Should Polaris Acquire Club Car?

Club Car Tempo
The Tempo, Club Car’s fleet golf car introduced in 2018.

A recent article speculated that Ingersoll-Rand’s acquisition of Precision Flow Systems could pave the way breaking up the conglomerate. Club Car is one of the pieces that seems a poor fit with the rest of Ingersoll-Rand. If this is the case, then Polaris Industries might be a good suitor.

The Pros for Acquiring Club Car

A strong international brand

Club Car has a number of characteristics that match previous Polaris acquisitions. First, Club Car is a leading brand, if not, the leading brand of the three major golf car manufacturers. Second, it is an international brand. Third, Club Car participates, in part, in a fragmented industry. Therefore, Polaris would have an opportunity to use their resources to establish a more dominate market position. While the golf car fleet market is primarily a three company affair, Club Car, E-Z-GO and Yamaha, the non-fleet personal transportation vehicle (PTV) and light utility vehicle markets are more fragmented markets. Fourth, a large installed base of vehicles forms the basis for a substantial parts and accessories business. This was a key reason for the Polaris purchase of Taylor-Dunn.

Club Car complements Polaris vehicle portfolio

A large portion of Club Car vehicles sold are electric and would fit well with the Polaris EV portfolio. Other EVs in the Polaris portfolio include GEM, Goupil, Taylor-Dunn and Aixam. Polaris could spread their battery and EV powertrain development costs over a larger number of vehicles. In addition, Club Car’s end markets and distribution network would complement current efforts by Polaris. Their PTVs would complement the street legal GEM vehicles and their light utility vehicles would complement the more heavy-duty Rangers.

In addition, the golf manufacturer’s dealer network would expand Polaris’ footprint. While there is some overlap with the GEM and Taylor-Dunn dealer networks, there would also be a large number of additional dealer locations in the US and internationally. Furthermore, these dealers could be used to expand the GEM and Taylor-Dunn distribution. Club Car end markets such as golf courses, resorts, colleges, airports and other institutions would also take Polaris into new markets or broaden their vehicle offerings where they overlap.

The Cons for Acquiring Club Car

Is there enough growth?

Polaris looks for acquisitions in growing markets and/or traditionally strong but neglected brands that they can leverage. In the case of Club Car, the fleet golf car market has been declining for a number of years. The PTV and light UTV markets are growing but not at really high rates and are a smaller part of the business. Club Car isn’t necessarily a neglected brand but is somewhat lost among much larger Ingersoll-Rand businesses. In contrast, Polaris might be able to focus more attention and resources and make a strong brand even stronger.

Another acquisition to swallow

Polaris has already made a number of acquisitions in the past year, adding Boat Holdings and the Marquis-Larson Boat Group to start a new boating business. Acquiring Club Car would require more management time and focus to successfully integrate the business into Polaris. In addition, the purchase would likely add additional debt to their balance sheet. Polaris management might want to finish integrating their recent acquisitions before adding another piece and avoid increasing their debt.

What Will Polaris Do?

A strong argument could be made that Polaris should acquire Club Car if it’s for sale. The key questions are whether the management perceives if there is enough growth in the market, and do they think they can use their resources to drive more growth. The combination of the PTV and light UTV markets along with the parts and accessories business may offer enough potential. Timing may also be an issue. Any down turn in the economy, which some are predicting, would hurt Polaris. Discretionary income drives a significant portion of their sales.

Marc Cesare, Smallvehicleresource.com

Polaris Reports Another Strong Quarter

2019 Polaris Ranger Crew XP 1000 EPS
The 2019 Polaris Ranger Crew XP 1000 EPS in Sunset Red Metallic is part of the Ranger product line that recently commemorated its 20th anniversary.

Polaris Q4 2018 Earnings Overview

Polaris reported another strong quarter and full year with 4th quarter sales of $1.6 billion, up 14% from last year. Full year sales topped $6.1 billion, up 12% from the prior year. The ORV/Snowmobile segment reported sales of $1.1 billion for the quarter, an increase of 7% year over year. The ORV portion declined 2% as the company had a tough comparable with the prior year’s quarter. On a negative note, management expects tariff and trade war costs to total between $110 to $120 million company wide for fiscal year 2019. They will hit the ORV and Motorcycle businesses the hardest. A significant portion of the Q&A on the call revolved around tariff and trade war costs. A summary of the earnings call highlights related to the STOV market follow.

Polaris Earnings Call Highlights

  • Polaris side-by-side retail sales increased mid single digits % while ATV retail sales decreased mid single digits %
  • Average selling price for the ORV segment increased by 7% but were partially offset by tariff, logistics, and commodity costs
  • Polaris gained market share in the side-by-side market for the quarter and the full year
  • Management believes they are gaining share from Japanese competitors and Arctic Cat, now owned by Textron
  • Global Adjacent Markets revenue increased 4% to $122 million on the strength of commercial, government and defense and Aixam businesses.
  • Polaris increased wholegood prices 3.5% for the ORV/Snowmobile segment at the start of 2019 to counter tariff and trade costs
  • Revenue for ORV/Snowmobile and Global Adjacent Markets segments are expected to increase mid-single digits % for fiscal year 2019
  • Management does not expect to enter into electric powered markets until there is large consumer demand. Their response pertained to motorcycles but appears to be their general philosophy.

Learn more: Earnings Call Transcript (seeking alpha.com)

Textron Expands ELiTE Vehicle Lineup

Cushman Hauler 800 ELiTE
The new Cushman Hauler 800 ELiTE from Textron is powered by lithium batteries.

Textron Specialized Vehicles Launches Hauler 800 ELiTE Electric UTV

Textron Specialized Vehicles launched the Cushman Hauler 800 ELiTE electric powered utility vehicles. Samsung SDI lithium technology powers the ELiTE series. The Cushman Hauler 800 and 800X will feature the lithium battery pack. Textron is targeting golf course superintendents with these models.

ELiTE Powertrain

The Hauler 800 and 800X ELiTE powertrains feature a 48-volt AC drive with a 11.7 hp (peak) motor and two zero maintenance lithium ion batteries. In comparison, the existing electric Hauler 800 and 800X have a 48-volt AC drive with 4.4 hp continues motor and six deep cycle batteries.

Learn more: Textron.com

SVR’s Take

Textron’s initial introduction of the ELiTE lithium batteries in fleet golf cars was successful. As a result, utility vehicles used on golf courses are a logical extension of the program. Furthermore, from a macro market perspective, Textron is the first major manufacturer in the STOV market to make a strong push with lithium powered vehicles. While others have offered lithium batteries as an option on some vehicles, Textron is the first to incorporate them into key models.

Where is the Competition on Lithium Batteries?

Polaris diverse lineup sprinkled with lithium models

With the 2017 acquisition of Arctic Cat, Textron Specialized Vehicle business became an even more direct competitor with Polaris. Polaris has been active in the electric vehicle market for years. They invested in Brammo, and acquired Goupil in France and GEM and Taylor-Dunn in the US. However, to date, Polaris has not made a big push into lithium powered utility vehicles in the US. GEM vehicles have an option and the European based Goupil offers two lithium battery pack options for many models. Polaris briefly offered their Ranger EV with a lithium pack but the model was significantly more expensive. Their volume in fleet golf cars provides Textron with an advantage over Polaris when introducing lithium powered models.

Club Car enters the fray

At the recent 2019 PGA Show Club Car introduced its lithium powered fleet vehicle, the Tempo. According to sources, they are likely to introduce a lithium powered version of their Onward PTV later in the year. Like Textron, Club Car will have the advantage of production volume through fleet sales. They likely will follow suit and offer lithium powered utility vehicles in the future. A smaller manufacturer likely to follow the trend is STAR Electric Vehicles.

Marc Cesare, Smallvehicleresource.com

Yamaha Unveils UMAX Rally 2+2 Light UTV

Yamaha UMAX Rally 2+2
The new Yamaha UMAX Rally 2+2 light utility vehicle with convertible rear seating.

Yamaha Launches UMAX Rally 2+2 at PGA Show

Using the 2019 PGA Merchandise Show as a launch pad, Yamaha Golf-Car Company unveiled their new light utility vehicle, the UMAX Rally 2+2. Aiming for a broad swath of the market, the company is marketing the vehicle as crossover model for work or play. The vehicle’s “rugged” styling is less golf car and more closely aligned with the rest of the UMAX line. The UMAX Rally 2+2 features a lifted suspension, front brush guard, wide fender flares and a convertible rear seat. In addition, customers can choose between a electronic fuel injected gas engine or AC electric powertrain.

UMAX Rally 2+2 Features & Specs

Additional features and specs include:

  • Powertrain Options: Yamaha 402cc, single cylinder EFI gas engine or 48V, 6.7 hp AC electric motor with 350 amp controller
  • Rear coil suspension system with individual coil springs with dual compressions for standard or heavier loads
  • Front bucket seats
  • Basket storage area behind the front seats
  • Sealed under-hood storage compartment
  • In-dash storage pockets with anti-slip rubber mats
  • LED headlights
  • HybriCore steel chassis
  • Tru-Trak II fully independent automotive-style strut front suspension
  • Mechanical drum front and rear brakes
  • 23″ tires
  • 15 mph top speed

This model will be available at authorized Yamaha dealers in Spring 2019.

Learn more: Yamahagolfcar.com

SVR’s Take

Similar to many other UTV manufacturers, Yamaha is building out their utility vehicle line to drive sales growth. Marketed as a ‘work or play’ vehicle, this model is also trying to tap into the growing PTV market. The UMAX product line now includes four different models with most offering an option of gas or electric powertrains. Essentially, the UMAX Rally 2+2 adds a crew version to the lineup. The product line is versatile and can appeal to a wide range of commercial and consumer end users. The line offers varying levels of cargo and passenger capacity as well as light off-road capabilities.

Tracker & Textron Partner on UTVs/ATVs

The Tracker Off Road ATV & UTV model lineup

Partnership Overview

Tracker, a leading boat manufacturer, and Textron Specialized Vehicles are forming a partnership to produce UTVs and ATVs and sell them under the new Tracker Off Road brand. Tracker is part of the White River Marine Group that includes Tracker, Triton, and Ranger boats, as well as Bass Pro Shop and Cabela’s. The Tracker Off Road vehicles will be sold through select Ranger, Triton, and Tracker, and other independent dealers, as well as at Bass Pro Shops and Cabela’s locations. They will be built at the Thief River Falls, Minnesota plant that produces Arctic Cat vehicles.

Tracker Off Road Product Lineup

The Tracker Off Road lineup includes four ATVs and four UTVs. The ATV line includes entry level youth and adult models and two more models with more features and capabilities. This lineup should be able to target a wide swath of the ATV market. The UTV lineup includes a personal transportation vehicle (PTV), and three models currently sold under the Prowler nameplate: the Prowler EV, Prowler Pro and Prowler Pro Crew. The corporate presentation also mentioned the potential of selling the Wildcat XX and even snowmobiles through the same distribution network.

Learn more: Businesswire.com

SVR’s Take

The Textron Tracker partnership continues the trend in the UTV market of brands expanding beyond their traditional distribution networks. Typically, an established UTV brand partners with a traditionally non-UTV brand. They either re-brand existing models or develop similar but unique models to sell through the partner brand’s distribution network. Previously, major UTV brands have used this approach to gain access to farm equipment and outdoor power equipment distribution networks. In this case, Textron is tapping into marine distribution and outdoor apparel networks. In a similar vein, Polaris and Can-Am have recently acquired boating manufacturers. Primarily these acquisitions diversify their powersports portfolio. However, it would not be surprising to see them sell a select range of off-road vehicles through these marine networks. If the dealers believe they can make a profit and there is no territorial conflict with the traditional powersports dealers then these networks expand their geographic footprint and reach.

Marc Cesare, Smallvehicleresource.com

Polaris Launches New PRO XD UTV Line

Polaris PRO XD 2000D

Polaris PRO XD 2000D is part of a new work-oriented UTV line.

Polaris PRO XD 400D AWD utility Vehicle

The new PRO XD 4000D AWD from Polaris Commercial is the lines crew version.

PRO XD Overview

Last month Polaris Commercial launched their new PRO XD utility vehicle line. The line includes the PRO XD 2000D 2WD, the PROXD 2000D 4WD and the PRO XD 4000D 4WD. All three vehicles are purpose-built for work and are powered by a 898cc, 3-cylinder Kubota diesel engine. Polaris is engineered features to target three key areas they believe are necessary for work vehicles:  durability, serviceability and safety.

Durability

For durability they designed a rigid chassis, a rust and dent resistant composite bed that can fit a full-size pallet, a heavy-duty sealed driveline, a reinforced seat with heavy-duty seat material and 26″ job site tires.

Serviceability

To improve serviceability Polaris:

  • Extended the maintenance intervals to 200 hours
  • Improved vehicle fault alarms for low oil, parking brake engagement, belt burn and engine overheat to identify problems earlier
  • Designed side access for dipstick and air filter servicing
  • Use front air intake for cleaner air and longer filter life
  • Integrated Polaris Pulse Connector to simplify accessory installation and improve uplift possibilities

Safety

For safety the PRO XD vehicles include:

  • Orange seat belts and vehicle decals to improve work site visibility
  • Backup alarm, horn and parking brake
  • System where the vehicle starts only in Park with brake enabled
  • Wide foot wells for easier entry and egress
  • Speed limited to 26 mph or as low was 15 mph
  • Engine Braking System for hill descending
  • Fully sealed cab

Features and Specs

Common features and specs across all three vehicles include:

  • 24.5 hp, 898cc, 3-cylinder Kubota diesel engine
  • Engine Braking System
  • Automatic PVT transmission
  • 1,250 lb. cargo box
  • 2,500 lb. towing capacity
  • 11″ of ground clearance
  • 9″ of front and rear suspension travel
  • 26″ Duro DI-2042 Power Grip tires
  • 4-wheel hydraulic brakes
  • 55W low/ 60W high, LED Tail
  • Kevlar backed seat material
  • Tilt steering
  • Digital Gauge

The PRO XD 2000D AWD adds an all-wheel drive Ultra Turf drive system while he PRO XD 4000D AWD is the same but seats four and comes equipped with electronic power steering. The PRO XD 2000D 2WD starts at $14,599 the 2000D AWD at $16,099 and the 4000D AWD at $17,749. In addition, Polaris offers two standard accessories packages. The Work Package adds a poly roof, poly windshield, strobe light, air filter restriction gauge and wide angle rearview mirror. The Work Package with Cab System includes the same package plus doors, engine block heater, heater defrost kit and rear panel.

SVR’s Take:

The new PRO XD vehicles are an improved version of basic work UTVs and replace the lower priced and lesser equipped Brutus vehicles. Last year Polaris Commercial discontinued the lower priced and less featured vehicles of their Brutus line, another work oriented UTV line, due to lagging sales, . In contrast, they kept Brutus HD PTO Deluxe, a fully equipped vehicle with a starting price of $24,099 which apparently sold well compared to the lesser equipped vehicles. According to earnings calls, the Brutus line did not quite live up to high sales expectations. In part because in the commercial UTV segment there is a different type of customer, sales process and sales cycle. Typically, a powersports dealer network does not serve this segment well.

Also, the Brutus uses a Kohler diesel engine and the PRO XD vehicles a Kubota. In the past Polaris did not have as much success developing their own diesel engines. They eventually switched to outside vendors. This makes sense since their volume of diesel powered UTVs is small compared to their overall sales. Development resources are better used elsewhere, and their diesel vehicles are improved by using an outside vendor specializing in developing high quality diesel engines.

Honda Launches Talon 1000R/X Sport UTVs

Honda Talon 1000

The Talon 1000R and 1000X are Honda’s entry into the sport UTV segment.

Honda Talon 1000X

The Honda Talon 1000X is designed for tighter and rockier trails.

Honda Talon 1000R

The Honda Talon 1000R is for dunes and more wide open riding.

Honda Launches Talon Sport UTVs

Honda recently introduced the Talon 1000X and Talon 1000R UTVs. They are Honda’s long awaited entry into the sport UTV market. The Talon 1000X targets tighter wooded trails and rockier environments while the Talon 1000R aims for more wide-open dune riding. The models should be available in early 2019. I’ve seen sources mention January while others mentioned March. The first date might be production and the second could be arrival at the dealerships. In any case, the following specs are common to both versions.

  • 104-hp, 999cc, twin-cylinder, 4-stroke, SOHC engine
  • Six-speed dual clutch transmission
  • Power steering
  • Hill Start Assist
  • Hydraulic brakes with two 250mm discs;
  • Electronic Brakeforce Distribution (EBD) system
  • LED High/Low Headlights
  • About 1,500 lbs in weight
  • Tire sizes:  28x9x15; 28x11x15
  • Bolstered seats with harness pass throughs
  • Roof is standard

See the Talon in action:  Official Honda Talon 1000 video

Talon Model Differences

The two models have different widths, wheelbases, slightly different suspension systems with different suspension travel. a slight difference in suspension travel and different color options. The following specs are some of the key differences between the vehicles.

Pricing Update

In early January 2019 Honda announced pricing for the vehicles.

Talon 1000R — MSRP: $20,999; Availability: Spring 2019

Talon 1000X — MSRP: $19,999; Availability: Spring 2019

Talon 1000x Key Specs

  • Double-wishbone front suspension, Fox Podium 2.0 shocks with Quick Switch 3
  • 3 Link rear suspension with high-clearance trailing arm, Fox Podium 2.0 shocks with Quick Switch 3
  • Front/Rear suspension travel:  14.5″/15″
  • Red/Gray with red suspension accents
  • Gray/Blue with silver suspension accents
  • Width:  64.0
  • Wheelbase:  87.6

Talon 1000R Key Specs

  • Double-wishbone front suspension, Fox Podium 2.5 shocks with Quick Switch 3
  • 4+ Link trailing-arm rear suspension with toe link, Fox Podium 2.5 shocks with Quick Switch 3
  • Front/Rear suspension travel:  17.7″/20.1″
  • Red with red suspension accents
  • Green/Silver with silver suspension accents
  • Width:  68.4
  • Wheelbase:  92.7

Initial Reviews

The following are some initial reviews and analysis of the Talon from around the industry.

UTVonDemand

First Look Review (video). Provides fairly in-depth analysis of the engine and drive train and highlights many of the key features that the reviewer likes.

  • 999cc twin cylinder SOHC engine should provide good low-end torque
  • 270 degree firing order makes it run like a single cylinder
  • Based on Pioneer engine but bigger throttle bodies, bigger injectors, different heads and more flow
  • Claiming 104 hp but may have higher torque than other UTVs with more hp
  • Rubber mounted engine to dampen vibration
  • 3 Driving Modes:  Sport, Normal and Manual with paddle shifters
  • Hill Assist – Push dash button and it holds the vehicle from rolling back for 3 seconds
  • “Big deal” for this vehicle is the transmission has a dual high and low range so you can  go rock crawling without changing the gear set out
  • Claim extra strong driveshaft and axles
  • i-4WD system with electronic braking control to transfer power up front from a spinning wheel to the wheel with traction
  • 68.4 1000R  Front/rear wheel travel 17.7/20.1
  • 64″ 1000X Front/rear wheel travel 14.6/15.1- this may be a little short compared to competitors
  • Can use 30″ tires – 28″ are standard and custom designed by Maxxis
  • 15″ rims for bigger brakes
  • 1000X has 3 link system podium 2.0
  • 1000R has a 4 link for added strength and Podium 2.5;
  • More suspension tuning with 3 mode QS3 compression on both models
  • Power steering sport tuned for feedback and speed sensitive
  • Standard roof is designed with rain gutters and air vents for trailering backwards
  • Good seat sliders
  • Holders in doors and t-bar has nice latching system
  • Seats have pass throughs for harnesses
  • Pedals laid out for two or one foot driving and passenger has different places to place feet at speed or more relaxed driving
  • Cupholders with rubber for holding in drinks
  • Good cargo capacity and design
  • 1 yr warranty

Hondaprokevin

Provides specs in a nice layout and plenty of pictures

UTV Action

General overview of key specs and some commentary.

  • Probably will competitively priced around $20,000
  • Trail riders anywhere will like it but sand riders may wait for turbo option

UTV Driver

They provide a top ten feature list for the vehicles

  • Bolstered seats with harness pass throughs and harness bar
  • 15″ rims for larger brakes and 30″ tires
  • Sizable cargo bed with tie-downs
  • Dual Clutch six-speed transmission
  • Paddle shifting
  • FOX shocks
  • Hill Start Assist
  • 4-link trailing arm system on 1000R
  • Engine
  • Strong, durable build

SVR’s Take

Honda’s entry into the sport market has long been rumored so this isn’t much of a surprise. People may not have expected  two different models, but targeting the main sport sub-segments makes sense. The initial reactions are very positive and Honda’s reputation for quality and performance have riders expecting a good vehicle.

Increased Competition

Not surprisingly, Honda’s entry makes the sport end of the market now quite crowded. As a result, the competitive landscape raises the question of how Kawasaki will respond. They have been focusing more on the utility side of the market with their recent model introductions and have not made any really big changes with their more recreationally oriented Teryx product line. I would suspect they might come out with a new high-end sport vehicle in the next year and probably as a separate product line.

Cub Cadet Recalls Challenger 400 4×4

Cub Cadet Challenger 400 4x4

The Cub Cadet Challenger 400 4×4 is being recalled due to possible cracks in the fuel tank neck.

Challenger 400 4×4 Recall Overview

Cub Cadet is recalling their 2018 Challenger 400 4×4 utility vehicle because the fuel tank neck can crack, potentially leak fuel and create a fire hazard. The recall involves approximately 350 vehicles. Consumers should immediately stop using the recalled utility vehicles, store outside and contact an authorized Cub Cadet dealer or customer service representative to arrange for a free repair.

This is a very small recall but for a smaller manufacturer like Cub Cadet it represents a larger percentage of their overall vehicle sales. The Challenger 400 4×4 was launched earlier this year.  SVR tracks recalls of golf cars, PTVs, LSVs and utility vehicles. The following detailed recall information is from the Consumer Product Safety Commission.

Challenger 400 4×4 Recall Details

Name of product:  Cub Cadet Challenger 400 utility vehicles
Hazard:  The fuel tank’s neck can crack and cause fuel to leak, posing a fire hazard.
Remedy:  Repair
Recall date:  October 24, 2018
Units:  About 350
Consumer Contact:  Cub Cadet toll-free at 888-848-6038 from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. ET Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. ET Saturday and Sunday, or online  www.cubcadet.com and click on “Product Recalls” for more information.

Recall Details

Description:  This recall involves Cub Cadet model year 2018 Challenger 400 4×4 utility vehicles with model number 37BV3BHK010. The yellow utility vehicles have four-wheel drive with side-by-side seating for two people. “Challenger 400” and “4x4” is printed on both sides of the utility vehicle’s bed. “Cub Cadet” is printed on both sides of the front fender. The recalled vehicles were manufactured between May 2018 and August 2018. The model number and manufacture date in MM/YYYY format can be found on a label located on the seat frame under driver’s seat.
Remedy:  Consumers should immediately stop using the recalled utility vehicles, store outside and contact an authorized Cub Cadet dealer or customer service representative to arrange for a free repair. Cub Cadet is contacting all known purchasers directly.
Incidents/Injuries:  None
Sold At:  Independent Cub Cadet dealers nationwide from May 2018 through August 2018 for about $7,500.
Manufacturer(s):  Cub Cadet, of Cleveland, Ohio
Manufactured In:  United States
Recall number:  19-707

Yamaha Golf Car Recalls 145,000 Vehicles

Yamaha Golf Car Adventurer

Yamaha Golf Car’s model year 2016 to 2018 Adventurer vehicles are being recalled.

Yamaha Golf Car Adventurer Sport 2+2

The Adventurer Sport 2+2 is also part of the recall.

Yamaha Golf Car Drive 2

Yamaha Drive 2 is being recalled.

Yamaha Golf Car Recall Overview

Last month Yamaha Golf Car announced the recall of approximately 145,000 golf cars, personal transportation vehicles (PTVs) and utility vehicles. The accelerator pedal return spring can break on the vehicles, posing a crash hazard. The recall involves model year 2016 through 2018 gas and electric-powered golf cars, personal transportation and specialty vehicles. Model names include the Drive, Drive2, Adventurer and Adventurer Sport 2+2. Owners should immediately stop using the recalled vehicles and contact a Yamaha golf car dealer to schedule a free repair. There have been no reports of injuries related to the recall but 417 spring failures have been reported.

This is an extremely large recall and rivals those of Polaris from the past several years. Yamaha had a slightly larger recall earlier in the year involving many of the same models for a brake cable issue. SVR tracks recalls of golf cars, PTVs, PSVs and UTVs. In general, the small, task-oriented vehicle industry appears to have a recall problem. A significant number of vehicles are being recalled every year. The following detailed information on this recall is from the Consumer Product Safety Commission.

Yamaha Golf Car Recall Information from CPSC

Name of product:  Yamaha golf cars, personal transportation and specialty vehicles
Hazard:  The accelerator pedal return spring can break, posing a crash hazard.
Remedy:  Repair
Recall date:  October 3, 2018
Units:  145,000
Consumer Contact:  Yamaha toll-free at 866-747-4027 anytime or online at www.yamahagolfcar.com and click on the CPSC Recall Alerts tab for more information.

Recall Details

Description:  This recall involves the following model year 2016 through 2018 gas and electric-powered golf cars, personal transportation and specialty vehicles. The vehicles were sold in various colors including blue, green, red, white, tan and silver. The model and serial number can be found on a label under the seat on the left or right side.

Model Year

Model Name

Model Prefix

Serial Number Range

2016

Drive Models YDRA (Gas)

JW8

600101

614300

JC2

300101

312000

JC0

700101

706600

Drive Models YDRE (Electric)

JW9

600101

618100

JC3

000101

004700

JC1

700101

703500

Adventurer Model YTF1A (Gas)

JW6

800101

800600

Adventurer Model YTF2A (Gas)

JW7

700101

701250

Adventurer Model YTF2E (Electric)

JW3

100101

100300

2017

Drive² Models DR2A (Gas)

J0A

000101

010100

J0B

000101

016900

J0D

000101

007200

Drive² Models DR2E (Electric)

J0C

000101

011400

J0E

000101

002900

J0J

000101

002000

Adventurer Model YTF1A (Gas)

JW6

900101

900400

Adventurer Model YTF2A (Gas)

JW7

800101

800750

Adventurer Model YTF2E (Electric)

JW3

200101

200250

2018

Drive² Models DR2A (Gas)

J0A

100101

110400

J0B

100101

119200

J0D

100101

110600

Drive² Models DR2E (Electric)

J0C

100101

111700

J0E

100101

102600

J0J

100101

102700

Adventurer Model YTF1A (Gas)

JW6

910101

910500

Adventurer Model YTF2A (Gas)

JW7

900101

900800

Adventurer Model YTF2E (Electric)

JW3

300101

300250

 

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

Incidents/Injuries:  Yamaha has received 417 reports of incidents involving spring failures. No injuries have been reported.
Sold Exclusively At:  Yamaha golf car dealers nationwide from June 2015 through August 2018 for between $5,500 and $12,300.
Manufacturer(s):  Yamaha Motor Manufacturing Corporation of America, of Newnan, Ga.
Distributor(s):  Yamaha Golf-Car Company, of Kennesaw, Ga.
Assembled in:  U.S.
Recall number:  19-701

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.