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Q&A with John Collins, Vice President of Textron Specialized Vehicles


(4/24/2017)

Textron event with Arctic Cat in Fort Worth, Texas. Photo by ArcticInsider.com

In the three months since Textron announced its intention to buy Arctic Cat (and the six weeks since the sale was finalized), the brand’s loyal legion of riders, dealers and employees has wondered what the future would bring. Last week, Textron Specialized Vehicles gave us a good glimpse of that future during a powerful presentation to its dealers about both brands, their synergies and the promise they offer for the future.

At that event, I sat down with John Collins, Vice President of the consumer business for Textron Specialty Vehicles, to ask some key questions about the future of Arctic Cat as part of the company.

 

John Collins, Vice President, Consumer, Textron Specialized Vehicles. Photo by ArcticInsider.com

AI: That was a great presentation today John. I’d like to follow it up with some specific questions that will give Arctic Cat fans some insight into what they can expect from the brand they love. So let’s start with the brand...Textron will preserve the Arctic Cat brand for snow, but change it for dirt. Please explain that.

Collins: We will absolutely maintain, invest in and grow the Arctic Cat brand for snowmobiles. For the dirt products, we’re transitioning it to Textron Off Road, but we will maintain all the strong sub-brands, including Alterra, Wildcat and Prowler. Plus we’ll add Stampede, all under the Textron Off Road brand.

We didn’t take lightly the decision to transition Arctic Cat’s dirt brand to Textron Off Road. Ultimately, we believe the change is the best thing for the company and dealers.

That said, there are some sacred, holy names that we would never change. Arctic Cat snowmobiles and E-Z-GO golf cars are two of them.

 

AI: What were the reasons to stop using the Arctic Cat name on the dirt products?

Collins: Arctic Cat has strong brand recognition for its dirt products in the northern half of North America, but it isn’t nearly as strong in the south. In fact, there’s a disconnect with the word “Arctic” for a lot of people in the south. So to grow the brand like we want, we believe that it’s more important to concentrate on the sub-brand names, like Wildcat and Prowler. 

Plus, we’re putting all of our wheeled products — including the Textron-developed Stampede sub-brand — under one brand name. It would be clumsy to offer dealers and customers the Arctic Cat Wildcat, Prowler and Alterra models as well as the Textron Stampede. That makes it seem like it’s two different companies, which they no longer are. We’re one company now. And machines that we’re developing for the future need to come from, and live under, one parent brand. 

Those were the primary reasons why we’ve changed the name. We certainly acknowledge that this is a shock to some people, and tough for some to hear. That’s understandable. It was a hard decision, but one that we made carefully after talking with many dealers and customers. It’s the right decision for the company, and it will make more sense as we go forward. 

 

John Collins, Vice President, Consumer, Textron Specialized Vehicles. Photo by ArcticInsider.com

AI: Will Textron preserve Arctic Cat announced line-up of 2018 snowmobiles.

Collins: Absolutely. We know that Arctic Cat personnel know snowmobiles as well or better than anyone else in the world, and the line that was announced at the recent snowmobile dealer show reflects that expertise and knowledge. We’re excited about everything the snowmobile group has coming in 2018 and beyond, and we’ll continue the investment in product development in technology and progression.

We’re committed to the product plan that Arctic Cat communicated to dealers and customers, but we’re also committed to realistic timelines. We also announced that Wildcat XX will be available in spring 2018, which is later than was previously announced. We felt we needed more time to ensure that this machine will meet the fullest expectation of ourselves, our dealers and, most importantly, our customers. We want dealers and customers to know and trust in what we say about what to expect, the specifications, differentiation and the availability of our products.

 

AI: How will the purchase affect the business relationship with Yamaha on snowmobile engine sourcing and production?

Collins: There will be no change to our relationship with Yamaha. They are a key partner and source for engines for many of our snowmobiles, as well as an important customer of ours for the snowmobiles we produce for them. Both Kevin Holleran (President and CEO of Textron Specialized Vehicles) and I have met with Yamaha’s engine business leader, and all of us agree the relationship between Arctic Cat and Yamaha is good for both brands.

 

AI: Will production remain in Thief River Falls and St. Cloud?

Collins: Absolutely! In fact, we’re investing in both facilities. You’re going to see important investment in fabrication and production capabilities, as well as in overall working environment. We see a great opportunity to build additional engine platforms in St. Cloud.

 

AI: That’s great news. What is the corporate culture of Textron, and how do you see that integrating with the culture of Arctic Cat?

Collins: Textron’s culture is a focus on best-in-class; developing talent the pursuit of excellence. What’s clear about Arctic Cat is that it’s fiercely independent. The company has long been smaller, scrappier, versatile and nimble. We admire that and feel like we can combine both cultures to elevate both brands.

Let me say it another way: Our expectation is to have best people who produce the best products.

 

AI: Tell me the key attributes of Arctic Cat that Textron saw, and that influenced the decision to purchase the company?

Collins: We saw a powerful, high-equity brand; we saw a portfolio of great products, many of which on the dirt side that we intended develop ourselves; we liked the roadmap that Arctic Cat has been pursuing in various aspects of its business; and we liked the geographic overlay of the Arctic Cat dealer channel. Each of these was a very powerful reason why we pursued and acquired Arctic Cat.

 

AI: What aspects of Arctic Cat’s business is Textron focus on first?

Collins: Our first priority is on products and the dealer channel. In the dirt and snowmobile businesses, the company that wins is the one with the best, newest and differentiated products. We’re committed to delivering the best portfolio of the best products. And we’re committed to a healthy, right-sized dealer channel to carry the full portfolio of products offered by Textron Off Road and E-Z-GO. 

 

AI: From the customers’ perspective, what changes should they expect from Arctic Cat and how soon will they see them?

Collins: Our current and future customers should expect more and better products; as well as a stronger and healthier dealer network.

The No-Brainer sales event that’s currently taking place on non-current Arctic Cat dirt products is an example of how we’re helping the dealer network, by selling through on older product to make way for new and better machines. This is a huge win for customers who want the very best prices on great machines, and for dealers who want to clear out their inventory. With a clean pipeline, we can introduce more new products while dealers can have the confidence to order an inventory that will satisfy customers who want the newest features and technology. 

 

AI: What’s the future of the new Arctic Cat headquarters in Minneapolis?

Collins: We’re committed to retaining the employees we need to operate the business. Cat has done a good job of hiring talent – the people who operate the business. There are many of those people who work at the Minneapolis facility. How much space these people need, and where exactly, are questions we don’t yet have answers for. Maybe it’s the same location; maybe it’s a different location. We don’t yet know.

 

AI: There was a restructuring of Arctic Cat and Textron Off-Road sales people last week, and some former Arctic Cat executives left the company not too long after the acquisition was final. Is the current workforce where you want and expect it to be?

Collins: The restructuring of Sales that you mentioned is now complete. Evaluations are still continuing on the rest of the business, but those words absolutely should not sound alarm bells in Thief River Falls, St. Cloud, Minneapolis or Augusta, Georgia. Frankly, with an acquisition this size, we need to take the right amount of time to fully understand all of the business units and personnel that will now comprise our combined company.

 

AI: Okay, I’d like to end this interview the same way I end all of my interviews here, by asking you to tell me a story about Roger Skime.

Collins: I’m glad you asked, because even though I don’t know Roger very well yet, I have a great story about him.

Immediately following when we announced our intention to acquire Arctic Cat, Kevin [Holleran], myself and a few other Textron employees went to Arctic Cat in Thief River Falls. We wanted to introduce ourselves, to start to get to know the people there as well as for them to get to know us. We’re careful, thoughtful people, and it was important for us to be seen for who we are, rather than as some all-conquering adversaries or heroes, or any other inaccurate perception that people sometimes have in these situations.

When we arrived, we went to a large conference room where all of Arctic Cat’s middle management people were gathered. We introduced ourselves and talked about Textron. We weren’t able to talk about any specific plans we had for the companies, because we had only announced our intention to acquire at that point, so we couldn’t legally talk about future plans. As much as anything, this was about getting to know each other as people.

After the introductions and explanation about Textron, we were given a tour of the facility by a handful of people, including Roger. The whole time during the tour, Roger held in his hand a printed picture of us with our names on it, which I thought was interesting. He was committing to memory names and faces.

When it was time for us to leave, we were all standing in the lobby thanking each other for the time spent together. Right then, Roger came up to us, looked us in the eyes as he shook our hands and said, “Working at Arctic Cat has never been a job for me; it’s been my life. I’m excited about our future with Textron. This is exactly what Arctic Cat needed.”

It was a powerful, emotional moment for him and for us. It was such an impactful statement and gesture. He didn’t have to do that.

But the fact that he did...we could not have gotten a better endorsement.

 

AI: That’s a great story, and I’m glad you shared it. Thanks, and thanks for the interview.

Collins: You’re welcome, and thanks for the opportunity.

John Collins, Vice President, Consumer, Textron Specialized Vehicles. Photo by ArcticInsider.com



Comments (48):

Captain says:
4/24/2017 10:37:00 AM

Well, that settles it. If Roger Skime and endorse this, then so can I.
Thanks John for asking many of the questions a lot of us have been wondering.

Its hard to see the AC name go away for the dirt line, but it does make sense in a lot of aspects. Thankfully Wildcat, Prowler and Alterra are going to hang on.
Ken says:
4/24/2017 11:22:00 AM

I get tired of corporate executives stating "It’s the right decision for the company". It should be "It's the right decision for the customers". We are the ones that will make or break your company. We are the ones putting down our hard earned money for the products we want, desire and have used for decades. To take away Arctic Cat from the dirt products is a very bad move. You say Arctic Cat is not known in the south. Make it known. Show them that it is the best built, best performance and the best looking machine there is. Textron has the people, funds and knowledge to do this.

I disagree on your statement: "It would be clumsy to offer dealers and customers the Arctic Cat Wildcat, Prowler and Alterra models as well as the Textron Stampede. That makes it seem like it’s two different companies, which they no longer are". You are contradicting your self when you say this. Textron has many different business segments. I did not know that Textron was the parent company of many of those segments. An example is I did not know Textron has Jacobsen or Cushman or E-Z-Go until this acquisition of Arctic Cat took place. Is the Textron name on these? You have not combined the names of these segments. There is nothing wrong with having Arctic Cat and your line up of off road products separate. It gives us buyers a choice and your company benefits. You state ” There are some sacred, holy names that we would never change. Arctic Cat snowmobiles and E-Z-GO golf cars are two of them". Well Arctic Cat dirt products are sacred and holy names. Don't ever change that.

Sorry about the rant. I can go on and on. I just hope that Textron does the right thing for the customers. Customers are the ones that will make or break you.

Thanks for the interview John and John.
Chris says:
4/24/2017 12:50:00 PM

It's smart by rebranding the dirt products away from the Arctic Cat brand. However, Textron is a lousy brand name. It screams "parent" company. Bad Boy Off-Road is much more fitting - and I think it spurs more curiosity among customers in this market. Happy to see some equity injected into the snowmobile operation but curious how long it will last with the dismal seasons we've been having. Perhaps the snowmobile market needs to expand in the mountains even more.
JimR says:
4/24/2017 1:29:00 PM

I believe they are expanding into the mountain segment even more there Chris. I would say this is probably the most exciting time for Arctic Cat fans since 1994. I ordered a new 6000 a little over a week ago. Probably should have traded in my 015 for another 6000 so I would have the same body work between two new sleds.
Chris says:
4/24/2017 2:39:00 PM

I agree with your rant Ken. Polaris was a snowmobile company first as well that diversified and is huge in the dirt market all over the US. With a more competitive dirt product line that I was hoping to see with the additional resources from Textron Arctic Cat could have been a player in the game again. The Wildcat XX is a good start. They never had a competitive model to go against the General and Commander and their Wildcat is way down on power compared to the X3 and Razr. This is the reason they aren't selling in the south or anywhere else, not brand recognition. Build a competitive or better model, market it well, and it will sell. As a long time Arctic Cat fan and current Prowler and 700 wheeler owner I just don't know if I could buy a Textron machine. If they all look like the Stampede then for sure not. Just my .02
JimR says:
4/24/2017 2:56:00 PM

A friend of mine has a 14 Wildcat Trail with over 6,000 miles on it. Does 70 miles an hour on pavement. Has really done nothing but regular maintenance to it since new. More than fast enough and way nicer than any RZR I have been in. The Prowler, Wildcats and ATV's will keep there name and place of being built. Will get upgrades to power trains faster now than when it was just cat. This is a win, WIN people! Put a cat sticker over the Textron off road if you are so sensitive.
butarctic says:
4/24/2017 3:09:00 PM

JimR i agree with you 100 percent
KerryZ says:
4/24/2017 4:45:00 PM

I am glad to hear the snowmobile line gets to keep their name!....they started with sleds and that is their stronghold.if it's good enough for Roger it's good enough for me!
It is exactly what AC needed ...things were getting stale.
As for adding a decal or a wrap for those that need to ....perfect ...no biggie !
People don't like change .... I however welcome it !
Cheers to Textron purchasing Arctic Cat.
Tom says:
4/24/2017 5:51:00 PM

The more we know the more it makes sense -- the dirt/snow trail looks brighter for both parties, in every condition :) >> Keep us posted John.
Paul Nadeau says:
4/24/2017 6:29:00 PM

Thanks to both John's for the great interview, certainly sheds more positive light on everything. Give everyone some time to absorb all of this, time will be the answer to many of the questions we all have. We all have a hard time with change, be patient.
Kevin Hooper says:
4/24/2017 7:38:00 PM

This was a good interview with questions we all wanted answers to and thoughtful answers. Also, I have no problem with execs doing what is right for the company. It's business 101. Businesses exist to support it's owners - of course those who succeed produce a product customers want; at a fair price; and support their customer after the sale. It sounds like Textron wants to take care of the Arctic dealers!
Dan says:
4/24/2017 10:08:00 PM

It is a sad day for Arctic Cat fans. Arctic Cat ATVs were great, they just needed some upgrades. As far as Textron having a better name in dirt vehicles...Textron who? They don't have a name yet, so why buy them? There are lots of other players without any history. The only thing that Textron is well-known worldwide for is Lycoming aircraft engines.
Alex says:
4/25/2017 10:34:00 AM

First thing you find when you google Textron is their company page on the right and it states "Aerospace and defense company" Areospace and Defense to me = Tight tolerance and high quality.. Something that we can all wish for with our Cat products.

All that aside - if a major player in Arctic Cat's history like Roger endorses and embraces the change it has to be a good thing. Arctic not only wouldn't exist without Rogers hard work and dedication but he would never agree to something that wouldn't allow the brand to thrive. That alone is enough to make me look forward to the coming years with Textron.

Again Thank you John for an excellent write up and a great amount of insight into the changes that we are all facing as enthusiasts of a brand.
Rod Ghorashi-Zadeh says:
4/25/2017 11:17:00 AM

I just want to know how this will effect the parts availability for older models, should I be selling my 2012 TRV?
JimR says:
4/25/2017 11:49:00 AM

Will not effect it one bit. Still making the quads in TRF and still making the same models. Just a name on the bike people. Still Cat through and through!
Greg Hallstrom says:
4/25/2017 11:53:00 AM

Next winter Roger should invite the Textron people up to his ranch for some snowmobiling and see if they can keep up to him. Afterward he could treat them to a beer at either Fourtown or the Skime Store.
catman says:
4/25/2017 2:28:00 PM

I don't think anyone can argue the products will get better but even with the market research they did that determined they should change the dirt products to Textron...I'm sorry no one knows anything about Textron so in the Dirt world, your starting from scratch with massive marketing $. Now while it's true in the South maybe the name Arctic Cat isn't that big but Cat never had **** for advertising compared to other brands. On top of that, now that your dirt products are a different name you don't get dual marketing out of advertising Cat snowmobiles. I do not believe it was the right decision to change the name. I think they will find out that marketing the name Textron is a lot harder than they thought. There is a reason they don't put the name on any of their other brands. The dirt products will be great quality but the name change will not be the benefit they seek. Money on that!
tex says:
4/25/2017 2:57:00 PM

hmm remember when they owned polaris?
JimR says:
4/25/2017 4:38:00 PM

Remember how long ago that was Tex? Going on 38 years. Totally different company now. Jimmy Carter killed the economy back then.
Snopro says:
4/25/2017 8:13:00 PM

How can anyone on this site think it was a good idea to get rid of Arctic cat weather it's atv's or sleds? think Arctic insider is being over run with corporate planted customers to make this sound like a good idea? Half the US knows who Arctic cat is, NO one knows who Textron is!
Mike F says:
4/25/2017 9:10:00 PM

@Snopro...I agree. AC dirt products suffered because of a piss poor dealer network and ZERO advertising due to tiny Cat having no money. The new dirt products are outstanding in relation to the competition, with the exception of a lack of the high Hp mills that will be provided by Yamaha and Weber. But at least most people in the south or west had heard of the name. Textron=ACME. I got a bad feeling about this.....
Greg H says:
4/25/2017 10:21:00 PM

Corporate changes of products are always difficult to digest. With that said, I would love to love Arctic Cat snowmobiles again as I did for 30 years. They lost me and their mojo with the big fat Chinese F series I haven't found my way back but I want to. Please win me back dear Arctic Cat.
sknox says:
4/26/2017 5:21:00 AM

You Will be Assimilated. Resistance is Futile.
Mavrick says:
4/26/2017 12:38:00 PM

Tex says remember when they owned Polaris?

Well Tex, i certainly do remember when Textron owned Polaris, 1968-1981. Those were the glory years for all vintage Polaris fans. For the life of me i cannot understand why everyone gets it wrong about the Textron years at Polaris? A Textron owned Polaris was one of the best snowmobile brands the entire time they owned them, in fact.....When Textron sold Polaris they left Polaris with a chassis that was at least a decade ahead of anything else at the time, you may of heard of it, it was called the INDY. With the INDY chassis and FUJI engines and the best clutch in the industry Polaris became # 1 in sales by the end of the 80's and held that position until 2002. Polaris did hardly any real updates to the INDY chassis until the early 90's, all that inovation came during the Textron years. Yes Polaris almost went bankrupt in the early 80's, but so did almost all sled manufacturers, the economy was the biggest issue. So for all you guys that think Textron did Polaris and the sled industry a dis-service while they owned Polaris, you are dead wrong, i believe that Textron will allow Cat to become a force to be reckoned with.
hugh says:
4/26/2017 1:07:00 PM

Might want to check your facts, Yamaha rode sleds like the Phazer to #1.
Mavrick says:
4/26/2017 2:09:00 PM

You might want to learn how to read there Hugh, i wrote Polaris was number 1 in sales by the END of the 80's ( 1989 to be exact ) . Prior to that Yamaha was Number 1.
catman says:
4/26/2017 5:02:00 PM

Hey Maverick, did they change the name from Polaris to Textron? Nope. These guys at Textron are living in fantasy land if they think the Textron name has more weight than Arctic Cat. No one here thinks they won't take Cat products to the next level in terms of quality and innovation, however, the dirt products name change is something that will cost them because no matter how much John (and I love ya John) or Country Cat tries to convince us the name change was a good thing, it was not a good thing. We can at least be open and honest about it.
Mavrick says:
4/26/2017 5:09:00 PM

I agree, the name change is not a good move.... My post has nothing to do with the name change, i was responding to Tex's comment. Until Cat was purchased by Textron i had no idea Textron off road even existed.
ARay says:
4/26/2017 9:42:00 PM

dropping the cat name for Textron. Why not call it Tampon? This is the goofiest brain-fart idea I've ever heard. The only familiarity I had with the Textron name comes from the fact I knew they once owned Polaris. I don't trust the statements in this interview any more than I trust Senator Chuckie Schumer. After hearing this, I'm changing up my plans and going with Can Am for my new wheeled vehicle purchase this year. As an Arctic Cat fanatic, I see this brand in the cross hairs. I'll give them 3 years until they nail the coffin shut for the Cat snowmobile line. What shame.
Oldcrow says:
4/27/2017 6:35:00 AM

Stopped in my favorite toy store (my local Arctic Cat dealer).
I never heard of Textron before this spring; I sure heard of them now!
At the dealer I'm walking around off brand golf carts, ATV's and SXS that I have no interest in just trying to find something made by Arctic Cat.
Sad days
Jeff says:
4/27/2017 7:48:00 AM

Yes, that name may hold some weight in the corporate world and on the trading floor. But to the average public, what the hell is a Textron!!'
This is a disaster. Bad bad move.
Six Cat quads and SXS's in our stable and there won't be another, after this.
pete says:
4/27/2017 10:20:00 AM

..when i bought my first wildcat 2 years ago- the name arctic cat seemed strange to me (as a european)- but never had a problem with- the atvs are also good recognized here in europe- after 2 years we bought our 2nd wildcat- good product for me- quality is right- meanwhile im proud to drive an arctic cat- hope this disaster/change will work out good - they have great products that deserve respect in the offroadworld- good luck arctic cat /textron people
Gary says:
4/27/2017 12:58:00 PM

Don't forget that Arctic Cat needed to be saved. Everyone in the industry knew it. Too many years were spent just reducing costs without any true investment in growth. All in all this is not looking bad, considering that Arctic Cat was losing money hand over fist many of the past few years. They still have plants in TRF and St Cloud and employ a lot of the same people as before the acquisition. Many of the senior managers that were let go were relative newcomers anyway. Textron is a very sound company and has many smart people there. Hopefully they are able to identify the truly talented people at AC and keep them on staff. I think people should support this wholeheartedly, but of course the employees whose job status is questionable need to keep their options open. The only constant is change.
catman says:
4/27/2017 4:58:00 PM

Gary, I think you missed the point of all the previous posts. No one is saying they don't support the buyout, the argument is the atv name change was a bad idea. Has anyone noticed John is seemingly absent from this conversation?...interesting.
krom says:
4/27/2017 8:07:00 PM

I'll say it again in this post.

To the general public there is no brand recognition to the arctic cat name for dirt products. The dealer I'm has been selling cat atv's since the first year cat released one. We still get several people a month that dont/didn't know cat even makes atv's, or side by sides. You can't blame them. How would they know?? Has anyone ever seen an ad for a cat product, anywhere?? I see can-am, polaris, honda, and kawasaki ads on tv all the time.

I've gotten more textron offroad ads following me around online this week, than cat ads the last year.

My gripe with the atv line is that cat only makes 2 machines now. the 700, and 1000. All the rest are kymco's with cat decals. And those 2 machines are significantly down on power.. The 700 is just over 40 hp, while the 1000 is low 60 hp.
The poo 570 is 44 hp, their 850 is 77 hp, their 1000 is 90 hp.
Can-Am has a 48 hp 570, a 78 hp 740, and an 89 hp 1000

As for the name change... I'm not a fan of textron offroad, but the machines will still say alterra, prowler, wildcat on them.
krom says:
4/27/2017 8:09:00 PM

cant edit the above post. should read:
Can-Am has a 48 hp 570, a 78 hp 850, and an 89 hp 1000
Oldcrow says:
4/27/2017 9:21:00 PM

So you admit Krom, you don't get it.

I ride a lot with a buddy that has a 2015 Can Am 800. Other than about 1 mph more top end over my 2014 1000 xt my machine gets power to the ground way better. They are both 70hp class machines
Plus he has way more repair costs than I have had with all my AC ATV's.
He's replaced front diff, rear diff, transmission, clutches, the thing leaks oil like Grandpas old Farmall, horrible fit and finish, he's always pushing his plastic back in place, I have never had to do so

Besides how many ATV's does Textron produce?
One 550 that they came "has more than enough power"
Blah

Ken says:
4/29/2017 8:33:00 AM

Mr. Skime told the Textron executives. “Working at Arctic Cat has never been a job for me; it’s been my life".

This is why I love Arctic Cat and have since I was a little guy. This is how, I believe, every worker at Arctic Cat is. Arctic Cat gave me this passion. I want these same people creating the machines. Arctic Cat is not just a name it's a life style. Not having the Arctic Cat name on the dirt products takes this away. Some say just replace the Textron sticker with the Arctic Cat sticker. It's not that simple. I want Arctic Cat on my machine because Mr. Skime created and is Arctic Cat. Thank you Mr. Skime.

We all agree and disagree about what Textron will do or not do with Arctic Cat. I just hope they keep the same people and the passion that Arctic Cat has instilled in me.
Shawn says:
4/29/2017 11:50:00 AM

Is arctic cat gonna keep the parts for atv's side by sides ?
catman says:
5/1/2017 2:00:00 PM

I'm with Ken, replace the Textron decal with Arctic Cat decal. We could start a trend, go viral. People post photos replacing the decals with the hashtag #notmytextron. The power is in the people, we can make them go back to using the Cat name if there is enough pushback-I know that seems like a stretch but it could be done. Social media can make it happen.

krom says:
5/1/2017 5:36:00 PM

John is kinda quiet, but He should be able to post a slide from the dealer show. Textron said that their market research showed that a large percentage of competitive brand owners would be more likely to purchase a Textron Offroad brand machine than an Arctic Cat
Shawn says:
5/1/2017 7:05:00 PM

But are they gonna keep the part for thr arctic cat ?
Mike F says:
5/1/2017 9:37:00 PM

@krom....Textron can say what they want, because they paid for the conformational bias from their "market research" company that they hired. I can confirm that John is alive and well...
catman says:
5/2/2017 9:30:00 AM

Krom is right, as I watched the whole presentation and Textron did say that but they didn't say how they asked the question. They said when they told the consumer that Textron made helicoptors, airplanes, etc then the consumer was more likely to choose Textron over Cat. Basically the only way they could get the consumer to choose Textron over Cat name was to tell them those things. Yet, did they ask the consumer if they knew Cat was owned by the company that built those things, would you buy a Cat...my guess is they did not do that. So that is why I suspect the research was a bit flawed.
Dave E says:
5/8/2017 5:38:00 PM

Name change may help. I am an European A/Cat ATV dealer and the the question I get asked so often is "who makes them"? Textron ,with strong military links will give buyers confidence in the product as they will associate it with precision engineering, high quality,and reliability. Diesel engine utility product desperately needed following the demise of the 700 Diesel quad. We would love to see the 700D revived with a few improvements,especially power steering. Diesel side by sides are very much in demand over here,look at the sales lost to JD Gator,Kawasaki Mule, Polaris , Kubota etc.etc. As a dealer I welcome the Textron takeover and hopefully they will engage with dealers, who will be able to give valuable feedback regarding requests from customers.Strong advertising campaign needed to raise brand awareness, this has been lacking in the past. I am very optimistic and look forward to new product in the utility sector.
Tim says:
8/3/2017 10:14:00 PM

I don't like the name change either but it will make it easier for me to buy another Honda atv and not feel like a trader. I bleed AC snowmobiles but have not been convinced anyone makes a better utility atv then Honda and will not buy a Textron brand name ever.
Mezz says:
8/15/2017 11:11:00 AM

I have been an Arctic Cat sled loyalist for over 30 years, I've also been a loyalist to their side by sides for the last 10 years. For those of you who have not seriously looked at the Stampede, you are truly missing out on a high quality built machine that will undoubtedly last decades past any mfg. out there. These things are built to last unlike any other. Needless to say, after 10 yrs. of Prowlers, of which I still like, when I really checked the Stampede out, it was a no brainer decision for me, I now own one. I will always be a Cat loyalist, but with the extreme confidence that the dirt products will be a cut well above the rest. Military grade all the way!
IanP says:
8/15/2017 11:13:00 AM

I'm looking forward to the new products under this amalgamation, with deep pockets + high level engineering. My only gripe is I was selling my 2009 700LE and with the cleansing of the dirt products pipeline, I feel I lost about a grand with the reduced pricing to zero out existing stock! Time will tell

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