Polaris Industries Inc. – manufacturers of Victory cruisers and touring bikes – announced April 19 that they had acquired Indian Motorcycles Limited. While the announcement was not made in Canada, I did find it in the U.S. and immediately started making calls. Oddly enough, the Indian Motorcycle representative I met “was no longer employed” with Indian and the telephone tag began.
However, the official press release stated:
“We are excited to be part of the revitalization of a quintessentially American brand,” said Scott Wine, CEO of Polaris Industries Inc. “Indian built America’s first motorcycle. With our technology and vision, we are confident we will deliver the classic Indian motorcycle, enhanced by the quality and performance for which Polaris and Victory are known.”
“We are delighted to have reached an agreement with Polaris. Polaris will utilize its well-known strengths in engineering, manufacturing, and distribution to complete the mission we undertook upon re-launching the brand in 2006: harness the enormous potential of the Indian brand,” said Stephen Julius, chairman of Indian. “Polaris is the most logical owner of Indian Motorcycle. Indian’s heritage brand will allow Polaris to aggressively compete across an expanded spectrum of the motorcycle market.”
While we don’t expect any immediate changes to Canadian Victory dealers, we suspect that when the 2012 or 2013 models roll out, Indian will become showroom floor mates with Victory.
Victory does offer a proven line-up of cruiser and touring models. The buzz among riders is Victory is the closest competition that Harley-Davidson has ever had to worry about. The product is comparable and the price competitive.
Keep your eyes open for the Victory trailer this month at it tours B.C. and offers the chance to try the 2011 lineup.