Polaris Q2 2020 Earnings

Polaris General 4 1000 utility vehicle
Four-passenger UTVs like the Polaris General 4 1000 helped drive retail sales despite the pandemic.

Polaris Q2 2020 Earnings summary

Polaris recently reported their financial results for fiscal year 2020 2nd quarter and they were better than expected. The company reported sales of $1.512 billion for the quarter, a decrease of 15% year over year. Adjusted income decreased 25% from $107 to $81 million. Management stated that results “significantly outpaced company expectations” in the face of the pandemic. In the ORV/Snow segment sales were $953 million, a decrease of 9% year over year with ORV decreasing 14%. The powersports industry experienced strong retail sales, especially in off-road vehicles. Management attributed the strong sales to people seeking family enjoyment, having more free time and fewer alternatives for spending money because of the pandemic.

Polaris Q2 2020 Earnings Highlights

The following are highlights from the earnings call that relate to the small task-oriented vehicle market.

  • NA powersports industry retail was up high 30% in Q2
  • Polaris off-road vehicle retail increased low 60% as side-by-side and ATV sales were both strong.
  • New customers were key drivers with more females, people of color, families and younger buyers
  • Management reported that 75% of their off-road vehicle and motorcycle buyers in Q2 were new to Polaris.
  • Solid demand for four seat and crew UTVs for family usage
  • A significant portion of ORV sales came from existing dealer inventory which decreased 45% in the quarter as Polaris shutdown or decreased plant production
  • Production is “chasing demand with some shortage”.
  • Japanese competitors are gaining share, in part, due to having more product available.
  • Global Adjacent Market sales decreased 36% for the quarter to $78 million from $122 million
  • ORV retail sales continued strong growth in July

Guidance for 2nd Half

  • Polaris retail sales anticipated to outpace overall market.
  • Strong performance in second half expected by ORV.
  • ORV/Snow sales down 7% for the first half of the year but expected to be up overall for the full year as dealer inventory is replenished and powersports demand maintains modest growth.
  • Management anticipates continued weakness in adjacent markets given the dependence on government, university, commercial and rental sales.

Learn more: Polaris Q2 2020 Earnings Call Transcript

SVR’s Take

The fallout from the pandemic appears to have been good for the off-road utility vehicle market, at least for recreational purposes. As a relatively safe activity in terms of avoiding the virus, riding UTVs appears to have provided an antidote to being in lockdown or some degree of it. It will be interesting to see if it continues to do so. They are still large purchases and with the virus flaring up in many places, potential buyers could become more cautious. However, the acquisition of a large portion of new customers to date bodes well for Polaris in the future. Marc Cesare, Smallvehicleresource.com

2020 Small Task-Oriented Vehicle Study

Club Car Onward 4-passenger lifted PTV
Club Car Onward 4-passenger lifted PTV

In a new market study on the small task-oriented vehicle (STOV) market in the US and Canada, Small Vehicle Resource (SVR), LLC describes an industry in midstream transition as:

  • Climate policies, COVID-19 effects and new technologies usher in the urban/suburban mobility market and underpin an expanding consumer market for personal transportation vehicles (PTVs), as well as commercial markets for light duty utility vehicles;
  • The transition from lead acid to lithium batteries continues, raising performance and transforming vehicle longevity and recycling value.
  • The maturing off-road utility and recreational UTV market remains fundamentally strong and highly competitive, and is poised to follow the automobile and golf-car type vehicle markets into electrification;

The study provides a strategic analysis of the rise of urban/suburban mobility market driven in the context of the STOV industry. Steve Metzger, SVR Managing Director, states that, “The intersection of climate policy, new technologies and COVID-19 effects will lead to a ‘dispersed living lifestyle’, and provide new opportunities in the urban/suburban mobility market.”  He further remarks, “The STOV industry, particularly the Big Three golf manufacturers with a foothold in gated communities, have the core competencies to transition from golf-centric to urban/suburban centric. The question is will they?” 

Marc Cesare, SVR Managing Director, adds that, “While the UTV manufacturers will see solid growth in their market, some are capable of pursuing the urban/suburban mobility market as well. However, their DNA, profit centers and distribution channels are primarily off-road and powersports. Culturally, the pursuit of the urban/suburban mobility opportunity may be a difficult paradigm shift.”

The study, the tenth in the series since 2000, covers market trends from 2016 and develops projections to 2025. The key segments are golf fleet, personal transportation vehicles, light-duty utility vehicles, and off-road utility and recreation vehicles. In total, these segments are forecasted to reach close to 1,200,000 new vehicles in 2025. Electric powered vehicles continue to make inroads. Approximately a third of the market is electric powered, primarily in the form of fleet golf cars, PTVs, as well as light duty utility vehicles, of which approximately 80% will be electric by 2025. Key trends and projections for the market include:

  • Demand for electric powered STOV vehicles will increase to over 450,000 vehicles in 2025.
  • Golf course fleet demand will decline slightly during the trend period but will remain overwhelmingly electric powered, around 80%.
  • Demand for PTVs will be strong.
  • Lithium battery powered vehicles will continue to make inroads as more models become available with this option.

            The study is entitled, Trends and Outlook for Small, Task-Oriented Vehicles-2016-2025- An Analysis of the Emerging Urban/Suburban Mobility Market.  For additional, detailed information see the study brochure with table of contents or contact:

Steve Metzger smetzger@smallvehicleresource.com

(914) 293-7577

Honda UTV Recall Includes Talons

Honda Talon 1000X
The Honda Talon 1000X is part of the recall.

Honda UTV Recall Summary

Honda announced a large recall of about 25,000 vehicles including model year 2019 and 2020 Pioneer and Talon utility vehicles. The Honda UTV recall involves both three and five passenger Pioneer UTVs as well as two and four passenger Talon UTVs. The vehicles can move or roll in park position, creating a crash and injury hazard. Consumers should stop using the vehicles and contact their Honda Powersports dealer for a free inspection and repair. The following recall information is from the Consumer Product Safety Commission.

Honda UTV Recall Details

Hazard:  The ROV can move or roll when in the park position, posing crash and injury hazards. 

Remedy: Repair

Recall date: June 18, 2020

Units: About 25,000

Consumer Contact: American Honda toll-free at 866-784-1870 from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. PT Monday through Friday or online at http://powersports.honda.com/ and click on “Recall Information” at the bottom of the page for more information.

Description: This recall involves certain Model Year 2019 & 2020 Honda Pioneer 1000 and Talon 1000 side-by-side vehicles.  The recalled vehicles were sold in various colors, including: red, blue, green, gray and yellow.  The name “HONDA” is on the front, sides and the rear of the vehicle.  The model name Pioneer 1000 or Talon is printed on a label located on both sides of the vehicle.  For the Pioneer 1000, the serial number (VIN #) is stamped in the frame at the left rear, below the tilt-up bed/seat.  For the Talon 1000, the VIN# is stamped on the left side of the frame, under the left front fender.

MYModelVIN StartVIN End
2019Pioneer 1000 – 3  Passenger(SXS10M3*)1HFVE04**K43000611HFVE04**K4301919
2019Pioneer 1000 – 5  Passenger(SXS10M5*)1HFVE04**K43000611HFVE04**K4302460
2019Talon 1000 – 2  Passenger(SXS10S2*)1HFVE05**K40000031HFVE05**K4003902
2020Pioneer 1000 – 3  Passenger(SXS10M3*)1HFVE04**L44000011HFVE04**L4402426
2020Pioneer 1000 – 5  Passenger(SXS10M5*)1HFVE04**L44000011HFVE04**L4402984
2020Talon 1000 – 2  Passenger(SXS10S2*)1HFVE05**L41000011HFVE05**L4102280
2020Talon 1000 – 4  Passenger(SXS10S4*)1HFVE06**L40000021HFVE06**L4002100

 Remedy:  Consumers should immediately stop using the recalled ROVs and contact an authorized Honda Powersports dealer to schedule an appointment for a free inspection and repair.  Honda is contacting all known purchasers directly.

Incidents/Injuries:  The firm has received three reports of the ROVs moving while in the park position.  No injuries have been reported.

Sold At: Authorized Honda Powersports dealers nationwide, from November 2018 through March 2020, for between $15,000 and $24,000.

Manufacturer(s):  American Honda Motor Co., Inc., of Torrance, Calif.

Manufactured In:  United States 

Recall number: 20-751

SVR’s Take

This is another large recall by one of the major UTV manufacturers. Honda had a large recall last summer that included some of the Pioneer vehicles involved in this recall. This is more evidence that the industry as a whole seems to have a quality control problem. A significant percentage of the new vehicles being sold each year are being recalled. BRP is the only major UTV manufacturer that has not had a large vehicle recall in the last few years. Smallvehicleresource.com maintains a list of small, task-oriented vehicle recalls. Marc Cesare, Smallvehicleresource.com

Garia Recall: Golf & Courtesy EVs

Garia Golf 2+2 golf car
The Garia Golf 2+2 is part of a recall due to a bad fuse.

Garia recently announced a recall of approximately 1,000 Garia Golf and Courtesy electric vehicles. A fuse can overheat while the vehicle is charging and can cause a fire. The recall involves model year 2010 to 2019 Golf, Golf 2+2, Courtesy 4 and Courtesy 4+2 vehicles. Owners should immediately stop charging the vehicles and contact Garia or a Garia dealer to schedule a free repair. The following recall information is from the Consumer Product Safety Commission.

Garia Recall Details

Name of product: Garia Golf & Courtesy battery-powered electric vehicles

Hazard: A fuse can overheat and melt while the electric vehicle is charging, posing a fire hazard.

Recall date: May 14, 2020

Units: About 1,000

Consumer Contact: Garia collect (281) 923-0291 from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. CT Monday through Friday, e-mail at support-us@garia.com, or online at www.garia.com and click on “Safety Recall” for more information.

Description: This recall involves Garia model year 2010-2019 golf and courtesy battery-powered electric vehicles (BEV’s). The models involved are as follows; Golf, Golf 2+2, Courtesy 4 and Courtesy 4+2. Garia VIN numbers are printed / etched on the chassis under the front seat cushion (see illustration below). The model year of your Garia can be identified by the 10th digit in the VIN number. The chart below can be used as a quick reference. The Serial numbers and date code range are: VIN numbers UJGDHSX1XAVXXXXXX – UJGDHSX1XKVXXXXXX are located under the vehicle’s front seat. (A to K) (2010-2019) 

Remedy: Consumers should immediately stop charging these recalled golf and courtesy vehicles and contact Garia or a Garia dealer to schedule a free repair. Garia is contacting all known customers by direct mail and e-mail.

Incidents/Injuries: The firm is aware of five incidents of overheating and fire damage to the vehicles.  No injuries have been reported.

Sold At: Garia dealers nationwide from January 2010 through September 2019 for between $15,000 and $75,000.Manufacturer(s): Garia A/S, of Denmark

Importer(s): Garia Inc., of Houston, Texas

Manufactured In: Denmark

Recall number: 20-122

SVR’s Take

We’ve tracked recalls since early 2015 and this is the first recall from Garia. This is not surprising since they are a lower volume manufacturer focusing on building higher quality vehicles. According to their website, the fix is relatively simple so this shouldn’t be much of a problem for Garia.

Marc Cesare, Smallvehicleresource.com

Massive Kawasaki Mule Recall

2020 Kawasaki Mule PRO-DXT utility vehicle
The Kawasaki 2020 Mule PRO-DXT is part of a large 80,000 vehicle recall.

Kawasaki Mule Recall Summary

Kawasaki recently announced two large recalls of their Mule utility vehicles. The recalls of 80,000 and 72,000 vehicles are for separate issues but there is a large overlap among the model years and Mule models affected. The first recall involves excessive wear of the steering shaft that can affect steering control and result in a crash hazard. This recall covers approximately 80,000 vehicles and includes model year 2015 – 2020 MULE PRO-FX, MULE PRO-FXR, MULE PRO-FXT and 2016 – 2020 MULE PRO-DX and MULE PRO-DXT utility vehicles.

The second Kawasaki Mule recall involves two potential fire hazards. Debris on the exhaust manifold can ignite and ice can block the breather hose leading to an oil leak. This recall involves approximately 72,000 vehicles and includes model year 2015 – 2020 MULE PRO-FX, MULE PRO-FXR and MULE PRO-FXT utility vehicles. Consumers should immediately stop using the recalled utility vehicles and contact a Kawasaki dealer to schedule a free repair.

Kawasaki Mule Recall Details – Fire Hazard

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

Hazard:  The steering shaft can develop excessive wear and affect steering control resulting in a crash hazard, posing a risk of injury or death.

Remedy: Repair

Recall date: March 19, 2020

Units: About 80,000

Consumer Contact: Kawasaki toll-free at 866-802-9381 from 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. PT Monday through Friday or online at www.Kawasaki.com and click on “Recalls” for more information.

Description:  This recall involves recall involves 2015 through 2020 MULE PRO-FX, MULE PRO-FXR, MULE PRO-FXT and 2016 – 2020 MULE PRO-DX and MULE PRO-DXT utility vehicles.  The four wheel, off-highway utility vehicles were sold in black, green, white, red, bronze, silver, camo, and blue.  They have side by side seating for three to six people and automotive style controls. MULE PRO is printed on the right and left front fender.  The model name is printed on the right and left fender. The vehicles are available as either gas or diesel models. The diesel models have DIESEL printed on the right and left rear of the cargo bed.  The Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) is located on the steel frame between the right front lower A-arm mounts.  (Specific model name, model code and VIN information for the recall)

Remedy: Consumers should immediately stop using the recalled utility vehicles and contact a Kawasaki dealer to schedule a free repair.  Kawasaki is contacting all known purchasers directly.

Incidents/Injuries: The firm has received 453 reports of incidents of steering problems.  No injuries have been reported.

Sold At: Kawasaki dealers nationwide from July 2014 through January 2020 for between $12,000 and $17,000.

Manufacturer(s): Kawasaki Motors Manufacturing Corp. U.S.A, of Lincoln, Neb.

Distributor(s): Kawasaki Motors Corp. U.S.A., of Foothill Ranch, Calif.

Manufactured In: United States

Recall number: 20-726

Kawasaki 2019 Mule PRO-FXT Ranch Edition utility vehicle
The Kawasaki 2091 Mule PRO-FXT Ranch Edition is part of a 72,000 vehicle recall.

Kawasaki Mule Recall Details – Crash Hazard

Name of product: Kawasaki MULE PRO off-highway utility vehicles

Hazard: Debris can ignite on the vehicle’s exhaust manifold; and frozen water can block the breather hose allowing oil to leak, posing a fire hazard.   

Remedy: Repair

Recall date: March 19, 2020

Units: About 72,000

Consumer Contact: Kawasaki toll-free at 866-802-9381 from 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. PT Monday through Friday or online at www.Kawasaki.com and click on “Recalls” for more information. 

Description:This recall involves model year 2015 through 2020 MULE PRO-FX™, MULE PRO-FXR™ and MULE PRO-FXT™ off-highway utility vehicles.  The recalled vehicles were sold in black, blue, bronze, camo, green, red, silver and white.  They have four wheels, side-by-side seating for three to six people and automotive style controls. Mule Pro is printed on the right and left front fender.  Kawasaki is printed on the cargo box. The Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) is located on the steel frame between the right front lower A-arm mounts. (Specific model name, model code and VIN information for the recall)

Remedy: Consumers should immediately stop using the recalled utility vehicles and contact a Kawasaki dealer to schedule a free repair. Kawasaki is contacting all known purchasers directly.

Incidents/Injuries: Kawasaki has received 165 reports of oil leakage and 84 reports of vehicles catching on fire, resulting in three injuries, including one report of a burn to the user’s foot, one report of a burn to the user’s arm, hand and buttocks and one incident of smoke inhalation.  Kawasaki is aware of more than $131,000 in property damage claims, excluding the cost of damage to vehicles.

Sold At: Kawasaki dealers nationwide from July 2014 through December 2019 for between $12,000 and $18,000.

Manufacturer(s): Kawasaki Motors Manufacturing Corp. U.S.A., of Lincoln, Neb.

Distributor(s): Kawasaki Motors Corp. U.S.A., of Foothill Ranch, Calif.

Manufactured In: United States

Recall number: 20-727

SVR’s Take

This is a very large recall and is another indication of the recall problem the small, task-oriented vehicle industry has. In our last STOV market study we found that from 2014 to 2017 recalled vehicles in the US and Canada accounted for no less than 24% and up to 47% of utility vehicle market annually. Similar to this recall, many of them involve fire hazards related to debris or some type of leak. SVR maintains an ongoing list of recalls.

BRP Earnings Call: Q4 2020

Can-Am Defender 6x6 DPS is a new addition for 2020.
New product introductions like the Can-Am Defender 6×6 DPS has helped BRP grow their side-by-side market share.

The BRP earnings call for Q4 and the full year for FY2020 revealed continued strong growth. Annual revenue increased 15% to $6,053 million (CA$) primarily driven by shipments of Year-Round products which includes side-by-sides. Net income increased by 63% and North American BRP retail sales for Seasonal Products and Year-Round Products increased 15%. BRP retail sales outpaced the industry in North America and International markets. For Q4 2020 total revenues improved 7.3% to $1,615.9 and net income jumped 57.1% to $118.2. Management stated that they met key five-year revenue and earnings goals a year ahead of schedule.

BRP Earnings Call Highlights

The following are some of the highlights of the Q4 2020 BRP earnings call that relate to side-by-sides.

  • BRP North American powersports retail sales increased 15% for FY2020 compared to mid-single digits for the industry
  • Side-by-side vehicle retail sales increased low thirty % compared to high-single digit %
  • International side-by-side retail sales increased by over 30%
  • Powersports Parts & Accessories revenue increased double digit %
  • Management anticipates line speed reductions or temporary closures to adapt to demand during the current crisis
  • The company is not issuing financial guidance for FY2021 because of uncertainty driven by the COVID-19 virus
  • About 20% of Can-Am’s US sales are in seven key oil states, which will be hit by the steep drop in oil prices

Learn more: Seekingalpha.com (Earnings call transcript)

SVR’s Take

BRP continued their long streak of strong quarters as they continue to gain market share in the side-by-side market. They have emerged as the number one rival to Polaris. In large part this is because of a steady introduction of new models that meet customer needs. They are the only company that has come close to matching Polaris’ pace of new model introductions.

However, both companies are going to be challenged by the corona virus crisis as well as the sharp drop in oil prices. The oil rich states were a drag on the market several years ago when there was a less severe drop in oil prices. Tariff and flooding troubles in the farming states only adds to the problem. The effects of the corona virus are unclear at this point but are likely to be severe. Furthermore, products like side-by-sides that significantly rely on discretionary income are likely to be disproportionately affected.

Marc Cesare, Smallvehicleresource.com

Textron Specialized Vehicles Recalls 20,000 Vehicles

Gas-powered Cushman Shuttle models from Textron Specialized Vehicles
Gas-powered Cushman Shuttle models that seat 2, 4, 6 or 8 passengers are part of the recall.

Textron Specialized Vehicles recently recalled over 20,000 gas-powered E-Z-GO, Cushman and Tracker brand off-road vehicles. An improperly secured generator wire can potentially lead to a fire. Recalled models include the E-Z-GO Express S4-Gas, Express L6-Gas, Tracker LX4-Gas, Tracker LX6-Gas and gas powered Cushman Shuttle models 2, 4, 6 and 8 sold between November 2018 and October 2019. Vehicle owners should immediately stop using the vehicles and contact Textron Specialized Vehicles for a free repair. The following recall information is from the Consumer Product Safety Commission. SVR maintains an ongoing list of small, task-oriented vehicle recalls.

Textron Specialized Vehicle Recall Information

Name of product: Gas-powered E-Z-GO, Cushman and Tracker brand off-road vehicles

Hazard: The starter generator wire can be improperly secured, allowing it to come into contact with the vehicle’s exhaust, posing a fire hazard.

Remedy: Repair

Recall date: February 13, 2020

Units: About 20,573

Consumer Contact: Textron Specialized Vehicles toll-free at 888-525-6040 between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. ET Monday through Friday, email at jcook03@textron.com or online (for E-Z-Go) at https://ezgo.txtsv.com, click on Owners, then Recall Information, (for Cushman) at https://cushman.txtsv.com, click on Owners, then Recall Information, and (for Tracker) at www.trackeroffroad.com and click on Recalls at the bottom of the page.

Textron Specialized Vehicle Recall Details

Description: This recall involves gas-powered E-Z-GO, Cushman and Tracker brand off-road vehicles manufactured from November 2018 through June 2019 with certain non-sequential serial numbers ranging from 3377720 to 3440924.  The serial number is located on the kick panel below the driver side seat. 

Remedy: Consumers should immediately stop using the recalled off-road vehicles and contact Textron Specialized Vehicles for a free repair.  Textron Specialized Vehicles is contacting all known purchasers directly.

Incidents/Injuries: Textron Specialized Vehicles has received 13 reports of melted and/or burned wires and electrical components and loss of vehicle function in some cases, including one report of fire.  No injuries have been reported.

Sold At: E-Z-GO, Cushman and Tracker off road dealerships nationwide from November 2018 through October 2019 for between $6,300 and $13,400.

Manufacturer(s): Textron Specialized Vehicles, of Augusta, Ga

Manufactured In: United States

Recall number: 20-073

SVR’s Take

This is a large recall representing basically a year’s worth of vehicle sales for these models. Luckily nobody reported being injured. The STOV market in general continues to experience a significant amount of recalls relative to total market sales. SVR’s latest market study showed that recalls accounted for anywhere from 11% to 47% of vehicles sold in North America. Even excluding the very large Polaris recalls during those years, the percentages remained high for the rest of the market. Marc Cesare, Smallvehicleresource.com

Yamaha Drive2 Golf Car Recall

Yamaha Golf Car Drive2 model
The Yamaha Golf Car Drive2 being recalled because of a front hub issue.

Yamaha Golf Car issued a recall of approximately 1,350 Drive2 golf cars because of an issue with the front wheel hubs. The hubs can crack and cause the front wheels to detach. No injuries have been reported due to the issue. The recall covers AC, DC and EFI models. The following recall information is from the CPSC. SVR maintains an ongoing list of STOV industry recalls.

Drive2 Golf Car Recall Summary

Name of product: Yamaha Golf Cars

Hazard: The front wheel hubs on the golf cars can crack causing the front wheels to detach, posing a crash hazard that could result in injury or death to the user or bystander.

Remedy: Repair

Recall date: February 13, 2020

Units: About 1,350

Consumer Contact: Yamaha toll-free at 866-747-4027 anytime or online at https://www.yamahagolfcar.com/ and click on the CPSC Recall Alerts tab for more information.

Drive2 Golf Car Recall Details

Description: This recall involves for model-year 2020 golf cars, including “Drive2 QuieTech,” “Drive2 AC,” “Drive2 EFI,” and “Drive2 DC.”  The vehicles were sold in various colors, including blue, green, red, gray, tan, silver, and white.  The model and serial number can be found on a label under the seat on the left side.

Model YearModel NameModel PrefixSerial Number Range
2020Drive2 QuieTechJ0B305606 – 306597
2020Drive2 ACJ0J301002 – 301100
2020Drive2 EFIJ0K103401 – 104680
2020Drive2 DCJ0C303701 – 304600

 Remedy: Consumers should immediately stop using the recalled Yamaha Golf Cars and contact a Yamaha Golf car dealer to schedule a free repair.  Yamaha is contacting all registered owners directly.

Incidents/Injuries: None reported.

Sold Exclusively At: Yamaha golf car dealers nationwide from June 2019 through December 2019 for between $6,100 and $6,300.

Distributor(s): Yamaha Golf-Car Company, of Kennesaw, Ga.

Manufactured In: Assembled in the United States

Recall number: 20-718

Polaris Earnings Call: Strong Annual Sales; Low 4Q Growth

Polaris Ranger XP 1000 utility vehicle
Models like the Polaris Ranger XP 1000 helped drive ORV sales.

Polaris Earnings Overview

In their recent earnings call Polaris management reported strong annual sales despite relatively low fourth quarter growth. Overall sales increased to $6.78 billion for the full year, an increase of 12% from last year. All segments grew with the ORV/Snow segment increasing by 7%. For the fourth quarter sales increased 7% to $1.74 billion despite North American powersports retail sales increasing by only 2%.  There was strength in Ranger/General side-by-sides, full-size ATVs and Indian Motorcycles unit sales. In addition, PG&A sales outside of the TAP business performed very well, up 22%. The company continues to be hampered somewhat by tariffs, a $90 million cost in FY2019. However, the management has been able to receive some exemptions and managed to pass some of the cost on to suppliers.

Polaris Earnings Call

The following are highlights related to small, task-oriented vehicles from the recent Polaris earnings call for fiscal year 2019 fourth quarter.

  • ORV segment (UTVs & ATVs) sales increased by 13%
  • ORV retail increased mid-single digits %
  • Side-by-sides retail up low single digits percent
  • ATV retail up mid-single digits
  • Management reports that the ramp up of 2020 side-by-side retail sales were slightly below expectations and dealer inventory increased as a result
  • They named a top executive from their ORV business head-up their electrification strategy
  • Company-wide average selling price (ASP) jumped by 8% on the strength of ORV and motorcycles
  • ORV ASP increased 10% with more unit sales and more side-by-side sales
  • The company boosted prices 3% to 3.5% on many models earlier in the year
  • Recently they reduced prices substantially on select RZR models
  • Global Adjacent Markets decreased 1% to $120 million with vehicle sales declining but PG&A increasing

Full Year Sales Guidance

  • Full year sales are expected to improve 2% to 4%
  • ORV/Snow segment is expected to increase low single digits percent with ORV up low single digits percent
  • The Global Adjacent Markets segment is expected to increase high single digits percent as all product lines should show growth
  • Side-by-side shipments to dealers should decline in the first quarter as management tries to reduce dealer inventory that increased slightly the last two quarters.

Learn more: Seekingalpha.com (Earnings call transcript)

SVR’s Take

One of the most interesting pieces of information coming out of the earnings call was the appointment of a Senior Vice President for electrification strategy. Management noted that the powersports industry tends to lag the auto industry by 5 – 10 years. They think there is currently an inflection point in the market with regards to electrification. In addition, they talked about making investments and see a need to become more competitive in their core powersports business as it relates to electrification.

While Ranger sales continued to drive growth, RZR sales were not as impressive. This is likely where the higher dealer inventory levels originated. The price reduction of some of their RZR S models is likely a reflection of increased competition in the market segment. Kawasaki and Honda are the last two entrants into the high performance segment which has now become quite crowded. In addition, Polaris lowered RZR XP Turbo prices. This reduction may be to remain competitive as well as an effort to create pricing differentiation between the XP Turbo and their higher priced Pro XP models.

Marc Cesare, Smallvehicleresource.com


John Deere XUV835 Gator UTV Recall

John Deere XUV835 Gator utility vehicle
These variants of the John Deere XUV835 Gator utility vehicle are part of the recall.

John Deere XUV835 Recall Summary

John Deere is recalling nearly 20,000 XUV835 Gator utility vehicles because the plastic sheathing on the throttle cable can melt and cause the throttle to stick. The underlying issue is improperly routed throttle cables. The recall covers models sold from November 2017 through July, 2019. Consumers should immediately stop using the vehicles and contact their local John Deere dealer for a free inspection and repair. The following recall details are from the Consumer Products Safety Commission.

Recall Details

Name of product: John Deere XUV835 Gator utility vehicles

Hazard: The plastic sheathing on the throttle cable can melt due to improper routing, causing the throttle to stick. This could result in the operator not being able to stop the vehicle, posing a crash hazard.

Recall date: September 4, 2019

Units: About 19,730 (In addition, about 840 were sold in Canada)

Description: This recall involves John Deere Gator utility vehicles with model number “XUV835” printed on the hood. “John Deere” and “Gator” are printed on the cargo box. The serial number is located on the frame directly above right front tire and begins with 1M0835 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 side-by-side seating for two or three people, depending on the seat option.

Serial Number Range

1M0835ExxxM010001 – 1M0835ExxxM020413

1M0835MxxxM010001 – 1M0835MxxxM022741

1M0835RxxxM010001 – 1M0835RxxxM023115

1M0835EAPMM560107

1M0835MECLM544103

1M0835MAPMM560108

1M0835RBCLM544102

1M0835RATMM560102

1M0835RAPMM560103

1M0835RAKMM560104

1M0835RAJMM560105 

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

Incidents/Injuries: John Deere has received reports of nine incidents. No injuries have been reported.

Sold At: John Deere dealers nationwide from November 2017 through July 2019 for between $13,860 and $22,930.

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

Manufactured In: U.S.

Recall number: 19-776

Report an Incident Involving this Product

SVR’s Take

This is a large recall relative to the total sales of John Deere gator utility vehicles, even though the sales stretch over nearly two years. There have been a number of throttle related recalls in the industry the last year including a smaller Gator XUV590 recall. This and other recalls continues the disturbing trend of a relatively high number of recalled vehicles in relation to annual industry sales. Smallvehicleresource.com maintains a list of small, task-oriented vehicle recalls.