ArcitcInsider Forum
Follow ArcticInsider on YouTube Follow ArcticInsider on Facebook       

2020: Waddya Want From Arctic Cat?


(2/22/2019)

They laughed...Arctic Cat.

 

Soon Arctic Cat will unveil its 2020 model line of snowmobiles. Inevitably, like all model introductions, it will please some and disappoint others.

Two questions:

1. What do you want Arctic Cat to introduce for next year (or the following years)?

2. Why this?

There are no wrong answers here.



Comments (142):

yamahabandit says:
2/22/2019 7:52:00 AM

Whatever Cat brings to the game, I just hope and pray its been tested and retested, to keep the new model gremlins to a minimum.
Worst thing to happen would be a rush to market and a repeat of the 012 MY debacle.
Shawn says:
2/22/2019 8:56:00 AM

I would like to see a new gauge, a new seat, and snow check orders with more options and better pricing so someone who buys in late December does not get a much better price for the same sled than someone who snow checks in April. As always lighter weight would be nice.
Nick Freatman says:
2/22/2019 8:57:00 AM

Bring back a small trail sled like the Sno Pro 500/ZR 4000 RR. Those were the best trail sleds out there.
JimR says:
2/22/2019 9:05:00 AM

An updated 600 motor that is a little bit better on fuel would be one. Another would be to take about 30 lbs off of the sled. I have a 15 and an 18 and love them both but would love them more with less weight. I am buying a 2020 though regardless.
Snopro says:
2/22/2019 9:07:00 AM

Please build us a sled to replace the snopro 500. I believe these were the greatest sleds built in the last decade. Mine still puts a smile on my face every time I ride.

mopars&cats says:
2/22/2019 9:08:00 AM

My nephew's buddies, three of them 17-18 yr. olds. Went Polaris dealer and bought three new Indy 600's. Around $6500 each, Cat needs a great sled like this to get these kids out to buy. I think 10-11 thousand for a new Cat 600 with obviously more options is a lot. Get these younger folks, heck even the older folks something to buy that gets sleds out on the trail.
Bill Nemanis says:
2/22/2019 9:21:00 AM

It isn't like Arctic Cat to not lead the pack in the 600, 800 (and potentially the 850) classes with leading horsepower. For those who have 600's, perhaps a tweak to bring torque and horsepower in line with the new Doo 600 would be nice. The new 800 Ctec is a wonderful engine that isn't too far off of the new 850's but a larger version would be nice to realign the two stroke alpha heiarchy. Of course less weight is always nice so long as there is no sacrificing structural reliability. As for the digital gauge cluster, I find it very functional, provides all the important information a rider might need and then some. I also find it interesting that Doo has gone to an all digital gauge cluster as well. Perhaps since Doo is following Cat's lead, we won't hear so much about this in the future. Keep the product and inovation coming guy's. Let's put an end to the media love affair with Doo!
Derek says:
2/22/2019 9:51:00 AM

Did ya see the new Thundercat with brown ski spindles, WTF man. Cat needs to get the 600cc engine more inline with Doo 600 engine. A new big bore engine and better Fit & Finish and better graphics - just to name a few.

A 340cc - 440cc engine class would be nice.
ibleedgreen says:
2/22/2019 9:52:00 AM

A 3/4 size sled in that 300/340/400/440 range! At an affordable price to bridge the gap!!!!
Derek says:
2/22/2019 10:40:00 AM

Where are the pictures? Getting pics from my Instagram account but no other info?
Snocatxf says:
2/22/2019 11:26:00 AM

900 C-TEC triple based off of 600 C-TEC dual stage injection A light weight triple,also narrow up sled for the trail segments,already like new handle bar controls,C&A ski standard cat skis suck gps standard on gauge system get with the times on that offer trail sleds like zr 137 with 1.5 track standard ,4 wheels on all high speed trail sleds standard better storage options up on dash area like ski doo and polaris does,my opinion, All in all,I love my little kitty cat.
Bob says:
2/22/2019 11:46:00 AM

How about a functional drain plug for the chain case so we can keep up with basic maintenance without tearing the sled apart to do this task.
NO screws to take the hood off would be appreciated too! Dzus fasteners would work..
Jeff says:
2/22/2019 12:58:00 PM

Wow what a trimmed down lineup, and the Pantera dies again!!!
Am I missing something? Where is the naturally aspirated 4 strokes?
Pierre says:
2/22/2019 1:15:00 PM

I kicked and screamed for 20 years to bring back the Eltigre and it was back for five years and now it’s gone again panther gone and pantera too????what the hell do I have to order my own stickers and make my own Eltigre and what’s with the stupid riot name with blue colours?WTF??!!what is Textron doing to us !!!
Premium says:
2/22/2019 2:26:00 PM

Chassis durability and overall sled durability has really improved. I would like to see that maintained, but,

Chassis needs to be significantly lighter.

Chassis needs revised ergos (slightly more forward)

Spring order options!!!

Updated gauge with even more advanced functionality.

Class leading 2 stroke performance.
Derek says:
2/22/2019 3:27:00 PM

What the hell is Cat doing with these stupid names. Bring back the Kingcat, Wildcat, EXT, Pantera, Panther names, etc. No one wants to hear RIOT or SIDEWINDER (Yamaha)

Breaking news from CountryCat.com: the 800cc Ctec2 engine (next generation) has been totally revamped.
Seymore says:
2/22/2019 4:28:00 PM

Better colors, graphics and design (honestly they suck)
Less weight
Factory Turbo
Updated Gauge Cluster
Better marketing (really dropping the ball in this department)
LV says:
2/22/2019 6:45:00 PM

Does someone who knows the number want to call Cat and tell them their website is down? How can we look at the new sleds if the security certificate has expired?
G82 says:
2/22/2019 6:49:00 PM

Last years Alpha was a sign of hope. Now, Textron strikes (out) again.

The good people of TRF, the icons and legends that built the brand and the thousands of loyal customers that love it - don't deserve this.

It used to be called slash and burn. After being chased out of Wichita the new TSV puppet leadership is in choke, bleed and sell mode. Before being told to get out again...
Jeff says:
2/22/2019 7:21:00 PM

They are breaking the internet with all of us trying to get on at the same time.
Lol.
Purple’s gone and replaced with the return of gloss Grey primer. Hmmm
And all this hype in the Riot, one would think it would have a shorter version of the Alpha mono rail.
Andy says:
2/22/2019 7:51:00 PM

A new gauge with built in NAV. Better fit and finish around the gauge area. Better hardware. AC bolts strip easily. Bump the hp in the 600 to 135. An 850cc @175hp. Bump the 9000 Turbo hp to 220. Shorter Seats. XT ice ripper tracks on all 129" ZR 6000 models.
Tim Spencer says:
2/22/2019 7:57:00 PM

The arctic cat website is down for the unveiling of the 2020 sleds. EPIC FAILURE not to mention the spring only order system, to say I'm disappointed is an understatement.....
Dan J Heesacker says:
2/22/2019 8:05:00 PM

855 ctec!!!!
David says:
2/22/2019 8:17:00 PM

All I want from cat is solution to stop flames shooting out my two year old sled (2018 el tigre 8).
Ponoka Predator says:
2/22/2019 9:27:00 PM

A simple wish list:
1. Decent machined running boards on the M-series.
2. An 880 C-Tec engine.
3a. Get rid of the big bulky (chaincase/oil resivoir). Silly sight glass.
3b. Replace with a lightweight plastic oils tank (like old M8).
4. Simple chaincase thats easy to service and/or belt drive option.
5. 3.5 pitch lightweight tracks.
6. GPS
Gbarchives 6772 says:
2/22/2019 9:34:00 PM

Pre order only for 2020. Wow. 1983 all over again. Thumbs Down to calling a Cat a Riot.. El Tigre is dead. Things are looking grim. Cats should be named Cats. Did they bring the ATV name back to justify ending the sled production next year? I hope not.
Adam M says:
2/23/2019 5:38:00 AM

Just browsed the new lineup on Cat's site, which is up and running again. Much the same as recent years, some new forged spindles, all Alpha One beam suspensions on all mountain models. The Riot has some newness to it. I am more interested in the normal trail models, it now seems that ZRs are only available in 137s and the Sno Pro is now the low package, with the regular Cat IFP shocks, lowered ride height, and a 1" lug track. Like mention above, what is up with the brown accents on the spindles and slide rails?

Yeah, nothing in this lineup has me excited. Sure, I'm sure they will be the most refined Procross models to date but time for a little new blood in the lineup.
Mark H says:
2/23/2019 8:19:00 AM

John, your silence says it all. ??
Oldcrow says:
2/23/2019 8:32:00 AM

I want the old Arctic Insider back that treated us with stories and updates of our beloved passion
Tim Spencer says:
2/23/2019 9:06:00 AM

So country cat is excited because there sled inventory is low. The spring only order system is designed for dealers to reduce their inventory for less carryover... Good for them but the consumers have to spring order if they want a new 2020 sled. EPIC Failure again by the brain trust in TRF. If cat was to gain market share they need to figure out their website and come up with a logical solution for unveiling their new models. I agree with most people that the naming of the sleds is not even close to the heritage Arctic Cat has had for many years.. Riot? Really.... At this rate Textron will be selling soon IMO
Bulldog says:
2/23/2019 10:55:00 AM

How about something as simple as an un-obstructed gas tank opening. Filling with a gas can puts gas all over the seat and you have to shake the sled to get it all the way full. Bring back the top end in the 2 strokes. Forcing us flatlanders to buy 137” tracks is only going to slow the already slow 6 and 800’s down even more. Better hardware for less problems while riding including idler wheels that don’t come apart. Linq type of system for accessories. Cell phone charging station built into sled / goggle bag area so you can recharge your phone between stops. Electric start that actually works. Current design fails regularly. Giving us some creature comforts the other guys don’t have will put more butts on AC sleds. Get-R-Done!
Arctic buster says:
2/23/2019 11:29:00 AM

I agree with Old crow, bring us the stories and insights that we all looked forward to all year long. Of all the other comments this is the only one that we have a chance of getting as John has listened to us in the past. I also realize that with the change of ownership at AC that John's access may have been limited now.
In a previous post there was mention of Roger leaving, I had assumed it was our beloved Roger Skime, anyone know anything about this?
Brett says:
2/23/2019 11:35:00 AM

Going way out on a limb here.... If Cat built a sled just a little bit bigger than the ZR 200 and used a 340cc fan cooled engine, I'd be tempted to go for a new one, and I haven't bought a new sled since 1995. I have no interest in riding long distance any more. The last few years my riding has only been on my vintage sleds. We cruise the local trails and play around in the fields, staying within 10 miles or so of home. I think a "ZR 340" would be a blast to play around on the way I ride now.
Phil says:
2/23/2019 12:00:00 PM

The spring order only is interesting. They are waving a white flag on market share but are making a decision to make the most profit. Kind of like a farmer giving up marginal acres/cows to concentrate on the more profitable ones. There is no catching Ski Doo for market share bragging rights at this time
jerry says:
2/23/2019 12:30:00 PM

I've been a diehard cat guy since I was 6. Growing up in rural Alaska, friends of my parents down the road were the local Arctic Cat dealer in McGrath. I learned to ride on a 71 Lynx with a blistering 8 HP. One thing I've always admired about Cat, being the smallest manufacturer is they tend to blaze their own trails instead of copying the other guys. For that reason, I hope they dont jump on the 850 band wagon....not to say they cant bring back the ZR 900 twin. That would most definately take the wind out of Pullarrys and Skid-doof's sails...and maybe their sales too ;~) Thanks for leaving me some space to vent, Mr Sandberg.
Snowowl says:
2/23/2019 1:23:00 PM

I was secretly hoping for a little sportier version of the Pantera, with Iact and maybe the turbo engine as an option. Sadly, it now looks like Cat is going to follow Poo over the cliff and build two strokes only; maybe the latest agreement with Yamaha is that they sell 4 strokes and Cat sells 2 strokes? The Yamaha release on Mar. 5 is going to be interesting - will there be a 4 stroke Yamaha "Riot"?

I can't believe it took Cat this long to figure out that they need to build to order, the dealers have been flooded with non currents for years, especially in this area which has not had good snowfall in five years. Nonetheless, as a 4 stroke rider there is nothing for 2020 that will pry out my wallet so I'm looking forward to a more exciting release in 2021.

My final comments are that I can't believe they went to the trouble of updating the CTEC 800 with new cylinders, pistons, fuel rails etc but did not punch out the bore by a couple of mm to give the screaming faithful an 850 or so. And lastly, I will reserve judgement on the brown trim until I see it in person where I really hope it looks a lot better than in the photos.

Thanks for the great website. I hope we still have our Insider.
Mark H says:
2/23/2019 1:53:00 PM

I would like to see serviceability improved. Make oil changing more convenient for both the engine and the chaincase. The new side panels are great. Rear suspension needs to be on par with ski-doo. Improve the fuel mileage. 13 mpg just doesn’t cut it any longer. If you build to order, then provide some options for customization. The Alpha shows what you are capable of. I hope this product line helps with clearing out leftovers and doesn’t send cat owners to other brands.
Ken says:
2/23/2019 3:39:00 PM

I'm totally fine with what Cat is doing. I like the reduced line. Having these bad winters, except for this one, dealers have way too much inventory and it costs them money to have these machines sitting there. Not good for them or for the consumer. That's why Cat dealers have been dropping. Cat shoved way to many sleds down their throats. I have heard the other companies do the same thing. If you want a 2020 then order it. I don't see the big deal. To me they are offering something for everyone. If you don't see one for you then I don't see any problem with buying an earlier model that you want. It may not have the new motor, panels and other updates but I know you will still love it. I still love my 2014 XF8000. It has been bullet proof. Of course I love my new 2019 8000 LTD iAct more though. Every time I ride these, and see people on other machines, I wonder why they are not riding Cats.

Ok, on to the wish list. One thing I would like to see is Cat bringing back the Cat names and not these new ones. I'm also not crazy about the new colors but who knows the new ones may grow on me. I guess I'm just old fashion and still love the all black with purple and a little green accent like the old days.

Last is, and more important, I hope more dealers come on board like the old days since they will not have to stock so many sleds. This will help with service, PG&A and market share.
Akramer says:
2/23/2019 5:54:00 PM

I'm a little scared about the fact that John hasn't done any inside stories this season... and he usually has tons of info and pictures about the new stuff by now. I hope your just busy with work or something!
Mark says:
2/23/2019 6:12:00 PM

I agree with pretty much all of your posts, Catties! I grew up with Arctic Cat thanks to first Arctic Cat we had in the family for me and my brother in early 1970s with the Kitty Cat (although we had a 1970 Ariens and a 1969 Fox Trac Special. I even drove those before Kitty Cat and I was not even 10 yet (age 5 I started in 1969). Anyway, grew with all the cat models and love the cats mostly in 20th Century and I see slowly it was dying off.

I am really disappointed when they started with Norseman and then Alpha One, and now Riot. Come on! We need to have a RIOT at Textron Arctic Cat! If the ATV owners complained so well, we need to do the same with the snowmobiles! Riot sounded like it belonged to Textron Bad Boys ATV brand. Arctic Cat should never have been sold to Textron in first place!

BRING BACK THE PENTERA, BRING BACK THE ELTIGRE, BRING BACK many beloved CAT names! I can go on more. Panther, Cheetah, Jag, Jaguar, Cougar, Lynx (still running), Thunder Cat (still running), and make those names easier to say. Not like this, letters, CC, model name, and initials. Too much! Make it simple like the way they did it. As the Late John Houseman used to say, "They made money the old fashioned way, they earn it!" I twist this-- They made the sleds the old fashioned way, they ride it!

There are more cat names never have been used before. Ocelet, Tiger (not the Spanish), Cross Cat, Leopard, Margay, Fishing Cat, and more. Use your head, AC! Go check out National Geographic Society online!

The spring order only is a dead idea. You see, if only sold in Spring, how can others know about it or rather to wait and see. Many customers are like that. I am like that. I prefer wait and see and I am the kind prefer to buy in the store. Not Amazon kind of guy.. well, same with spring order. it is like ordering on Amazon! PFFT!

I also like to see some bit lower cc engines. 340s, 440s.. like the way it used to be. Not just as Jag/Lynx of yesteryear but can be powerful. I want to see they also make it 4/5th size. Many are too big. I am 5' 2.5" and I didnt like the Polaris Evo because it says its for beginners. It is not true smaller size because of the cowl, tunnel, etc. look just like the regular size.

How about some thing classic to return.. called leaf suspension? Lower!! I don't like it too high and too big! I want that 70s size back! Ahh.. that good old Pentera was a favorite (1977 we had). To me it is like the 57 Chevy Bel Aire is to cars as Pentera of its time is to snowmobiles. Sorry so long rant.

Arctic Cat should have gone into its own and not sold to Textron. Should have bought an RV company because RVs was up since 2001 big time and good money making. Could have used that and bought a boat company, Should have bought OMC (Evinrude and Johnson) and all. And bring back watercrafts. Either do this or be gone!

A mighty good feeling comes with the Cat? Nope. Not feeling good. Thumb up? I am giving thump down-twice.
Black Magic says:
2/23/2019 6:15:00 PM

How able bringing back the 600 Triple and a 900 Triple
These Engines Rocked and bullet proof !!
nick ryan says:
2/23/2019 7:52:00 PM

What I was hoping to see was a lightweight 300cc 2 stroke with the alpha rail. Super light and fun for kids 14 to 94. Priced around $5K. I'm really surprised they canned touring sleds and 129ers. Did they tweak the 800? If so, let's hear about it! Riot name is a loser, sorry. Oh, and it's far from the 1st true 50/50 crossover. They've been around for years. I'm a little worried about the order only philosophy, I really hope it helps and not hurts dealers. I love Cat, but was really let down for 2020..
Arctic Fan says:
2/23/2019 11:49:00 PM

Seymore - I am not employed by Arctic, but I do live in Thief River. From the talk I have heard, the entire marketing team was put off a month or so ago. If that is in fact true, it is very sad, and is a huge loss for Arctic. It shows that the people running Arctic now don’t understand how vitally important marketing is in this business.

Arctic buster - I can tell you that the talk about Roger Skime leaving Arctic are true. It has been kept very low-key. I’m sure the higher ups at Arctic were trying to play it off that he chose to retire, but that is not the case. In fact, Arctic put off quite a few people at the end of 2018, many who had worked there for 20+ years, including Roger, and then they apparently held a “retirement” party for them at the end of January. Again it seems that the people who run Arctic now don’t understand how crucially important these people are to the company. I was certainly horrified when I heard the news they had fired Roger, the heart of Arctic Cat and The Godfather of snowmobiling, but I hear he continues to go to races and help out at the plant and race shop. If that doesn’t show you what kind of guy he is, I don’t know what will. However, putting off important people such as Roger does make me worry for the future of the company. Only time will tell...
sledhead says:
2/24/2019 2:14:00 AM

New trail chassis designed around new 3 cylinder light weight 900-1000cc 4 stroke NA engine. Chassis design light weight, but top of 4 stroke class in handling and ride. Engine mounted low as practical, for low center of gravity, ease of maintenance, spark plugs, battery removal, oil changes, valve adjustment, chain tension. Steering ratio optimized for heavier nose weight to allow much less fatigue with aggressive skis or carbides in crusty snow conditions. Expanded cooling capacity for 4 stroke engine. Chassis (heated seats available again) will be used for ZR style solo riders, solo touring, or extended version for 2 up touring. New gauge unit with GPS or capable of bluetooth pairing with smart phone for navigation option.

New 900-1000cc 4stroke triple engine, to compete with 900ACE. Drive by wire throttle body. Has different throttle modes for sport 125-135hp, economy, or new driver. Engine has to be reliable to start in extreme cold and lighter than the 1056cc. The sled can be a big miler sled for young and old in the family. Who knows years from now if 2 strokes will be pressured even more by the epa in whatever administration is in charge in the US. Might not want to get caught with pants down.

2 strokes are fun but are throwaway engines. Had 91 prowler, lost plating in cylinder, 98 zr 600 carb stator failure, 01 zr 600 efi apv problems and a slug, 99 panther 550 stator came loose from crankcase and ruined stator and crankcase. Repaired then less than 2000 miles later crankshaft snapped in half in center section. 94 tcat was a rocket, counterbalancer bearings and water pump. 09 Z1 only a spark plug after 10 years. 14 XF9000 no engine issues knock on wood makes my hands and arms sore holding on (don't ride faster than your angels can fly).

Bring back a 129" suspension option with storm 1.50 track in ZR models, new rear suspension design with progressive rate geometry or linkage for front and rear arm. Needs to transfer weight to pull skis and hook, but also corner in sweeping turns under power.

129" does have a fit, it absolutely out corners a 137 in tight twisty trails. 129 = transfers weight better & follows curves, 137" = less transfer and more of point and shoot.

Heres an easy one 1.50 storm 150 track option on all T-Cat and ZRs. I put a CAMSO storm 1.50 track with 192 studs 1.575 inner belt, 1.450s on outside on my 14 XF9000 ltd orange. Engine runs much cooler than the ripsaw II which was also studded with 1.450 192 studs. No ice scratchers needed this year even running slow in hard pack on tight twisty trails. Top end seems better, handling minimal difference, fuel economy same or better, loose snow much better, packed snow much better, acceleration no comparison much better.

Find a new 2 stroke stator manufacturer or fire the designer.

Bring back orange, no brownish copper or snow camouflage.

Ignore 850cc class, it's a fad, build a 900cc or 1000cc for mountain "Alpha Highmark".
Karl says:
2/24/2019 7:21:00 AM

I feel that Cat dropped the ball on the mountain line up. One 800 engine in three trim levels, all on the alpha rail. Where is the 600 and King Cat? Marketing is a joke, same as always - they should all be skidded. Sidewinder MTX's sell up here very quickly, but yet even Cat doesn't push the King Cat, how do they expect the buying public to know it's a Sidewinder with better clutches? Cat builds some great product, but they need to be more in touch with the customer base. From the mountain rider's standpoint, we've been asking for better running boards for YEARS - I would have liked to purchase an Alpha 1 King Cat, or at the bare minimum, convert mine. Wife is due for a new 600 mountain sled, guess Doo or Polaris will be getting my $$$.
This industry revolves around passion and excitement - the new bean counters running the show should maybe ride a snowmobile if they want to sell them...
Ken says:
2/24/2019 8:31:00 AM

Is that true that Textron actually fired Roger? I thought he just semi retired. If they actually "fired" Roger then Textron can kiss my &*$. If that's true then no wonder we have not heard from John. He is probably sick and tired of their idiotic corporate ways of thinking. I now think that is why Tucker also retired. They both saw the writing on the wall with these idiot Textron people. I'm sick and tired of these corporate idiots that think they know what they are doing. The truth is they know nothing. They are just out for themselves. Me, Me, I, I.

At first I was somewhat Ok with Textron purchasing Cat otherwise Cat would have been gone. Now I'm kind of wishing Cat would have gone away. At least I would still have the memories, passion and love of Cat. And this is because of the GREAT MR. SKIME! Knowing, if that is true, that Mr. Skime was fired takes all that away.

If I am wrong then I apologize for the rant and take back what I said. If true I'm totally heart broken and mean every word I said.
Jason says:
2/24/2019 11:01:00 AM

I am disappointed with 2020 offering. But cat has a real problem. I know just a couple dealers in my small area there are literally 200 left over 17, 18,19 models. And that is just a few dealers. Cat this year is doing same exact thing Yamaha did last year. What's left over? 4 strokes, touring, and 129 trail sleds. The hope is that cat and yamaha have big things coming soon, after the leftovers are gone
Puss600 says:
2/24/2019 12:06:00 PM

HUGE mistake not offering a 129 track!!!! So glad i bought a 19 6000 sno pro 129. Love the sled!!!! Those brown spindles and rails look like s**t!!! How about putting some green hoods on these sleds instead of the same old black.Wonder if cat will still be around for their 60th birthday?
Flintstone says:
2/24/2019 1:25:00 PM

Bullet proof,proven,fine tuned line up.. nobody else has it.
Couldn’t ask for much more then that!! I’d lay my money down on any model cat offers with confidence that I’m getting a solid sled..

You couldn’t give me a 850 poo or doo. The cats right now are the best ever

If I needed a 2020 I wouldn’t hesitate to pull the trigger on any of the new cats. I think they are that good.

This is a strong line up
Matt says:
2/24/2019 1:37:00 PM

Ive had a few days to look over the lineup and read all the feedback on many sites. The way I see it is that Cat is focusing on segments of the market that will sell the most sleds. Short track trail sled sales has been in the toilet for many years due to the lack of snow in many areas. Dealers seem to have plenty to go around at huge discounts if you are in the market for one. Hopefully with the decent year we have going right now things will start to change and next years line up will reflect. With any luck , they will clear out all the remaining inventory and have some big things to release for 2021. Textron took on Arctic Cat with intensions of making a profit and so far it hasn't happened.

I wont lie, Im a bit disappointed in the lineup, but Im honestly not in the market for a new sled anyway. If we would have had another winter with no snow, I would be looking to sell. Its hard to justify $10-15,000 for a toy that may or may not get used.

Getting rid of the holdovers should help sales and with any luck bring up the used sled prices. Why snow check a new sled when you can have a new hold over for sometimes close to half the price.

Just my $.02 and I hope these moves help the business so they can keep building the sleds we love. Looking forward to the return of John with some more info on what is happening behind the doors in TRF.
Maindihar says:
2/24/2019 9:48:00 PM

I like the line up and business decision. I’ve seen too many non-currents being purchased at low prices. That is not a good business model. I love the ride performance of our cats. My only complaint is the weak starter on the 2016 eltigre. Just doesn’t want to engage. Stay focused and loyal. We still ride the best sleds.
Browndogg says:
2/25/2019 7:36:00 AM

Roger Skime, Kirk Hibbert and Joey Halstrom were let go at the same time.
MK says:
2/25/2019 8:31:00 AM

I must be in the minority group. I could not be happier with the procross chassis, it performs very well and is strong. Refining this the last few years has been better than a new chassis every other year.
One thing about the passionate cat faithful, they will never be happy no matter what is built and who builds it. So much negative I read on so many different sites, it does get old. And so much speculation and assumptions that gets old as well. If i had dollar for every time I've read Textron only wants ATV/UTV, will sell off the sleds, kill the sleds, dont care about sleds, ruining sleds....blah, blah, blah....How does anyone really know this? They have owned the company for what, 2 years? They or any owner will never achieve everything everyone wants in 2 years! Maybe they will drive it in the ground, who actually knows, but 2 years wont wipe out debt, clean out left overs, bring new chassis and all new never seen technology.
Fact; you want to sell more sleds? The insane prices take the "family" out this 2-3 month sport. The reason the left overs are selling so well are the lower prices, if these were still 14k-17k you think they would be going down the trail or sitting in crates still? I know the one i just purchased last week wouldn't be in my garage if it wasn't for the reduced price i got it at. And i guarantee that is one category i'm not in the minority of. All this tech is great but 14k plus for 2-3 months fun is not. Ill take refined, well built, well handling proven chassis and engine at a lower cost due to tooling be paid for than a new improved, untested higher cost any day.
Just my 2 cents.
Captain says:
2/25/2019 8:37:00 AM

Major reduction in models was necessary. They had so many variations of crosstour, crosstrek, xf this, that and the other thing, it was nearly impossible to figure out what they all were. It is disappointing there is only 1 4 stroke offering and the only touring sled is a lynx? 1 bearcat model with the decades old 570?
I have to believe this is a one year thing to get the glut of remaining inventory sold off, but man, there isn't a lot to get excited about.
I'm not disappointed there isn't a larger 8xx motor or no new chassis. I think that is the strongest chassis on the market right now. Sure it could be a little lighter, but that also sacrifices durability.
Derek says:
2/25/2019 10:06:00 AM

If this is the direction that Textron/AC will be going, what will happen with their 2020 upcoming SX and XC race sleds and the racing program? A lot of racing technology has made its way onto the consumer sleds, which made them better.

The Hibbert's (Kirk & Tucker) have been very very quiet even Roger Skime and Houle and Hallstrom. If AC wants the best sleds in the market, they need the above mentioned in the game.
Rob says:
2/25/2019 11:13:00 AM

It's sad but kinda had to happen. I think we'll see more of these lean years before things get better. IF they ever get better.
Seymore says:
2/25/2019 11:28:00 AM

Snow check only for the win. If you want the sled then snow check it, if you can't snow check it then you don't want the sled. I'm tired of snow checking and then seeing dealers blow out the same sled I just purchased a few months earlier undercut my resale value. Snow check only holds resale value, this is a fact.

As far as the firing goes, I'm good with it. Cat was sh*tting the bed and failing as a company, people deserve to be fired for that. Why in the world would you keep a staff that drove a company into the ground that it had to be bought out. Textron pushed the alpha, phenomenal sled and has now taken that design across the mountain sled line up because it works. I have faith in the up coming years that Cat will finally have the funding and staff to get things done the right way.
50 year fan says:
2/25/2019 11:38:00 AM

A reasonably priced 600cc trail sled, nothing fancy just an affordable sled that I don't have to refinance my home to buy. Something that is comfortable to ride, not race, or jump just ride 100 miles a day without breaking the bank or back. With limited snow how can anyone justify 12-15K to sit 9 mouths a year. I bought a 1995 ZRT for 7K and a 1997 ZR 440 for 6700. Yes I know its 2020 as well.
Erik says:
2/26/2019 3:45:00 AM

In the wide world of Arctic Cat we all have our separate needs and fonds to make it happend.

A recycling program kan be the key factor to send leftovers back to factory and make spareparts instead.

When you relising new products on the Interwebs, just make it right the first time, doing it wrong has huge impact in brand trust.

we want to see full line up as always, dont care if they are doing just one sled of each and have spring order. or a rebaged 19, keep them at the factory and mark them with serial number as they leave...

Textron can not be as brand loyal as us cat heads, they have a factory to run, people has to get payed in the end, And I can tell you that there is nothing wrong with the products.....We are just short of buyers.

Wanna see a 2020 Norseman x 8000, just see Arctic cat norway book of faces.

In the wide world of Arctic Cat.
artdcat says:
2/26/2019 6:27:00 AM

Remember when there were 50+ manufacturers? Remember when the existing 4 manufacturers were making over 250,000 sleds between them? Remember when young people rode snowmobiles? Remember when.... I remember working at Arctco in 1986...ahh the good ol' days.....

Per ISMA, in 2018 there were ONLY 124,786 snowmobiles sold worldwide;
53,179 were sold in the U.S. and 47,024 were sold in Canada. The average age of a rider is 45. Hard to make a living off of 53,179 sleds- hence the high prices. Hard to attract new riders to the sport because of the expense involved- add up the cost of the sled, trailer, 4x4 tow vehicle, gear, gas, travel time, hotels, food...it ain't cheap.

The industry is dying a slow, painful death and it will not recover. There's no point in *****ing about what Arctic Cat does or doesn't do, what Arctic Cat needs to do to compete with Ski-Doo. Arctic Cat needs to survive.

Coming out with umpteen models is super costly for development, production, marketing, sales, etc. Dealers don't want to order sleds, they'd rather have empty show rooms than to finance a ton of carry overs, they need to survive too. Consumers (you) don't buy sleds like you did 20 years ago- ride it for a season and trade it in on a snow-check sled in the spring. Those days are over.

Cutting costs is where it's at right now and Textron is trimming the fat whether we like it or not. Tough decisions are being made but you have to take the emotion out of it and understand the state of the industry and business.

We are all enthusiasts but take a look at the facts. Just be happy you can still get a new model Arctic Cat, that you can still get parts from an Arctic Cat dealer and that you still have trails to ride on.
CATMAN says:
2/26/2019 6:50:00 AM

Well said ARTDCAT
What i dont get is why so many people think they need a new chassis,The procross chassis. They've been great. very few problems,handle great.ride good.Oh and put a 600hp turbo in a rev chassis and see how it does. enough said

John seen you at the ride with the champs dinner, but you were busy talking or eating, Didnt get a chance to chat with ya
artdcat says:
2/26/2019 7:59:00 AM

Thank you, CATMAN.
Erik says:
2/26/2019 8:55:00 AM

@ artdcat.

You are so true in what you are writing.. But. The question now is how to take marketshares in existing market. The quality on cat has improved big times since the 2012 so its not lying there.

The media presentation from HQ is not up to 2020 standard. If they should have put the new products in a corner of the factory and gave John Sandberg the microphone and an internet connection things would have been presented the way we want....Family feeling ,Informative and fairly cheap for AC.

Then the dealer and other media could take over . my 16 year old kids do not see things the way I do.....

This brand name has been so abused for years it is crazy due to bad information, and over seas it is even worse...

If you try to sell something being quiet and not visible I do not know how to succed.

Lean back and think like a new snowmobile costumer that it vould be cool to buy a snowmobile ,do some internetting and see where you end up.... some companys are in the future and some are back in the .....

And the continental plates must have moved for Textron, been vaiting for accesories for a month....But if I order from Country Cat they arrive in time...??
Budddy P says:
2/26/2019 12:06:00 PM

I have been buying and riding cats my whole life, Ive been for the most part pretty happy with them. What I would like is to be able to ride without freezing my but off! I get the new designs, they look great but not everyone is young and bullet proof.
Ericsno says:
2/26/2019 1:51:00 PM

I think the new line up is good they had too many models that nobody wanted,as far firing people arctic cat is down 15 perecent market share new people are needed.I put 4200 miles on 18 rxc 6000 and have 3700 miles on a 19 zr 8000 rr no problems with either sled.Hopefully they can turn cat around I enjoy riding the sleds.
Brian H. says:
2/26/2019 5:51:00 PM

If Cat wants to do Spring Order only, so be it. Just let us have some choices. Shock package, track size, graphics and maybe some detail stuff like windshields and ski, spindle and rail color (I wonder how many would order the subtle earthy tones!). I'm due for a new sled and I would order a new one if I could get what I want at a reasonable, competitive price.
catman since 72 says:
2/26/2019 7:43:00 PM

Where have you gone John??????????? We need your reassurance, that all is well.
Pluedy says:
2/26/2019 8:13:00 PM

I want yellow leopard-pattern seat upholstery.

Funny that a few years ago Sandberg and I were standing on the ice at Waconia and Mr Skime walked over and took a look at Sand's 1978 Jag and said, "This is what we need to build again!" Then I read so many comments here from Cat fans who want something light-weight and affordable. Roger nailed it.
Charlie says:
2/27/2019 8:19:00 AM

John's lack of a 2020 overview says it all. Or perhaps he is waiting on the Yamaha release to paint the picture.....
Mike t says:
2/27/2019 8:56:00 AM

John posted this back in January, so cut him some slack.

John Sandberg says:
1/19/2019 10:13:00 PM

Guys (and maybe gals???), there have been some changes in my life, which is affecting my ability (time) to post here. Not quite ready to write about it.

Sorry it hasn't been what it used to be here.
Derek says:
2/27/2019 10:08:00 AM

My 12 year old daughter is too big for the ZR 200 and the F570 fanner is a little too big for her. If AC can build a sled in that in-between market like a 340cc fan, that would be awesome. It would also bring in new people to the family sport we love.

We also need the 500cc engine back in the line up. Why did AC drop it from the line up? I bet it was a great seller? I guess I will be keeping our '15 ZR 4000RR in the family.
I Bleed Green! says:
2/27/2019 12:20:00 PM

I have been following along here some... Couple thoughts. Everyone wants a ton of engines and to have kept some of the old ones. We have to remember it isn't as simple as that anymore. The EPA regulations dictate what can be made and ran anymore. I loved the 4000 engine, one of the best ever, but it was dirty. When suzuki went by the wayside, so did most of their engines. I believe the 570 they had stockpiled engines for a couple years to get them thru.

The lack of 4 stroke NA engines i wouldn't get to upset with. It is possible they will have a version of whatever yamaha has coming out on the 5th of march, we don't know. It's silly to jump to conclusions as there are a ton of holdovers, maybe not at every dealer, but still if you want it, its out there. The kymco engine, i'm glad it's gone. Hadn't heard alot of good about it.

Lots of people think the procross needs to go out on a diet, but did anyone stop to think about the fact that you can ride it on Saturday, beat the snot out of it, and do it again Sunday? There are many competitive sleds that won't necessarily take that abuse without gussets or bracing or supports installed.

I will be fine with whatever they decide, but they need to get the costs down for the average consumer. 15g for a new sled just isn't in the cards for most of us. If they sell to yamaha for instance, then that is a business decision they make, there isn't anything any of us can do about it, so no need to worry too much.
Gunner82 says:
2/27/2019 12:59:00 PM

For me - Derek nailed it in his second paragraph, in line with several of you here.

Last year I bought two (2) carry over 2016 ZR4000 LXRs for my 17 year old twin daughters. Yes they were discounted significantly - but I would have paid a little more.

I know that new EPA regs are a factor, but the basic premise of those bullet proof 500cc sleds (or even with a smaller 440/500 fan option) is perfect in the current chassis. Simple, light, PRICED RIGHT, and pure fun to stretch 80+ on the flat if you want/need to.

It was seriously like I was 16 again - and I'm almost 50 now. I will never sell those sleds. They can't be replaced for that price today in arctics line. On a ride I often want to swap sleds with the girls for either our 6000 High Country or XF7000. And they say no. Guess I need to get to the shed before they do.

Keep the faith boys. Let's continue to ride like our parents raised us.

Hope all is well John. Thank you for this fine venue to comment.
Paul Nadeau says:
2/27/2019 1:20:00 PM

What an interesting string this has been, after reading all of the posts I have come to some conclusions that are my two cents only
A. We all miss John, but as he stated in January, his life has taken on some new challenges, which he will surely tell us about later. Hope all is well with you John.
B. As of today 2/27, 72 posts and everyone has a specific need and want for the perfect Arctic Cat.
C. All of the Arctic Cat Insiders have been bleeding green since birth LOL!
D. Textron will bleed some cash for a while, but we all know that this business needs to be profitable to many people. They will make decisions based on money and its return on the investment. One way they are doing this is pairing done the line. We as consumers will have to accept that and hopefully that Textron is able to keep us in the fold with what they do produce.
I agree that the old days are gone as far as huge amounts of production is concerned.
E. I agree with most that when you start getting into the middle teens for a new snowmobile, for 2-3 months usage, you kinda sit back and think long and hard about it. There are many more “toys” out there that you can use year round that you can spend those funds on.
F. I agree that we need an Arctic Cat with a 340-440 size motor, reasonable price, and marketing to get those young snowmobilers out and about. The young folks today have too many distractions to occupy their time.
G. As a small note, when I converted to Arctic Cat in my early 20’s which was 40 some years ago, our snowmobile club had over 150 members that actively snowmobiled. Our club now has three active members and no new young blood to come in and be involved. I am sure that can be said about many Arctic Insiders clubs.
H. Shame on Textron if they did fire Mr. Skime, Mr. Hibbert, and Mr. Halstrom. You cannot replace institutional knowledge
I. We currently have 157 inches of snow that has fallen in Northern Maine, with another 10 expected this weekend!
j butler says:
2/27/2019 2:16:00 PM

A friend of mine said firing roger skime would be like firing babe ruth. I I think he is right, along with a lot of other engineers at arctic cat that had a ton of knowledge.
JimR says:
2/27/2019 2:35:00 PM

My guess is Roger RETIRED! He is in his 70's and has his ranch to tend to. He got his 200 sled that he wanted to build before retiring and he still follows the race circuit. He is a genuine person. Cat was lucky to have him work for them for all those years.
Derek says:
2/27/2019 2:43:00 PM

Hey does anyone want to come up to Canada's Arctic and help me restore my old '97 T-Cat 900 triple LOL. I surely miss hearing the 3 piped National Anthem rumble with the DG can on it.
mopars&cats says:
2/27/2019 2:45:00 PM

Do you guys really think a 340 or 440 is going to be enough power to propel these new chassis? A 340 or 440 would be fine if sleds weighed as much as sleds from the 70s and 80s. That would be like pulling the 318 out of my 91' 1/2 ton dodge at 165 horse and putting it in my Dodge 3500 4 door diesel....
Eli Nelson says:
2/27/2019 2:55:00 PM

John,
I hope all is well. Thanks for giving us such an awesome site to visit. All I want from Arctic Cat/Textron for 2020 is to make sure they are taking care of you and their employees.
A Noni Moose says:
2/27/2019 6:07:00 PM

Brown front suspension spindles and rear suspension rails? Blue windshields and front bumpers? Cripes, I have zero fashion sense and it's obvious to me they don't work. Also, still selling sleds based on the prior generation chassis isn't going to win them new customers / bring in the green stuff, especially when you look at what Polaris & Ski Doo are offering.
I think Roger Skime & Kirk Hibbert have been conspicuously absent from the snocross & cross country race scenes this season so it wouldn't surprised me if they got iced by Corporate (if so, shame on Textron). Given the lack of substance on ArcticInsider over the past several months, I wouldn't be surprised if they didn't ice John Sandberg as well.
Cat friendly says:
2/27/2019 6:26:00 PM

First snowmobiles I ever sat on or rode were two late seventies well maintained beauties....an El Tigre and a Panther. I remember the snow being so deep that my brother in law took his snowshoes and walked a big loop for me and then broke the trail on his snowshoe tracks....."stay on the trail" he said. And that I did... for hours, around and around and around! It was amazing! Especially for a little kid. Fast forward to my very first snowmobile at age 18...A well used 1988 Wildcat 650. Looking through the ads I didn't even slow down to read unless I saw the words Arctic Cat! When I drove home with that on the back of my truck I was on cloud 9! After that I bought my first new sled, a 1997 Cougar 550......then a brand new 1999 ZR 600.
And then my daughter was born and snowmobiling was not a top priority money wise so I went a handful of years without one. Next I bought a very used 1997 Cougar 550 for little money like the one I bought new and fixed it up as it was in serious need of some TLC but hey, I was back in the saddle at least. Then on to a very fresh used 2002 ZL 600 and now I currently own a 2015 6000RR which I bought used.
Sorry to bore with my backstory.....moral of the story is, I'm a Cat man...end of story.
Regardless of my bank account or whatever the competition comes out with, as long as I'm riding a snowmobile it will be an Arctic Cat. Textron, if you are listening.......the pride that goes with riding Cat is unique, please keep that in mind and with returning the Cat name to the dirt side of the business....I think you are.
This years line up seems very reasonable, focusing on strengths of the Cat line up and what customers want. You can't make everyone happy, it's not going to happen period. Clear out the showrooms with the piled up inventory and keep on with refining the future line ups to be the best most reliable and capable snowmobiles on snow. It amazes me how so many need that 850 because Skidoo and Polaris have it......I quit dragging my buddies across the field when I was a teenager. Who wins or losses at a drag across a lake doesn't mean you have a better sled, that's pretty juvenile to think that in my opinion. Fit, finish, reliability, refine and be competitive. Price will always be a sticking point....it's 2020. I don't believe I could justify throwing out 14,000 even if I was able to, the season is just too short. That'll be a tough hurdle to clear but all the manufacturers are in the same boat. A 340 class sled would be a nice addition to the line up? It would be nice to see AC build all of their own motors including the four strokes? May or may not be realistic. All in time, I foresee a bright future Arctic Cat, at least I hope. Time will tell......And a last thought.....everyone wants to say shame on Textron or bad choice Textron.....maybe there wouldn't be anymore Arctic Cat if not for a company like Textron? Give them a chance.
Arctic Fan says:
2/27/2019 9:12:00 PM

JimR-

Here’s the truth. Roger did NOT retire. He had been semi-retired for a few years now where he could work for six months and then be off for six months. He was straight up terminated. He received a letter in December, and then was let go at the end of January. I know he was close to wanting to retire, but he wasn’t done yet. His supervisor was told to make cuts, and he decided to cut Roger. Definitely a shame. You can’t replace that knowledge.
Ken says:
2/28/2019 5:26:00 AM

That's just nuts! Edgar hired Roger from the beginning. Yes Edgar started Cat but Roger was there from the beginning. I can no longer thank Edgar, in person, but I have always thanked Roger when I had the pleasure and opportunity to see him at the Snocross races. I would always say "Thank you Mr. Skime for Arctic Cat". Because to me Roger is Arctic Cat. I don't want to hear corporate this and corporate business decisions that. You don't fire the creator. If anything Roger should have fired the supervisor if cuts where to be made.

Roger always has commented that "It's not a job its his life". Shame on you Textron for taking that from Roger. See my previous post.

The only thing I want now is that Roger is Ok with the way things turned out. God bless you sir and thank you again for Arctic Cat.
ibleedgreen says:
2/28/2019 10:19:00 AM

@mopars&cats; no one would expect a 340 to go 100mph or be an awesome mountain sled, we want it for a gap filler & entry level & affordable.
kawcat says:
2/28/2019 11:59:00 AM

This discussion has definitely taken a left turn but its obvious the full line of sleds is not out yet and i'm sure John is waiting until then and cant say much more. No one likes change so everyone is getting a negative attitude towards Textron but they are trying to turn the company around and are new to this hobby. they obviously made some poor decisions like changing the atv line name but at this point seem to be listening to the consumer and dealers and corrected some of there mistakes like changing the name back. From what I can see I hope they are going back to having something worth spring ordering and sticking to base models for in stock machines for the dealers. I hope they also back off on minimum orders for the dealers also. this is not helping our industry by making the dealer buy more than the other brand so you can be #1 in sales. All the small friendly dealers I would gladly pay a little more to deal with are disappearing and are left with mega dealers who give little about there employees and service after the sale. I've worked for these places, there awful. Its going to take a few years for them to find them selves and hope they are still using Roger and others of the old cat for consulting. Lastly I would love to see the old cat names come back. Never liked the 000's series idea. Hated that about the late 70's sleds. please go back to 600 800.... and just put an F on the end for 4 stroke. Or my opinion is just drop them and come out with a FI triple!
mopars&cats says:
2/28/2019 1:52:00 PM

ibleedgreen:

My wife's 16' limited 600 doesn't even get near 100 mph. Trust me, I get where you're going with your conversation, I just think they would have to make a totally different chassis for that small of a displacement sled. 50- 60 hp. isn't going to get a procross chassis around very well. We also have a 15' zr4000 RR with the 500 in it. Nice sled, wouldn't want anything thing less than that even if it would be for a 12 yr. old.
JimR says:
2/28/2019 2:09:00 PM

Mopar. I have both a 15 and an 18 and in good conditions they both will hit 100 on GPS and I am a fat guy who never puts up his scratchers. Both are 129's. The 15 is now for sale as I am going all in on a 2020 6000 Limited iAct!
Ericsno says:
2/28/2019 8:37:00 PM

Ski doo took cats customers they have almost 50 percent market share cats down to 15 ,they need new people to turn it around ,every year since 2004 they have lost ,the twin spar didn't sell the 2012 procross was built with crappy parts and they lost more buyers,I've bought many cats and am up to 3900 miles on my 2019 zr 8000 rr other than melting belly pan no problems,when the rev came out it killed Yamaha and hopefully textron can do what arctic cat couldn't get people to buy arctic cat again.
pluedy says:
3/1/2019 8:18:00 AM

Sandberg has entered the witness protection program.
sledhead says:
3/1/2019 12:32:00 PM

What is with the BLUE on the new sleds???? Bought to much powder coat paint for the Yamaha production?? SMH
ibleedgreen says:
3/1/2019 2:36:00 PM

mopar:

I agree, it should be in a new chassis, something in between the 200 & full size. The 200 is neat, but i don't think it hits the market where it should. Perhaps something "my little darling" could ride.... ;P
Catmaster says:
3/1/2019 6:42:00 PM

Sounds like Textron is trying to work out a deal with Yamaha to purchase Arctic Cat...........Guess that explains a lot of what has been going on. looks like there will no longer be any Cat snowmobiles or ATV's after 2021 as Yamaha plans to drop the Arctic line and just produce the Yamaha brand. Should have seen this coming when the partnership was entered into. welcome back to the Big 3 folks!
TheInsider says:
3/1/2019 7:15:00 PM

Textron is in the third month of its restructuring plan that resulted in
product rationalization and the elimination of approximately 400 positions of Textron Specialized Vehicles’ /Arctic Cats' workforce, the closure of several factory-direct branch locations and a manufacturing facility. The restructuring actions also included the re-branding of some vehicles in the ATV line up back to Arctic Cat. However this plan has not produced the results that were expected in the operating results for these businesses. With that said we are looking at all of our options including the sale of the snowmobile segment.
artdcat says:
3/1/2019 9:01:00 PM

TheInsider: referencing PowerSports Business from December 11 edition?? Other than the last sentence...
Cat friendly says:
3/2/2019 5:54:00 AM

If Yamaha buys Arctic Cat then it's over. I have nothing against Yamaha or the other two manufacturers for that matter, they all make great products...but if Cat is sold to Yamaha then it's effectively over for the black and green......
My only question to Textron would be.....what did you think you going to accomplish? I'm sick to my stomach if any of this is true.... It will put the nail in the coffin for me, sadly.
Nick R says:
3/2/2019 10:07:00 AM

Don't worry guys, we'll still have Vintage Cats!
I can't wait to see what Yamaha unveils next week, that will give us another clue about the direction Textron is pointing our brand...
Mike F says:
3/2/2019 8:20:00 PM

Textron is a joke. Yamaha is more of a joke, last new sled was 2008. What would Yamaha be buying?
I like Snow! says:
3/2/2019 11:46:00 PM

I am skeptical of this "Yamaha buys Cat" rumor here. I think people are messing with Cat fans here. Even if Yamaha did, they'd make sleds in TRF, and brand them as Arctic Cat (same as now) and use existing dealer network and use mostly motors made in St. Cloud, etc etc etc four smokers from Japan. Yamaha sled sales numbers are tiny. Where else are they gonna make their sleds? Japan again? Lol.

For the record, I know nothing "inside"....just an industry watcher.
Browndoggg says:
3/3/2019 7:52:00 AM

Google is your friend, new recent job for the owner of this site.
John Sandberg
Marketing Manager at Quality Bicycle Products
krom says:
3/3/2019 8:18:00 AM

@browndoggg,
We've been told textron canned the entire cat marketing dep
Browndoggg says:
3/3/2019 10:13:00 AM

Krom, I'm aware of that, was trying to be nice. Jan 9th to be exact for the axe date of the marketing.
catman since 72 says:
3/3/2019 7:08:00 PM

John, why hast thou forsaken us?
Brian H says:
3/3/2019 8:36:00 PM

Apparently, many of you missed the previous post on this thread regarding John's absence. Maybe you scroll back a bit, read it and settle down.
Matt says:
3/3/2019 8:49:00 PM

Let’s all hope Arctic cat doesn’t go away be down to two manufacturers not good for the sport that’s already in trouble. I’ve tried doo and poo swapped with buddy’s they just don’t feel like the cat. Just a shame so much technology and development cat brought over the years kills me to see them failing and doo walking away with sales. Not sure what textrons plan was when they purchased cat maybe a write off wo knows. With Snowmobiling being so weather dependent maybe they figure it’s not worth producing them. Let’s hope for all the Arctic Cat faithful that’s not true cause I’d be done and after 40 plus years of enjoying this sport that wold just plan suck
catman says:
3/4/2019 10:49:00 AM

I'm gonna go out on a limb here and say that John is just as bitter, miffed whatever you want to call it about all that is going on with Cat - just like the rest of us. And I think that is why he is has been absent. I know he explained in broad terms why he hasn't been doing much posting but let's be honest he's got five minutes to comment if he wanted to. Can we just get the real inside baseball as to WTF is going on. Textron take notice, if you F this up, you have no idea the kind of pain you will endure from Cat enthusiasts around the world.
Allen Teach says:
3/4/2019 2:27:00 PM

Hey Guys, now that the Cat is out of the bag about John, I think we should give him a little more time to grieve and to someday respond. I know this has been very hard on him and he has tried to write about it but is "not there yet." Let's instead congratulate him landing a job in his other passion... bikes. All the best to you John!
j butler says:
3/4/2019 2:45:00 PM

Right on allen. Congratulation on new job john. And all the best from the many fans you have here.i will sure miss your great stories and informative articles.
Flintstone says:
3/4/2019 2:46:00 PM

I’m in favor of making the necessary cuts and downsizing in an effort to keep the brand alive. They can be profitable this way I’m sure of it.

Ski doo and Polaris make crapppy snowmobiles. I’ll ride em if I have too. But I prefer the quality of Japanese 4 stroke power in the pro cross chassis. It’s unfortunate that more riders don’t buy these things. Spend a little more up front but then you get a sled that will run 20,000 miles.

In the hey day of the sport they would trade up for a few hundred dollars each year. My old riding buddy had 40 brand new sleds between the years of 1967-2007. That’s nuts. He would get new every year.

You don’t have to do that these days. With 4 strokes you can buy 1 and keep it 10 years or more. I think if more people realized that owning a snowmobile can be easy stress free reliable affordable toy more would buy into the sport. The Japanese know this.

The Polaris 850 is garbage and so is the ski doo 850.

The 4 stroke. powered cats are bullet proof.

We will see how this plays out in the end but I’m keeping my fingers crossed the brand stays alive

Derek says:
3/4/2019 3:18:00 PM

I'd buy a Yamaha rather then jump onto a Poo or Doo. At least we know their (Yammi) 4 stroke is bullet proof.

Cat will never die. Don't get worked up over things we can't control. There is way too much at stake for AC to be put out to pasture.
Mike F says:
3/4/2019 4:32:00 PM

Don't ever F with John Sandberg, I am assuming he is pissed. That is OK . As am I. And I have no intention of speaking for him. There are very few people that have had the passion for the company that used to be Arctic Cat. Textron has basically gutted everything.
David says:
3/4/2019 5:54:00 PM

Maybe Arctic Cat's management will work on a leveraged buyout of the company from Textron just as Polaris did when they were owned by Textron. Polaris is a lot better off today because of it. Since there are not many true Arctic Cat management team members left this is just wishful thinking I guess. With Scott Ernest in charge of Arctic now all I see is an eventual sale as Textron will not keep spending money and posting losses on Arctic Cat.
Nik R says:
3/4/2019 8:21:00 PM

I feel like now that we have lost our"Insider" wears all on the outside looking in. Sad times for the people who lost their jobs
John Sandberg says:
3/4/2019 10:17:00 PM

All: I very, very sincerely appreciate all the thoughtful and heartfelt thoughts you've shared here. Thank you.

Sorry I've been so quiet. The most recent story "Gone Exploring" explains why.
Dawn says:
3/6/2019 8:51:00 AM

No matter what they bring (as others have said, as long as it's thoroughly tested BEFORE going to market) it is my sincerest hope that they provide much more content!!!

They can produce the best sleds in the world, but if they don't publish content about them, who they are as a company, who their employees are, who their customers are, what their gear does for their customers, etc., etc., they will not be able to attract anyone new to the sport. And without new customers, the outlook will be grim.

I currently work for a dealership that sells Arctic Cat Snowmobiles and a competitor brand... add to that I know next to nothing about snowmobiles (we also sell motorcycles, where my passion is), but still I have to market these machines as well as the lifestyle. Part of my job is to do research as well as put out to our customers what the manufacturer says about their products.

Right now, if you were to force me to choose between Arctic Cat and the other sled we carry, I would choose their competition because -as someone new to the sport- the competition has put out much more content. They've gone beyond the promotional pics & videos of happy people riding their sleds -they've told me how to get my sled unstuck, showed off their wins, basic maintenance tips, and a lot more.

In the meantime Arctic Cat didn't post anything for 5 months on their YouTube channel.... FIVE MONTHS WITH NOTHING!!! And it's THE winter season!!! As a marketing manager I'm shaking my head. As a potential customer, I'm not even interested.
Derek says:
3/6/2019 10:10:00 AM

We need to hear the real stories from AC dealers from across the US and Canada. We need to hear their honest opinion and true stats about what Textron or AC about what the "F" is going on.

Put all the cards out on the table and let the customers judge for themselves. I for one, don't believe in rumours or half truths.
Daniel says:
3/6/2019 12:16:00 PM

Arctic Cat had a problem...a cash flow issue that stemmed from a newer group of executives that made really poor decisions on spending the savings that they had. The largest being buying, renovating, and moving the headquarters to Minneapolis. They cut ties with Suzuki (understandable but expensive) built and designed their own engines and built a factory to support this. They even purchased Motorfist, even though they have had the best winter wear for years and they kept buying back their stocks.
On the surface, all of these changes seemed good, but the hundreds of millions of dollars they had saved up were gone. Now they were a small manufacturer with cash flow issues and a mediocre product with their bread and butter snowmobile line taking a real hit because the twin spar was not well received and they rushed the 2012 pro cross/climb sleds to market for the 50th anniversary...Ouch...I wish they learned from Polaris with the Fusions...
Now the problem was real...Yamaha had already come calling, which was great..the same with Caterpillar. The shared lines were getting attention, but nothing else was...uhh ohh...
In comes Textron with loads of money and buys Cat for CHEAP. They now have been in for 2 years getting a feel for things. They do like everyone else and pick the easy low hanging fruit around the edges and make small changes. But at some point you have to make big changes to switch some of the culture..Back to a winning and being profitable. It was inevitable and necessary and there was casualties...big ones.
Relationships will rebuild and can be restored in the future, but at present everyone can and will move forward successfully. I expect that changes will continue for the next couple of years, but things will look up. Textron did’t get So large by being a failure.
Patience everyone...(and yes it sucks!)
Duane P says:
3/6/2019 12:53:00 PM

The 2020 snow check sled prices are very tempting. Not satisfied with color choices. Polaris snow check program sets the bar for color choices and options. I'm sure Cat is capable to offer build to order units for customers and dealers. Advise offering a GPS instrument pod option also. Thank you.
Flintstone says:
3/7/2019 1:10:00 AM

I’m guessing another thing that hurt a small company like cat was spending all that money on a two stroke to meet emmisions.

I still say the manufacturers should have joined forces and fought emission stanards vs. compliance

I also believe that cat should have put the dd drive in the procross.

I know my opinions are in the minority
hugh says:
3/7/2019 3:25:00 PM

Is the SnoPro Jim got ahold of the one that Bengan Westerlund had?
Jay says:
3/11/2019 7:23:00 PM

Yeah, the snow check prices “were” tempting until I called my dealer and they added freight charges, paperwork etc to the price Arctic Cat had listed for snowmageddon. By the time your done your paying full retail.
Oh but I can still get a 2019 for the snow check price!
Give me a break!
Tom White says:
3/12/2019 2:46:00 AM

Jay, try calling Livingston's Arctic Cat in Hillsboro, NH, (603 464-5000). You may have to pay freight since the dealer margins have been cut for 2020 but there won't be any of the other fees that some dealers charge. Steve is also offering a three year extended warranty on the 2020's, giving you four in total for $300.00. The warranty is transferable if you sell the sled and good at any Arctic Cat dealership.
Jay says:
3/12/2019 9:11:00 AM

@ Tom White.... I did call them here is what I found. For a 2020 ZR 6000 limited with iact Arctic Cat has them listed for 10,995 I was quoted 11,500 (freight charge) but for a 2019 I can get that for 10,400 out the door. Better deal to be had on the 2019’s I see no reason to buy a 2020. As it stands I would have get rid of the ripsaw track on either one, plus the cost to stud the track and other accessories. Heck, I’ll just wait for someone that already did all of this, drove it around their house a couple of laps and posts it for sale for a few thousand less.
If Arctic Cat wants to get serious about sales (especially pre order only for 2020) Maybe they should give the customer some options to customize not just this is it, like it or leave it! I can understand dropping of the Yamaha 4 stroke and the reason behind it but dropping the option for a 129” track is pure stupidity and I cannot wrap my head around that.
Those purple and green leftover sleds are probably going to sit in crates until hell freezes over and even Satan himself will refuse to ride one!
Pam says:
3/12/2019 3:29:00 PM

Jay check around more
I hear there is a dealer in Vermont that is not charging freight or set up
Sometimes even lower then Cat's pricing
john says:
3/14/2019 4:23:00 PM

need a turbo charged personal touring sled like the past XF9000 with mirrors, remote start, (like the Sabercats) small bags, and "heads up" display on the windsheild.
Jeff says:
3/15/2019 5:52:00 AM

Jay, please enlighten us on the reason of the dropping of the Yamaha 4 stroke(7000). Was awaiting for it to finally receive the hen 2 body panels and now nothing.
Although in Viper trim it is available this year. Just have to get used to their colours I guess.
Jay says:
3/16/2019 12:11:00 PM

Jeff,
They are moving away from Yamaha and going with their own Arctic Cat made engines. Plus the 7000 was not that great of a seller 1049cc had 135 hp and the ctec2 600 is making 125 hp stock. They are being proven to be reliable and now maybe Cat can make a comeback with some really great stuff after inventory goes.
I Bleed Green! says:
3/16/2019 4:13:00 PM

Jeff, go find a 2019 7000, it has the Gen 2 panels You speak of. They cut the Yamaha motor probably temporarily because it is an expensive engine. The 600 ctec is much cheaper to produce. Happy sledding everyone!
Mark Falso says:
3/19/2019 8:36:00 AM

Now that it is spring. Well, at least tomorrow. Now the real test begins as snow melts.. and see how the sales go for spring orders only. I think they make it short season so that Textron can see if they can produce more sleds in the future. If not, its done. That is how I see the glass of water is. I focus on half full, not half empty.

I agree with someone that Arctic Cat investors and managements need to do a buyout like what management did with Polaris buying out from Textron 40 years ago.

I would do that and then needs to rebuilt again and get the fired staff back as consultants as they can teach the young ones how to design, engineer, and built sleds. They need to manufacture all kinds of sleds. Yes, even snow-bikes, the 300cc sled, the 3/4th size and 4/5th size sleds as well as all other kinds (you should see my designs for past 45 years plus on snowmobiles that were never produced). I am talking about sleds with twin tracks, side by side, covered sleds, Manta/Trail Roamer style, and hybrids (I am not talking about crossovers). Hybrid such as like that old Yamaha Sno-Scoots sleds of 1980s. and ATV style snowmobiles. They are hybrids as I call it. And many more.

People said about vintage sleds. Great idea. Find old sleds and rebuilt them and keep them. Others who have businesses that rebuilt old sleds should do that more often with dead brands and old Cats and sell them like they do it with Pontiac Trans-Am, Tucker and DeLorean automobiles rebuilts and replicas. Why not some of you guys can start a replica Cats company. I know you cannot use Arctic Cat name but just name those sleds cat names. And be sure to TM those names! How about that? If that was the case, I would want to order a 1977 Pentera replica. My father had that sled. I loved that sled. Or a 1966 Panther replica.

Or start a company called, "The Other Arctic Cats"? Well, let's keep praying this "division" of Textron survive first. And in meantime, I am going to enjoy camping as weather warms up in my travel trailer.

Speaking of it, when a group of investors buyout the brand from Textron, I would recommend they also start buying a recreational vehicle company, a boat company, an outboard company, and reboot Wetbike company. And start a motorcycle company as well as other recreational products.
TP says:
3/25/2019 9:41:00 PM

Textron damn near killed Polaris years ago. They did in the Homelite brand. Get ready for another Cat bankruptcy.
Bill says:
4/1/2019 10:06:00 PM

I think they could have come up with a better name than "RIOT" since it is already trademarked by Polaris on the Timbersled. Why give the attorneys more money in a trademark lawsuit is beyond me!
Scott says:
4/2/2019 4:20:00 PM

So no 4 strokes? Hmm Is this is a sign that Textron is getting ready to build Arctic's own 4 stroker or drop in one of it's current sled engines the MPE-850 or the 750 they built for Polaris a few years back? Or is it a sign that they are getting rid of extra inventory to make Arctic look better for a sale?
Guess we will have to wait and see.
Penny Pecker Wrecker says:
4/5/2019 1:28:00 PM

My most optimistic guess is that Cat is making an effort to maximize return on the 2020 models. Buying 4 strokes from Yamaha would probably reduce profit as a direct expense. Utilizing the St. Cloud to build two strokes would probably leave more dollars to the Textron stockholders. Pessimistic way to look at it is that Cat is paring everything down to the bone for liquidation. Let's home for the former!
Paul Smart says:
4/14/2019 7:15:00 AM

I just snowchecked my 14th ac since 2007. I was very disappointed with the choices. I’m a major cat fan but am considering going to something different if there’s nothing better than 2020 next time. Why would you even consider a 1” track on a 2020 sled? This is only good to ride on hot top. I live in northern Maine and we get 5 feet of snow. Started riding in November and just put my sleds away yesterday, April 14. I’m 57 and not interested in mountain sleds but seems like cat thinks that’s all people want. I’m a 4 stroke fan and put on 4K miles per year but only one option for 4 stroke for 2020 what’s up with that? My wife doesn’t want a turbo, what do I buy for her? No 2 strokes for me. Maybe Yamaha at least they have a warranty you can transfer when you swap often and give an incentive for the buyer. If cat would have only green sleds I would be buying another brand. I think it’s time to wake up.
Tom White says:
4/15/2019 1:36:00 AM

Paul, from what I have heard there are many four stroke leftovers still in the supply chain and that's why there are no 2020's. You can probably get a great deal on a leftover right now. As far as the 1" track goes they are probably being put on a lower HP sled that doesn't have the power to turn a more aggressive track or a performance sled designed for top end speed across a lake. I'm on board with you about the mountain sleds but the younger generation seems to love them.
Paul Smart says:
4/16/2019 4:40:00 AM

Unfortunately Tom, I did look for leftovers but what I found was either not the configuration I was looking for or was too far from me and would cost a fortune to ship. I think a bit more aggressive track than 1” is a much safer option. Not only does it give traction but gives more braking power. I swapped the tracks on 3 of the last 5 sleds I bought. My wife finds it easier to keep up with me also. So much easier in the turns. I just preseasoned a T cat and will be swapping the track, 200 hp with a 1” track is like a monster truck with bald tires. I think the 1.6 cobra gives the best bang for the buck. Seems to me it wouldn’t be that difficult to have an option to choose the one you want when you order. Takes the same time to install at the factory.
Timothy D Spencer says:
4/24/2019 10:21:00 AM

Now that the spring order is done it will be interesting to see how AC fares with such limited sales activity. My dealer told me he snow checked 6 sleds. Worst season ever for snow checks even though we had snow. Textron is not listening to its customers and its a shame. As a loyal cat fan I am seriously looking at Polaris as my next machine since I can order it the way I want it. Until AC/Textron figures that out their future is up for grabs.
Ryan says:
5/1/2019 4:46:00 PM

Our local dealer was informed today that Arctic cat is terminating their contract in snow and dirt. The DSM was making rounds notifying other small dealers as well. I guess all they want is the mega dealer, screw the local loyal customer at home.
jj says:
5/2/2019 7:11:00 PM

I wonder what will happen with spring ordered sleds from the dealers that they terminate?
mervyn jennett says:
5/5/2019 5:37:00 PM

I don,t see why cat needs a new 600cc after t Hibbert won the snowcross champion ships 10 years in a rowhp367t@
jj says:
5/10/2019 1:10:00 PM

Dealers are suppose to have MAP pricing that says you can only advertise so low. Then they give out large kickbacks if you sell 10 or 20 machines in a month. So smaller dealers will have a price of say $13,000 on a machine that costs them $12,500 and a large dealer will sell it for $12,000 when it will only cost them $11,000 and so everyone blames the small dealer for being too high on the price. And now because the small dealer didn't sell enough they are terminating them across the U.S. So some of you guys that spring ordered who knows if you will be picking it up from the dealer you bought it from.

And this dealer is well below the MAP pricing but that doesn't seem to matter. https://mlspowersports.com/Showroom/New-Models/Model-List/Arctic-Cat?ModuleGuid=77670f87-a429-4c7e-8f1a-b32bfe93d838
TP says:
5/13/2019 2:27:00 PM

The decline continues. Lack of low end class products (340-440cc) and the overpriced high end problem products remain. Cat simply will lose its customers. Just like the late 70's early 80's, a few bad winters and the addition of Textron will seal their own fate this time.
Request no name says:
5/22/2019 3:51:00 PM

A new song that is a parody from the Mickey Mouse Club...

Now it is time to say good bye...

A R C...

Closing now...

T I C...

Can't do well...

C A T........

Boohooo.. Now I will draw up annually new Arctic Cats all on paper.. that is all it will end up. Not off the drawing board.. Oh well.

Leave A Comment


ArcticInsider Article Code
Enter the characters above: (all lowercase, no spaces)

SpeedWerx

TA Motorsports

Royal Sports

ArcticCat

Action Graphics

Waconia Ride-In

Blown Concepts Custom Vinyl Graphics

on Snow Magazine

US X-Country Snowmobile Racing

American Snowmobiler Magazine

Route 12 Arctic Cat

Waconia Power Sports

Thomas SnoSports

SLEDHEAD 24/7
 International Series of Champions

Road Track and Trail

SnoX365

Christian Brothers Racing
Country Cat
SUPERTRAX International

D & D power Sports
Carver Performance Snowtech Magazine