Indian Motorcycles moved to a new stage yesterday in the company’s always-changing history, when Victory’s parent company Polaris announced they were buying the classic motorcycle marque.
In a press release, Polaris CEO Scott Wine said his company was excited to buy the famous bike name, and they figured they could deliver an improved Indian to buyers.
“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,” said Wine.
The news may come as a surprise to many, but in some ways it makes perfect sense; Indian has seen hard times since it first closed its doors back in the 1950s. Several owners have tried to revive the company since then, but none with the clout – or market success – that Polaris/Victory has. This could finally be the stability Indian needs to put the past 60 years of turmoil behind them.
From Polaris’s perspective, this is a great move. While some motorcycle manufacturers have been crippled by the global recession, Victory has simply grown stronger and stronger. The Minneapolis-St. Paul Business Journal reports the company just released solid first quarter earnings, with sales of $537 million instead of $421 million. What better way to use that extra cash than buying one of motorcycling’s most legendary names? The Indian label will allow the company to compete with even Harley-Davidson purists who might dismiss a Victory because it lacks a hundred years of history behind it.
Indian Motorcycles chairman Stephen Julius put it best.
“Polaris is the most logical owner of Indian Motorcycle,” Julius said. “Indian’s heritage brand will allow Polaris to aggressively compete across an expanded spectrum of the motorcycle market.”
Don’t expect a merger between Victory and Polaris in the coming months, though; the plan is to keep Victory as an autonomous unit, at least at this point.