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Goodbye Suzuki: Arctic Cat to Produce its Snowmobile Engines


(6/10/2010)

Arctic Cat Engine Facility in St. Cloud, Minn.

Press Release -

Arctic Cat Announces Plan to Begin Manufacturing Snowmobile Engines in Minnesota

Arctic Cat to begin manufacturing snowmobile engines in its St. Cloud facility after 2014 model year

MINNEAPOLIS, June 10,2010 - Arctic Cat today announced that it has entered into an agreement to transition its snowmobile engine manufacturing from Suzuki Motor Corporation.

Arctic Cat will begin manufacturing some of its own snowmobile engines in St. Cloud, Minn., after the 2014 model year. Currently, Suzuki supplies all engines for Arctic Cat's snowmobiles. Suzuki will continue to supply the company with engine parts to service existing engines after the 2014 model year.

Commented Arctic Cat's chairman and chief executive officer Christopher A. Twomey: "Suzuki has been an outstanding engine supply partner for more than 25 years and remains a significant shareholder in Arctic Cat. However, we are changing our engine strategy in order to gain more control over our products, and enhance our ability to meet regulatory and performance requirements. This also will enable us to better utilize our current engine manufacturing capacity, resulting in potentially better costs."

Twomey added: "Our St. Cloud engine facility has been a great addition for the company since we began manufacturing our ATV engines there in 2007."

The 56,000-square- foot plant is located on 15 acres and currently employees 41 people. At this time, the company plans to use existing plant capacity and personnel during the transition. Arctic Cat expects snowmobile engine production to begin in St. Cloud in fiscal 2015.

-end release

 

My immediate thoughts:

“Shock” doesn’t even begin to describe my reaction after reading this news release. Suzuki has supplied Arctic Cat snowmobile engines since the 1976 model season, and a strong partner in the formation of Arctco as it rose from the ashes of Arctic Enterprises.

Suzuki has manufactured many excellent engines over the years, although I’ve also been told that they’ve been at times reluctant to provide the kind of technology that Arctic Cat requested.

I’ve been to the Arctic Cat Engine Facility in St. Cloud a few times, and it’s a model of technology and efficiency. And the ATV engines produced there have been excellent.

Inside the Arctic Cat Engine Facility in St. Cloud

I like that Arctic Cat wants to have greater control over its engines, and that it wants to manufacture engines in the U.S. rather than Mexico or some other distant country. This will be a huge project.

The release's wording, "Arctic Cat will begin manufacturing some of its own snowmobile engines in St. Cloud, Minn..." also suggests further developments on the matter.

I'm going to attempt to get an interview with some people at Cat as soon as possible, because I have a lot of questions.

Wow. WOW!

What are your thoughts and questions?



Comments (38):

Mike Feil says:
6/10/2010 5:05:00 PM

Holy cow! Didn't see that coming! I hope they know what they are doing.
Kevin says:
6/10/2010 5:49:00 PM

This is good news, especially in light of the recent news from Polaris. I'll predict that this will be solely 4-stroke technology and that any remaining two strokes will still be made by Suzuki at that point in time. This won't be easy -- especially to insure cost effective/reliable/strong performing engines, however, I believe they have a lot of experience to draw on and they will get it right.
Tom Rowland says:
6/10/2010 6:03:00 PM

I have suspected this to very much be a possibility, I just had no idea when. If they can produce the snowmobile engines with the same reliability, performance and technology that is in the St Cloud MN built ATV engines...life will be fine. As far as I know...the 550, 650, 700 and 1000 ATV and Prowler engines are all built in St Cloud and each of those engines has a great track record.
Vince says:
6/10/2010 8:46:00 PM

Good move, it should help the company decrease costs and offer some protection against currency fluctuations, and what boon for St. Cloud.
It's also great to see an American company investing money here at home for American jobs, kudos to Arctic Cat.
JonnySox says:
6/10/2010 10:04:00 PM

Happy to see things moving to Minnesota and not Mexico!!!!! Sounds like Cat has a plan!!!
olie f7 says:
6/10/2010 10:14:00 PM

cat you make me proud every day. you are one of the fue corps that really gets it. way to go! now lets get the new chassie with a 800 usa twin and a new prem. clothing line made in theif......ill be there with my $$$ how abou you guys??
flintstone says:
6/10/2010 11:41:00 PM

that's awsome
Todd Ulschmid says:
6/11/2010 8:20:00 AM

Made in the USA. Made in Minnesota...I like the way that sounds.....GO ARCTIC CAT!

Suzuki, thank you for all the great years!
Roger Paulson says:
6/11/2010 8:57:00 AM

Great move Cat! Unlike Polaris, I for one am glad you are making your products more "Made in America!" I have nothing against Suzuki as an engine biulder. They have made some great engines, like the laydown 700, but an old saying comes to mind: "If you want it done right, do it yourself!"
olief7 says:
6/11/2010 12:23:00 PM

ooh ooh how about new sno pro chassie style new usa 4 stroke twin procharger style supercharger and patriot graphix yaaa 250 hp all usa made american flag now were talking.
Mike says:
6/12/2010 9:10:00 AM

This would be good for the company if they don't go bankrupt or lose/close all their dealers before 2014.
Bob B says:
6/12/2010 8:07:00 PM

I can say without question that Suzuki shares greatly in Arctic Cats success and am sorry to see the split. I am a Cat fan because I was first a Suzuki fan. I hope AC continues to dominate it's markets and Suzuki the same for it's markets. Thanks AC and Suzuki for being the best and providing the best for consumers and racing pros. I am concerned however that AC has alienated so many dealers in the past couple of years. Arent dealers neccessary for product sales??? Whats up with that?
MR ATTITUDE says:
6/14/2010 8:12:00 PM

I think it will benefit us all in the long run,the atv engines have been getting better every year and I feel confident CAT will produce the power and durability we all look for,but please dont forget value in the changing economy as im sure you have!thank you for world class products and ass kicking performance we all have longed for!thundercats,firecats,CFR's,turbo's!what trick do you have CAT?only time will tell!
Captain says:
6/17/2010 1:09:00 PM

This is a bold move my Arctic Cat and what perfect timing! Only a few short weeks after Polaris (their Nemesis from the North) has announced they are getting rid of some 500 people and closing their engine facility in favor of moving to Mexico, AC has taken the stance to keep it here!
Bravo Arctic Cat!
I am sure this will be a greatly phased approach to which engines are produced here. As most of you already know, the AC engineers work shoulder to shoulder with Suzuki in designing the engines that Suzuki builds to AC SPECS! This really doesnt make me nervous at all and I dont expect a tremendous quality drop off because of the shift. I remember reading that Suzuki personnel were very impressed with the St Cloud facility with the technology employed there. It is quite possible that AC has the ability to do it better and more efficiently that even Suzuki could because of this.
It will be sad to see Suzuki leave, but this will not be overnight. I would imagine that they will play a large part in 2 stroke engines for some time.
Tom Rowland says:
6/22/2010 2:13:00 PM

Hey, how about Arctic Cat start selling engines to Suzuki to use in their ATVs...or...maybe Arctic could sell engines to Honda to use in the new Honda snowmobile that has been rumored!
leighton Uhl says:
12/13/2010 8:02:00 PM

Arctic Cat is now the true representation of the American snowmobile! Good job boys way to keep it in the states.
john l wagner says:
12/29/2010 1:13:00 PM

now they need to start making their clothing here again!!!! and quit importing the crap they now sell my suit from 1990 is far superior then the clothing they sell now 1990 made in usa 2011 made in multiple non snowmobile countries
Robert Hunter says:
2/9/2011 8:25:00 AM

I love my old Arctic Cats. I have a 1992 that is bulletproof. Kudos for keeping it in America. It's why I switched from Yamaha years ago. I do feel A C is trailing Yamaha in quality still, but they are gaining fast. Either way. Let America do what it does best. I hope they also source the engine parts, Rubber boots and etc... from America, because we do do it best. My old cat has held up much better than my new one in terms of rubber and plastic parts.

GO ARCTIC CAT!!!!
ROBBIE D. says:
2/10/2011 10:33:00 PM

Bravo Arctic cat, i have been a proud owner and supporter of your awesome snowmobiles since the seventies, you are , and always will be number one!!!, best wishes for the change , as I am convinced that it will blow the other manufacturers away, keeping jobs and manufacturing here in the states is vital, and if everyone else realized this, our nation would be far ahead, not crumbling like it is now, keep up the tremendous work, and be careful not to get cheap parts from over seas as quality and reliability always suffers, just look at the others who have serious engine problems...and durability issues, congrats and best wishes !!!
jani marjo says:
5/31/2011 3:28:00 PM

hi there. i have Ac 650 trv H1.. i´ll have some feedback to atv manufacturer but i dont have e-mail address or post address where to wrote my case. how could i get connect to the people who work arctic cat factory??
With greetings from Finland

mr. Jani Marjo
Dave W. says:
9/4/2011 10:29:00 PM

Congrats Arctic Cat !!!!! Any time you can make more of your own product your-self, that is a Great thing, so many companies out source the Heart and soul of their products, that it makes me not even want to buy it. Can't America make its own "STUFF" insted of importing every thing from Japan, Korea or China. Keep America Strong ! buy American ! Now if we can get Polaris to make their own atv motors, life would be great!
scarry Larry says:
9/25/2011 9:12:00 PM

Im sorry folks but,,, I have to report that the all new made in u.s.a. v-twin motor that is in the thundercat 1000 is a junk box!!!!!! My new thundercat atv is Leaking oil !!! HARD to start !!!! valve adjustment all the time !!!! Torque limiter on the diff's slips all the time, When you spend $12,000 , your atv should be the absolute best on the market !!!! I am going to take a big hit and sell this thing, I will be buying a Yamaha or Kawasaki, they don't have these problems. !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
churchy says:
1/15/2012 7:19:00 PM

100% MADE THE U.S.A.!.............looks good doesn't it.
Steve says:
3/4/2012 3:10:00 PM

Anytime an American Manufacture believes in America and it's workforce enough to invest it's time and money in that believe, I am all for it. Congratulations Arctic Cat! You are my new snowmobile company, I hope more American Manufactures follow your example!
Claudia says:
10/26/2012 1:08:00 AM

Update from Qasim: Thanks to Ken, who came along with an assortment of o rings and a very potvisie approach we were able to remove the water pump and change the faulty parts. All is well that end well. First problem I have had with the Suzuki in 12 years of ownership. Thanks to both Bob and Ken, all is well. Bob, I will not need the services of your local garage as the problem is sorted. Hebbi is back on the road.
fred says:
11/14/2012 10:22:00 PM

I think its all economics.if polaris moved to mexico maybe they will too once they streamline.
Tim says:
2/3/2013 7:28:00 AM

When i read this i was amazed at the fact that arctic cat is focusing jobs back into the good ol USA!!!! This is how we rebuild our country!! I am a huge arctic cat fan and always will be, because of things like this!!!!
Steve says:
2/10/2013 7:18:00 AM

D.I. from Mercury Outboards, 4 Stroke Yamaha based engines, And Yamaha Race Sleds that look like blue Arctic Cats? Just my prediction after reading alot of articles for 2014 Arctic Cat. And yes an all American produced machine, (didn't have to go to Mexico) Bravo! Cat!
porter smith says:
2/10/2013 11:40:00 PM

ive owned alot of seds and i love the suzuki motor the best. has never let me down with the abuse ive fed it. ive always baught ac for the suzuki motor... i am a true Ac fan though. and i trust them to pull through with an amazing 600 DI engine for my wife soon. than a new DI ac 800 to replace my 2013 800 hcr.. just dont know how they will pump the power suzuki does. pretty impressed they are doing it all in the states, makes me proud and im canadian :)
Shane says:
2/17/2013 11:05:00 PM

Am a big cat fan but i dont like the move . Suzuki has been in this moter makeing game for a long time now they still have used some of the same engine designs for years like the 500 suzuki and the 400 you cant beat those moter because of there reliablitly ive allready been hearing alot about your new stuff its not good i hear you guys moved your 400 atv and gave it to kymco not a good move cat if you say you guys can build your own **** dont have other people put out a product with your name on it also goes for your ties with chinnese compianes produceing your 50cc to 400 cc atvs.And if you say suzuki cant meat your tech then why cant you make a true 5 speed gear tranny like suzuki ? oh lets see you aint got the tech cat ? i rest my case
joe says:
2/24/2013 8:08:00 PM

Yamicat...lol..thats gonna be funny. With skidoo and their new xm and polaris with their pro cat just doesnt stand a chance by dropping the suzuki motors. Riders around here are dropping cat like a hot patato . Its clear that the motor is everything and they have failed to see this
bill says:
2/27/2013 12:53:00 PM

here come more recall of arctic cat?
Chuck says:
3/3/2013 6:04:00 PM

My hat goes off to you, Arctic Cat. I have been riding Arctic Cat snowmobiles since I was 14 years old. I am now 59. I still have two 1972 440 Arctic Cat Panthers. Both run perfect. I have owned just about every model since then. I will always ride Arctic Cats. As far as this Shane guy that posted on Feb. 17th, ignore his comments. He can't even spell, let alone make any comments that make sense. Keep up the excellent work!!!
Richard Maaske says:
3/20/2013 5:58:00 PM

Great for Arctic CAT.KEEPING THE BUILDING. Of SNOWMOBILES AND ATV,s, in AMERICA. And not LIKE ,Polaris COMPANY, That turned it,s back on the american worker and the United States Economy. I have owned POLARIS,S. I got my first ARCTIC CAT SNOWMOBILE IN 1972 . 1972 PUMA 440. POLARIS YOU BETTER , Think twice, at what you have done. I STILL HAVE MY 1991 ARCTIC CAT WILDCAT 700 SNOWMOBILE AND 1995 ZRT 800. PUT BOYESEN -TWO STAGE REED VALVE-INTAKE SYSTEM. ADVANCED 2* TIMING. BOTH MACHINE,S FLY.
Blaine Lutz says:
3/21/2013 12:17:00 AM

Good luck Arctic Cat making as good of motors as Suzuki. X2 on the why would you take a chance on dropping bulletproof engines. Better stay in the good books of suzuki because you may need their motors again after your AC motors tick the riders off. The engine is the heart of the machine. AC 800 engines are BULLETPROOF, no need to reinvent the wheel.
Eric Watson says:
3/24/2013 2:24:00 PM

I have no idea what cat is thinking their only advantage is their engines .I will have a very hard time buying a new cat without the suzuki engine can't even believe this is real.
Larry nelson says:
4/20/2013 8:50:00 AM

Went to my local AC dealer to look at ATV's, I was just about to buy a 450cc sport quad when I found out it is actually a KYMCO made in china junk box with arctic cat decals on it!!!! What a slap in the face, if arctic cat can't make their own stuff, then they don;t need my business.
Don Martin says:
3/7/2014 4:37:00 PM

I have a 2007 Arctic Cat 650 H1 Prowler that has a blown engine. So where can I find one?

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