POLARIS Industries continues on the acquisition trail, buying Kolpin Outdoors, Inc., a privately owned, Wisconsin-based company that is best known for its off-road vehicle (ORV) accessories, and branded and private label powersports accessories and outdoor lifestyle products. This acquisition adds further to Polaris’ growing parts, garments and accessories (PG&A) business. “Acquiring Kolpin Outdoors, Inc. creates a multitude of growth opportunities for our PG&A business, which is a key contributor to Polaris’ top-line growth and profitability,” said Steve Eastman, Polaris’ Vice President of PG&A. “Kolpin is a trusted brand among ORV riders, hunters, outdoorsmen and landowners who value the quality and reliability Kolpin builds into their powersports accessories.
"Their line-up of exceptional products and deep consumer and retail relationships will help Polaris expand their aftermarket accessories portfolio and enhance their traditional and online distribution channels”.
Founded in 1943, Kolpin products will continue to be sold under the Kolpin and Cycle Country brands, with customised private label products available through its Premier O.E.M. business. Speaking for Kolpin, President and CEO Tom Lutes said that “it gives all of us at Kolpin great pride to become part of the Polaris family. Although different in size, we share many of the same values...small town roots, quality products, lifestyle brand focus and a rich heritage in product innovation”.
In 2013 Polaris posted sales of $3.8 billion. Polaris specialises in snowmobiles and off-road vehicles, and having established a presence in the heavyweight cruiser and touring motorcycle market with Victory, the company added the Indian Motorcycle brand two years ago and launched the first models in a new range at EICMA in November last year.
This isn't the company's first play on the utility off-road vehicle sector, having bought the French Aixam Mega business four years ago, and having made a play for the on-road small electric/hybrid powered vehicle industry with the acquisition of American "neighbourhood electric vehicle" (NEV) manufacturer Global Electric Motorcars (GEM), and Bourran, France-based specialist Goupil Industrie SA, a manufacturer of on-road, commercial electric vehicles. Other strategic investments by Polaris in recent years have included acquisition of the Klim apparel brand.
The MIC is to stage its annual meeting in Washington, D.C., on May 19-20, 2014. The decision to host their event in the US capital is designed to give its membership (which now includes dealers as well as motorcycle manufacturers and aftermarket vendors) the opportunity to join the MIC’s ongoing mission to maintain a high profile for motorcycle industry concerns.
BMW of North America has recalled 4,453 motorcycles and scooters to replace the side stand switch - models affected include C 600/650, F 700/800 and R 1200 variants. BMW said the problem was traced to a tooling change at the supplier, Toyo Jiann Tsang Electric Co. Ltd. in Taiwan.
The MIC has launched what it calls its 'MAX database', a "New Model Attribute Matrix" designed to help improve product compatibility by providing information that can help manufacturers improve product capability by compiling, into one database, model specifications for motorcycles, scooters, ATVs and ROVs. The database is said to include more than 40 attributes for nearly all models from leading brands dating back to 2004.
American Honda has had to recall some 7,000 2013 CB/CBR 500s for replacement of rocker arm shaft retaining bolts that may have been manufactured incorrectly, allowing them to loosen during engine operation.