business. Management reported an increase in revenue of 18% to $1,207 million from $1,023 million (In Canadian $) as well as increased profit margins.

Ahead of Strategic Plan 

Since implementing their strategic plan in 2015 Can-Am has steadily made inroads in the side-by-side market. Management set the goal of doubling Can-Am market share for the North American side-by-side market from approximately 10% to 20% by 2020. They are on track to reach that goal in 2019 instead of the original 2020 target year.

Recent Can-Am UTV Launches Source: Can-Am Presentation 9/10/2018

Product Development Drives Can-Am Market Share Success

The company drove this rapid growth by launching a host of new models to maintain competitiveness in existing market segments or to enter new segments. They typically launch new models every six months. The Defender lineup of UTVs is an example of entering new segments. The Defender not only attacked the work/utility segment where Can-Am needed a presence, but opened up under represented geographic markets. The company reports US side-by-side dealer network coverage increased over 50% over four years. They also added trail and sport models for the recreational segment while continuing to produce competitive high-end performance side-by-sides as well.

Can-Am Emerges as Main Polaris Competitor

While still far from the market share of market leader Polaris, Can-Am has established itself as the main competitor to Polaris, outpacing the likes of Yamaha, Honda, John Deere and others. This applies to not only to the side-by-side market but in other product segments as well including ATVs, 3-wheelers and snowmobiles. Both companies have also entered the boating market with recent acquisitions. (BRP; Polaris) Can-Am is one of the few side-by-side manufacturers that comes close to the breadth of models that Polaris offers across all the market sub-segments. Management’s intentions are to continue to build out their product lineup.

Earnings Call Highlights

The following are highlights from the earnings call and presentation. Unless noted comparisons are to the same quarter of the previous year.

  • Revenues were up in North America (NA) and all intl markets
  • NA retail sales for Seasonal and Year-round business segments increased 16%
  • All product segments are outgrowing respective industries
  • Year Round business which includes SxS, ATV and Spyder products increased by 26% from $440.4 to $554.0
  • NA side-by-side retail jumped low 30% vs. low teen % for industry for the quarter
  • NA 2018 SSV industry up high single digits percent for recently ended model year while Can-Am jumped mid 30%
  • Management reports gaining over 2.5% in market share in NA side-by-side market for the 2018 season
  • Can-Am SxS up 25% in all  international markets:  Europe/Middle East, Latin America and Asia-Pacific.
  • Management states:  “We are seeing solid growth across the lineup, and the popularity of our specialized models such as the Defender LONE STAR, the Maverick X3 rock crawler and our mud-ready Maverick X3 and Defender is helping us deliver superior profitability for us and our dealers.
  • Management increased guidance for Year Round business to up 18-21% from previously guided 12-15%
  • Can-Am has more than doubled their side-by-side retail volume since 2015 with 6 new platform introduced over the past 3 years and on target to reach 2020 goals one year in advance
  • Room to grow in the Defender side-by-side segment
  • Some cost pressures from commodity prices and freight costs

Learn more:  Earnings Call Transcript