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The Cat Came Back (to UTVs and ATVs)


Arctic Cat off road.

Today Textron announced news that most Cat fans (and dealers) are happy to hear: the Arctic Cat name is returning to side-by-sides and ATVs.

No more clunky "Textron Off Road," at least in terms of wheelers.

The company is saying that the name change is a response to what enthusiasts have asked for.

I'll call this good news.

What about you?

Comments (46):

Mike F says:
1/17/2019 7:36:00 PM

Thank God....I have purchased a few products since The buy out, and all the surveys I have indicated the same sentiment. Textron sounds like ACME, or some sort offshore builder.
Mike F says:
1/17/2019 8:13:00 PM

Oh hell Yes!
Anticollins says:
1/17/2019 8:33:00 PM

The miss step by textron should have been rectified much sooner. I don’t believe that this change was a response to customer sentiment as they say. this has to do with them not being able to turn the company into the cash cow that they thought they could and now are preparing to exit the business. The 40+ layoffs that hit last week also is realated to preparing for a sale. My money is on CFMoto or Yamaha as the next owner of cat.
Jeff says:
1/18/2019 7:47:00 AM

Great news!!!!
This made my week.
Mike B says:
1/18/2019 8:36:00 AM

If you like this news... stay tuned!
catman says:
1/18/2019 9:06:00 AM

It is excellent news and I have no problem with someone else like Yami or Kymco owning Cat because Textron knows nothing about this business. They talk a big game and think that because they produce stuff for the military that they are all knowing but I'm really not impressed. I'm really surprised John's post was so short above...something is up.
Snopro says:
1/18/2019 9:07:00 AM

Wow, thank you. Hope this is turning around. The cat is back!
Joe Rainville says:
1/18/2019 11:10:00 AM

Despite all the wild speculation and opinions of Textron (disclaimer: I am a Textron employee in an aerospace division and a Cat fan), I see this as good news. Several of the TOR vehicles has their production moved to TRF from GA and were new products for Cat to both sell and manufacture.

And say what you will about Textron, they were smart enough to see value in, and purchase Cat. From what is known now, Cat would be in much larger trouble has they not cut the check.

Personally, I hope this is a good sign of things to come for my favorite sled and ATV company.

-Joe Rainville
Cole says:
1/18/2019 12:02:00 PM

I hope this means they're bringing back Bad Boy Off Road! Such a better name than Textron Off Road.
gbarchives 67-72. says:
1/18/2019 12:05:00 PM

Matt says:
1/18/2019 12:31:00 PM

Does this mean they will put the big Arctic Cat sign back in front of the factory?
Charlie says:
1/18/2019 1:21:00 PM

I think this means a sale of Arctic Cat is imminent. Look at the blowout pricing on sleds. Textron wanted Cat for the potential military applications and rounding out their portfolio. Gone within 16-18 months. Yamaha wouldn't touch them with a 10ft pole. However some Chinese owned manufacturer will be waiting in the lurch.
Laura O says:
1/18/2019 1:22:00 PM

Good suggestion Cole, but I think they should go real retro and bring back the Bad Boy Buggies brand. Those machines were killer!!
Cole says:
1/18/2019 1:32:00 PM

Charlie: There's no way they're selling Arctic Cat, Textron wouldn't make rash decisions like that on a whim.
stack says:
1/18/2019 2:02:00 PM

Based on the condition of Arctic Cat at the time of purchase they (Textron) needed to be in this for several years in order to turn this around. To think it would be complete in 1-2 years is foolish. They are still fighting old inventory that needs to be moved and the winters have also not been the greatest which slows the process. I believe the collaboration/partnership with Yamaha continues, possible tweaks, but there is money to be made and these companies working together can make that happen if they are “All-In”. We may see a different “arctic cat” in the future but based on this market segment I think partnership/collaboration or acquisition combining a Yamaha-Arctic Cat makes the most sense.
Mike beaty says:
1/18/2019 2:38:00 PM

Something is up because no Arctic Cat annual dealer meeting this and very little news by the cat reps
Bobby Flame says:
1/18/2019 3:46:00 PM

Does anyone know where I can get the bllowout pricing on a race sled?
Kevin says:
1/18/2019 4:48:00 PM

It's a good thing bringing back the arctic name on wheeled vehicles. I do maybe see why they took the name off in the first place. The arctic name is synonymous with snowmobiles and winter time. They have a rich tradition there. It means nothing to someone say living in Florida or some such place where it's 70 degrees in the winter time considering buying an arctic wheeled vehicle. Obviously removing the arctic name was misguided and didn't work. I rode cat sleds for years. Although I gave up riding s
Skinny says:
1/18/2019 7:59:00 PM

This is a good move by Textron nobody in this area understands that name everybody still refers to Arctic Cat as Arctic Cat there simply been too much Confusion by the name change even when they had to register the new four wheeler that I had bought there was some confusion as that what the name was to put on the registration so just maybe this is a better move for Textron it should help with their sales it's very good to see the Arctic Cat named back and I never should have took it off the machines to begin with
The Furmanator says:
1/19/2019 1:25:00 AM

What am I supposed to do with this "TEXTRON OFF ROAD" tattoo on my lower back now?

****. Me.
Dave says:
1/19/2019 7:54:00 AM

Glad to see the big corporate guys who make dumb decisions if they would only bring back the guys who made Arctic Cat what it is, that would right the wrongs.
jerry says:
1/19/2019 1:36:00 PM

Fermanator, you can add to that tattoo. have your ink guy add an
Arctic Cat ATV doing a big, nasty burnout on top of that Textron Off Road tattoo. ;-)
Innovator says:
1/19/2019 2:47:00 PM

Here is what the start of the redemption plan needs to be in order to take market share and restablish a national brand presence: take the alterra full size frame, delete the wet clutch and bore out the 433 kymco engine to 450cc exactly, which would move it from 32hp to 36hp. Equip it with closed loop efi, eps, electronic diff lock, and 26in. trail pros tires. Sell it for $5,300, offer a $200 credit for anyone who brings in a picture of themselves test driving a competitive 450 class model. They will sell like hot cakes in that class and then build the premium lineup off the back of the 450 class machine. This would kill the Polaris 450 at 33hp and $6,300 and the Canam 450 at 38hp and $7,300. Margin will be lower on those units but this is the key to build the long term integrity and respect of the brand.
Innovator says:
1/19/2019 2:58:00 PM

Add to that a $100 credit to be used towards accessories or apparel for anyone who buys a unit and posts about their purchase on their Facebook news feed.
Toddp says:
1/19/2019 3:47:00 PM

You mean I won’t ever have to worry about riding an EZ-GO 800? Yes!
arcturusmine says:
1/21/2019 8:12:00 AM

Bring back the Bearcat!
Captain says:
1/21/2019 9:59:00 AM

arcturusmine, the bearcat never left. Been in the lineup for decades. They just recently added the Norseman to the fray, but Bearcat is still there.
catman says:
1/21/2019 10:12:00 AM

This whole talk about leftovers...blah blah blah. Has anyone noticed how cheap Polaris leftovers have been for years! **** they were so cheap I was tempted to buy one and I'm a Cat guy. Face it, leftovers are just a part of the equation these days. There is just no way to avoid it unless you want to build too few machines that you run out out of a current model year sled...which they wouldn't want to do. And quite frankly, leftovers are really kind of the same as producing an affordable sled.
Glad2BOut says:
1/21/2019 5:29:00 PM

Despite being abused by Arctic Cat for years, dealers begged for them not to change the name, and throw away fifty years of effort and history. Instead, they arrogantly spoke of focus groups who never heard of Arctic Cat, and how buyers were sure to swoon when we put up posters of helicopters, planes, jets, and military equipment. Utter hogwash. Who believed that tripe?! If not enough people heard of Arctic Cat, NOBODY heard of Textron. Again, dealers tried to explain that it is a product business. Produce products that STOMP the competition, and you'll see how quickly you have the brand awareness you covet. Instead, more hot air, bravado, and empty promises. From a bunch of golf cart salesmen, no less. Delayed product introductions? Check. Products introduced with serious issues? Check. Continued programs to crush dealers, and devalue the product? Check. Still no turbo XX? Check. Still no four seater? Check. Same old, same old.

They changed the name back to make it easier to dump.

Sorry folks, they are toast.
Cole says:
1/22/2019 11:39:00 AM

"Toddp says:
1/19/2019 3:47:00 PM

You mean I won’t ever have to worry about riding an EZ-GO 800? Yes!"

800 cc golf cart? **** yeah!
Ex-Textron says:
1/22/2019 1:26:00 PM

I think the execs at Textron were talked into buying AC on the cheap by higher-ups in the golf cart business who thought it would be fun and easy to get into the off road industry without any idea what it takes from a development standpoint to seriously compete with Polaris and BRP. AC had talented engineers on the dirt side with woefully inadequate R&D facilities but were still better of than what Textron Off Road has in GA. After realizing that they were going to have to invest a bare minimum of $25 million into R&D facilities, I believe management is deciding that the money would be better spent elsewhere and will sell the brand without taking a big hit. Textron was one of many companies looking to buy a couple years ago. They've already reduced the salaried workforce by a sizeable percentage to make the books look better and can possibly make a profit.
JimR says:
1/22/2019 1:33:00 PM

Remember that Textron was already making off road vehicles and moved them to TRF to build and are also building more engines in St. Cloud. They are not going to sell after one year. They are in it for the long run. This is a drop in the bucket for them with only upside. Sleds did well this year btw. Probably doubled last years sales in the Mountains alone with the Alfa. The sky is not falling. Only getting brighter with a good chance of heavy snow.
Ex-Textron says:
1/23/2019 7:43:00 AM


I'm not saying the sky is falling or that a sale would even be bad for the brand; I'm giving my first-hand perspective of what I observed. I know Textron was already making off-road vehicles and I'm well aware of how receptive the market has been to them. I don't see the consolidation of production to MN as a sign they are committed; it was a relatively small investment to make this happen and they did it because they didn't have the capacity in GA to make everything there. Doing so also would make the operation look better to a buyer.

AC was always the underdog in the off-road market and I thought a sale to Textron may finally let them make the investments they need to modernize their development facilities and processes and compete in the industry but I don't see that happening. Unless the market changes and people are willing to wait 3-4 years between vehicle launches I don't see the current setup working long-term.
JimR says:
1/23/2019 10:00:00 AM

They have another round coming up soon on the rest of the dirt side lineup there tex. That was announced when they showed us the 2019 line up. Relax, drink a couple beers and enjoy what is yet to come.
Ex-Textron says:
1/23/2019 11:16:00 AM

I'm totally relaxed now that I no longer have any skin in the game and have moved on to greener pastures; just calling it how I see it. However, I'd still like to see Textron (or anyone else) make the right moves for the people who still work there, especially in TRF. I also feel bad for all the former AC off-road engineers and other staff who were passionate about the product but whose experience was completely written off by Textron.
Snopro says:
1/23/2019 12:07:00 PM

Who would you say has more influence in the new products coming out of TRF? Is it the Arctic cat crew or the new Textron people? With this tracker off road thing it seems like Arctic cat is becoming such a small piece of the pie
Ex-Textron says:
1/23/2019 2:15:00 PM

Textron was pretty hands off on the snow side; not sure if that has changed but they didn't have any experience in it and seemed like they'd leave it alone. As for the off-road business, Textron has completely taken over. Hardly anyone who worked for AC in off-road engineering or product management still works there and those that do aren't developing off-road products.
Oldcrow says:
1/24/2019 7:32:00 AM

Been a week or so since this news has come out and one thing I hear is how Textron has heard the “Passion” and putting the Arctic Cat name back on the Wildcat and Prowler Pro.
Don’t hear anything about puting the AC name on the Havoc or Stampede.
Sounds like separation to me
stephen knox says:
2/1/2019 4:39:00 AM

Best news I've heard all year!
Stephen young says:
2/3/2019 5:13:00 AM

I’m glad they are bringing back the Artic Cat name.But as a happy Textron Stampede owner,wondering what’s going to happen to the original Textron line up?No one seems to clearly explain this....
ProCross4sho says:
2/17/2019 12:10:00 AM

I always said Textron sounds like a Tampon brand (thing playTEX), it's about time they give up the ****** and stick to a man's brand!
Michael J Lefebvre says:
3/2/2019 12:09:00 PM

Textron blamed Arctic Cat for their loss of profits in 2018 this is the reason why they're bringing back the Arctic Cat name.The want to separate themselves so they can offload the company this is what the shareholders are really doing
Jayme Whitten says:
3/31/2019 4:51:00 PM

Any new insights on what is going on? Have not seen any rebates, incentives or promotional financing. Every one is being tight lipped.
TP says:
5/14/2019 3:52:00 PM

Rebranding a product has way of backfiring on people. They bought the name Arctic Cat, the product under that name is what people buy. Textron shot itself in the foot with the rebranding. Just because you brought the name Arctic Cat back doesn't mean you brought your customer back. When you upset your customer, you normally do not get them back. I know of one customer that won't be back.
RK says:
9/4/2019 8:19:00 AM

We have 5 Arctic em. Textron had better keep the product as it was and grow the company by expanding the market, ie more dealers.
This a great product........DON'T SCREW IT UP...........if you haven't already.
People who have them, love them. NO maintenance issues since the first was purchased in 2004.............THAT'S IMPRESSIVE!
dssd says:
10/5/2020 1:06:00 AM

vPeople who have them, love them. NO maintenance issues since the first was purchased in 2004.............THAT'S IMPRESSIVE!

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