Can-Am Q2 Earnings

The new 2020 Maverick X3 X rs Turbo RR with a 195 hp engine
The new Maverick X3 X rs Turbo RR is one of several 2020 Maverick models that are powered by the new 195 hp Turbo RR engine.

Can-Am recently reported their earnings for Q2 fiscal year 2021. North American retail sales were stronger than expected across all categories given the COVID pandemic. Management reported revenues of $1,233.3 million, a decrease of $226.2 million or 15.5% which was primarily related to the COVID related temporary suspension of production. Revenues for the North American Year Round segment, which includes side-by-sides and ATVS, decreased by $113.4 million, or 15.4% to $621.2 million. Revenues decreased despite strong retail sales because sales were drawn from existing dealer inventory while production was lowered because of Covid.

Retail Exceeds Expectations

Similar to reports from Polaris, Can-AM Q2 earnings had very strong sales for side-by-sides and ATVs. Consumers turned to off-road riding as a socially distant alternative activity during the pandemic. In addition, discretionary income from money not spent during Covid inactivity drove sales. Similar to Polaris, Can-Am also attracted a lot of new powersports customers, but lost market share as dealer inventory was depleted while production greatly reduced.

Can-Am Q2 Earnings Highlights

The following are some of the highlights from the earnings call that are related to the small, task-oriented vehicle market.

  • Can-Am powersports retail sales were up 40% in North America (NA) and were strong in all categories
  • Company is constructing a new facility in Juarez, Mexico to meet side-by-side vehicle demand – should be online in fall 2021
  • Management reports doing  better than expected when first going into Covid
  • Can-am NA side-by-side retail up high 50% compared to industry up low 70%
  • Lost market share because high product demand and production shutdown depleted inventory.
  • NA dealer powersports inventory was down 51%
  • People turned to powersports in their free time under the restrictions of the pandemic
  • Can-Am attracted new powersports customers and customers from other brands with off-road vehicles leading the way – new to BRP customers up 51% overall for the quarter with up 74% for off-road
  • Usually around 10-15% are new customers
  • For the season, NA off-road retail increased low 20% for industry with Can-Am side-by-side up low 40%
  • Side-by-side retail strong internationally up almost 50% in EMEA and ~30% in Asia Pacific
  • Total NA dealer inventory down 51% and this represents down $1 billion of inventory
  • Management reports loss of maybe 1-2 points of market share as depleted inventory drove customers to other brands

Learn more: Seekingalpha.com (Earnings call transcript)

SVR’s Take

This was a good quarter for Can-Am and the industry in general. New customers with money to spend and in search for Covid safe activities turned to powersports and off-road riding in particular. The large portion of new to powersports customers gives the companies a chance to create more lifetime off-road customers as well as cross sell them other powersports products. It will be interesting to see if the strong consumer demand can be maintained going forward.

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

Multiple Polaris Recalls

Polaris Ranger XP 1000 utility vehicle
Models like the Polaris Ranger XP 1000 that helped drive sales is part of a large recall.

In April Polaris announced three recalls, two involving Ranger XP 1000 utility vehicles and one related to the PRO XD and several Ranger models. The largest recall covers 80,000 model year 2018 to 2020 Ranger XP 1000 and Crew XP 1000 utility vehicles. The clutch belt can break and damage the secondary clutch and fuel line and create a potential fire hazard. The second recall covers model year 2019 and 2020 Ranger XP 1000 and Crew XP 1000 and involves 7,000 vehicles. The fuel line can be misrouted above the bracket that protects the fuel line from a clutch belt failure, posing a fire hazard. The final recall involves model year 2019 PRO XD and several model year 2020 Ranger vehicles. The seat belts on the vehicles can fail, posing an injury hazard in certain crash situations. The following details are from Consumer Product Safety Commission.

Recall Details

Recall 1Recall 2Recall 3
Models
2018 Ranger XP 1000
EPS
2019 & 2020 Ranger XP 1000 & Crew XP 1000
Models
2019 Ranger XP 1000
EPS & Crew XP 1000
EPS
2020 Ranger XP 1000 & Crew XP 1000
Models
2019 PRO XD 4000D
AWD
2020 Ranger 500, 570, 1000, Crew 570, Crew XP 1000, EV, XP 1000
The clutch belt can
break and damage the secondary clutch and the fuel line, posing a fire hazard to the rider
The fuel line can be
misrouted above the bracket that protects
the fuel line from a
clutch belt failure,
posing a fire hazard 
The seat belts on the vehicles can fail, posing an injury hazard to the user if they were to be in a collision or tip-over incident.
Consumers should
immediately stop using the recalled vehicles and contact a Polaris dealer for a free inspection & repair.
Consumers should
immediately stop using the recalled vehicles and contact a Polaris dealer for a free inspection & repair. 
Consumers should
immediately stop using the recalled vehicles and contact a Polaris dealer for a free inspection & repair. 
80,000 UTVs recalled7,000 UTVs recalled10,500 UTVs recalled
See CPSC for affected
VIN information
See CPSC for affected
VIN information
See CPSC for more details
Recall number:
20-733
Recall number:
20-734
Recall number:
20-735
Sold Oct. 2016 –
Oct. 2019
Sold Aug. 2019 – Dec. 2019Sold Oct. 2019 – Dec. 2019

Polaris is notifying dealers and contacting registered owners directly. Consumers can contact Polaris at 800-765-2747 from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. CT Monday through Friday or online at www.polaris.com and click on “Off Road Safety Recalls” for more information. In addition, check your vehicle identification number (VIN) on the “Product Safety Recalls” page to see if your vehicle is included in any recalls.

SVR’s Take

Polaris appeared to have improved their quality and significantly alleviated their recall problems before this latest round. The Ranger XP 1000 is a very important vehicle for their Ranger business and an 80,000 vehicle recall is very large. This will only add to the difficulties of dealing with the pandemic. SVR tracks industry recalls on an ongoing basis.

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.

Polaris Covid-19 Response

Polaris PRO XD 400D AWD utility Vehicle
Sales of the new PRO XD 400D AWD from Polaris Commercial is likely feeling the effects of the Covid-19 crisis.

Polaris Covid-19: Operations & Dealer Response

The Polaris Covid-19 response is wide ranging and impactful. The management is suspending operations at eight plants across the United States, Mexico and Poland for a week. As part of the suspension the company is providing US employees with up to 10 days of pay. For dealers, they are allowing home delivery of products, providing product flooring support and covering flooring interest payments for off-road vehicles and motorcycles through May 31st.

Polaris Covid-19: Financial Response

On the financial side Polaris management announced a:

  • Drawing down of cash from their revolving credit facility
  • Reduction in capital expenditures
  • Suspension of share repurchases.

They have also withdrawn their financial guidance for the first quarter and full year.

SVR’s Take

This is not surprising given the current economic conditions brought on by the Covid virus. Similarly, BRP, maker of Can-Am products, withdrew their financial guidance for the year, suspended their dividend and drew down their $700 million revolving credit line. They are also considering reducing shifts and possibly suspending some plant operations.

Since the powersports industry in general is reliant on discretionary income, particularly in the recreational segment, they will be hard hit by the economic fallout from the Covid-19 virus. Polaris is more diversified than BRP with more commercial customers and products like Taylor-Dunn, Goupil, GEM and military vehicles. In addition, they have a large installed base and customers may choose to fix existing vehicles rather than purchase new ones. On the bright side Polaris points to the ability to maintain social distancing while still enjoying off-road vehicles.

Furthermore, the companies will be hit by sharply lower oil prices in important oil producing states and farmers still feeling the effects of the tariff wars. Several years ago these two sub-segments helped restrain growth in the side-by-side market. Oil prices were lower but not quite this low and farm income was low as well.

Marc Cesare, Smallvehicleresource.com

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

Arcimoto Pilots Rapid Responder

Arcimoto Rapid Responder electric-powered three-wheeler
Arcimoto Rapid Responder

Arcimoto and the Eugene Springfield Fire Department in Oregon started the first pilot program for the Rapid Responder vehicle. The Rapid Responder is a variation of the Arcimoto FUV designed specifically for first responders like fire, police and campus security departments. The three-wheeled, electric powered vehicle for emergency response offers a low carbon, small-footprint and lower cost option to traditional vehicles.

Rapid Responder Features

Arcimoto will disclose pricing and full specifications for the vehicle later this year when full production begins. As of now key specs include:

  • 2 passenger
  • 75 mph top speed
  • 100 city mile range
  • Roof-mounted equipment rack
  • Rear cargo compartment
  • Mini lightbar
  • Siren
  • 360-degree scene lights

SVR’s Take

This vehicle should find a nice niche in fire, police and security applications. The higher speed and range is an advantage compared to some of the first responder/security vehicles that the golf car and other low speed vehicle manufacturers offer. On the down side those four-wheel vehicles can carry a full stretcher. However, the Rapid Responder’s speed and small footprint should allow first responders to access the emergency scene faster. This can prove critical in many situations.

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