Polaris creates new on-road division

“Strategic growth” for Victory Motorcycles

By Motorcycle.Com Staff, May. 19, 2009
Polaris Industries is creating a new on-road vehicle division with Victory Motorcycles as one of its cornerstones.

Best known for its ATVs, Polaris is realigning its assets to maximize “cohesive and strategic growth for Victory Motorcycles and other on-road products and brands.” Polaris did not specify what other on-road products or brands will be introduced.

“Victory Motorcycles, with its strong brand recognition and customer loyalty, will be one of the major components of our new On-Road Vehicle Division that we’re announcing today,” says Scott Wine, chief executive officer of Polaris Industries. “This new division will support our efforts to be the ‘Best in Powersports’ and continue building on our strong on-road brands and global market leadership in this critical space.”

Polaris’ sales and corporate marketing vice president Mike Jonikas will lead the new division. Mark Blackwell, who has led Victory’s day-to-day operations for the past eight years, will continue as the new division’s vice president of motorcycles. Steve Menneto, previously Polaris’ director of North American Sales has been promoted to general manager of Victory Motorcycles.

Victory Motorcycles will be a key component of Polaris' On-Road Vehicle Division.“The Victory Motorcycles brand was essentially built from scratch through tireless work in the past ten years,” says Bennett Morgan, chief operating officer of Polaris Industries. “Now, by combining the diverse strengths of Mark, Mike and Steve to further develop our long-term strategies in the On-Road Vehicle Division, we are positioning ourselves for continued growth both in the motorcycle industry and, in the bigger picture, across all segments of the on-road marketplace.”

In its first quarter 2009 financial report released April 16, Polaris reported $312 million in total sales, of which only $13.8 million (4.4%) came from Victory Motorcycles. Off-road vehicles accounted for 69% of Polaris’ first quarter sales.