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Textron Talks Future Plans for Arctic Cat


(4/20/2017)

 

At a special event held in an airplane hanger in Dallas-Ft. Worth yesterday, Textron Off Road shared with its dealers some plans for incorporating Arctic Cat into its family of vehicles. I was there, and I can tell you it was a powerful and good presentation. One of the key messages was that, going forward, the Arctic Cat name will be substituted with Textron when it comes to wheeled vehicles, while sub-brands like Wildcat, Prowler, Alterra and Stampede will be retained.

Arctic Cat snowmobiles will forever retain the name.

("There are some things that are sacred, and the Arctic Cat snowmobile name is one of them," Collins said to me.)

I have a lot more to say about this, including a soon-to-come interview with company Vice President John Collins in which he answers the questions that so many are asking.

In the meantime, if you have an hour to spare, I recommend watching the presentation. There's a lot of business/dealer talk, but there are also great things for everyone to hear.



Comments (14):

Pvcarlson says:
4/20/2017 1:46:00 PM

#A W E S O M E#
Oldcrow says:
4/20/2017 1:49:00 PM

Look at all the forums out there; Arctic Insider, Hard Core Sledder, Arctic Chat, Wildcat Forums and many others; there are well over 200,000 members which is nothing more than a bunch of guys helping each other out and sharing our passion for the brand. That's over 200,000 people talking about Arctic Cat.
In comparison Textron Forum has 61 members.
Hard to believe anyone think it smart to separate the names
Arcticcat says:
4/20/2017 11:00:00 PM

I am very disappointed that the arctic cat name is going to be dropped in the dirt products. I feel for all the hard working people at arctic cat that worked day in day out to make the atvs and side by sides better. I hope they continue to build the machines in Thief River Falls,MN and would love to see the arctic cat logos and names remain on the machine weather that's who owns them or not.
Arcticcat says:
4/20/2017 11:01:00 PM

I am very disappointed that the arctic cat name is going to be dropped in the dirt products. I feel for all the hard working people at arctic cat that worked day in day out to make the atvs and side by sides better. I hope they continue to build the machines in Thief River Falls,MN and would love to see the arctic cat logos and names remain on the machine weather that's who owns them or not.
Ken says:
4/21/2017 10:28:00 AM

Totally agree with what Arcticcat states. Do not understand why Textron would drop the Arctic Cat name from their side by sides. Arctic Cat is iconic and they should not change it on the dirt products. At least, for now, they are keeping the name for snow. I will not buy it if it does not have Arctic Cat and the Cat symbol on it. This includes Arctic Cat employees manufacturing these machines in Thief River Falls. Yes, I am that loyal to Arctic Cat and what it stands for. Guess I will be keeping my 2013 Wildcat 4 till I'm six feet under.
Bryan says:
4/21/2017 12:08:00 PM

ACME, AMF, TEXTRON these names all have the same ring to it. Why did these guys pay for a company they are not going to use? I don't see this ending well.
angry in North dakota says:
4/21/2017 11:02:00 PM

I understand part of what they are trying to do rebranding the dirt side of things like brp did with can-am. Ect. But I feel it's a step in the wrong direction. If they were to just to rebrand and keep both names with slight tweaks between brands like what KTM did when it bought out Husqvarna. Revamped the company saved the name (that has a cult following like cat) and if someone buys a husky over a KTM who cares? The parent company owned both. That's just one more competitor for the other large manufactures. Buying out a company to further your own business isn't a bad move but killing off that division to do so seems very cut throat. More so to make sure they don't separate again maybe like Polaris did when they owned them?? Idk but seems like a horrible idea.
Pitchervy says:
4/22/2017 8:51:00 AM

I'm very disappointed but not surprised that pin-headed management in the large corporate bureaucracy made this kind of decision. I've spent over 30 years in a big company, which included a merger/acquisition. There are opportunities and many decisions that set the tone during an acquisition, and management needs to consider them carefully. Either the Textron leadership doesn't understand the power of brand loyalty or they don't truly understand how important the function of a Brand Manager is. Textron chose poorly to remove AC from the dirt products.

I've been a Cat fan since the early 80s. I have owned several over the years and currently have three with a Snow check on the books. I have Cat cloths and gear, Cat stickers on my trailer and a Cat poster on the wall in my office. Last year when we decided to buy our first SxS, I didn't have to decide what brand I would buy, only needed to decide which version of the Wildcat would join our sleds. The next SxS will NOT be a Textron machine. I WILL buy something else. People will vote with their dollars and Arctic Cat loyalist will likely be heard over the next few years.

In my experience, LOYALTY is not something valued highly by executive management, but in the shops and garages of the working class IT IS...
yamahabandit says:
4/22/2017 1:57:00 PM

No matter how you spin it, the optics do not look good. I agree with all previous posts and wonder how and why Textron made these decisions. I guess it's their company now and they can do with it as they see fit, no matter what we think.
gbarchives 67-72 says:
4/22/2017 2:11:00 PM

The only part of the presentation that hit me like a brick was the demand that if you want to stay a dealer, you will be selling EZ-GO products. That works fine for urban areas next to golf courses and race car pit crews up at the Watkins Glen like them. But a family buying them for the kids to play in the dirt with over a used Razor/Can-Am/Cat/Yamaha/Honda buggy? Nope. Shoving product creates trouble for dealers. Right now I can drive around the twin tiers and see a lot of major brand used ATV's for sale less than the 7500 so called full feature price of an EZ-Go. Maybe this guy needs to go to Lycoming and see the red EZ-Go's covered in dust down there next to the highway. Could not help but notice no applause at that comment. Yikes.
Dave says:
4/23/2017 5:19:00 AM

Agree with all of you, they are making a big mistake. I'm a die hard snowmobiler, and just now thinking of a SxS. Will I buy a "Texstron" (see, I couldn't even spell it right!) or a Can Am, Yamaha, or Polaris? Probably the later - want something with more stable lineage. I don't give a damn about helicopters and jets. I care about passionate people who build product I don't have to have but want. Tell me, if GE bought Ferrari, do you think that would that turn out well? One other thing, as the CFO at a 3000 employee company, I can tell you the Yamaha relationship is toast. No way will they buy Yamaha engines when they just bought a motor company. It will take a few years to root them out, but the next Gen will be Weber. And if that Yamaha chassis volume goes away, what happens to the economics of the plant in TRF?. I'm worried...
yamahabandit says:
4/23/2017 1:35:00 PM

After watching the presentation a second time, I'm less pessimistic about the future for Arctic Cat. At least they kept the trademark names Wildcat, Prowler etc. Hope things work out for Cat and Textron. These days about the only thing you can count on is change.
Oldcrow says:
4/24/2017 8:23:00 AM

I wonder, will this site change to Arctic/Textron Insider?
ARay says:
4/26/2017 10:33:00 PM

I had a bad feeling about this acquisition when it was announced and my gut once again looks to be correct. Dropping the Cat name would be laughable if it weren't true. I don't think I could come up with an idea this stupid in my worst drunk. This is not far from Led Zeppelin changing the band name after the release of IV. My years of diehard enthusiasm and devotion for Cat is coming to an end as it is clear Tampon has no interest in brand recognition/loyalty.

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