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Polaris Joins Arctic Cat-Owner Textron On Fortune 500 List

By John Prusak

The sport of snowmobiling now has two of its four manufacturers on the Fortune 500 list, with Polaris making its debut on the list this year and after Arctic Cat was acquired by Fortune 500 regular Textron last year. The list was confirmed Monday by Fortune Magazine. 

For Textron, it’s the 20th appearance on the annually compiled, prestigious list. The company’s $14.2 billion in sales ranked it at 208th on the Fortune list – down slightly from 200th last year, though the list continues to get more competitive. The Rhode Island-based corporation derives much of its sales from the aerospace and defense industries, but when all of its divisions were combined its 37,000 employees helped generate $307 million in profits, according to the company’s most recent financial statements.

For Polaris, this year’s inclusion in the Fortune list is a benchmark moment, though the company has been pointed in this direction in recent years due to its strong growth in various segments and multiple acquisitions. Polaris’ sales of $5.5 billion – a 19.8 percent increase year-over-year – pushed it up from its previous ranking of 537th on the annual Fortune Magazine list last year to No. 496th now.

Polaris is one of 25 companies to crack the list for the first time this year. Profits for the Minnesota-based company, however, did decline by 19 percent, to $172 million. Polaris has 11,000 employees.  

“Being named to the Fortune 500 is a tremendous honor and a true testament to the integrity, passion, and commitment to excellence of every Polaris employee,” said Scott Wine, chairman and CEO of Polaris, in a press release Monday, May 21. “Building on the entrepreneurial spirit of our founders and with an eye towards strategic growth, Polaris has spent the last six decades leading the industry in innovation, shaping new markets, and working hard each day to create enjoyable experiences for our customers across the globe. Thanks to the hard work of our employees, the support of our riders and a strong partnership with our dealers, we have achieved this notable milestone, but this is just the beginning, and we are continuing our drive towards an incredibly bright future.”

The Fortune list includes only U.S.-based companies, which takes Canada-based BRP (the parent company of Ski-Doo snowmobiles, among other products) and Japan-based Yamaha out of the running.

For the record, BRP reported $4.5 billion Canadian in sales last year (equivalent to about $3.5 billion in U.S. dollars, depending on a day’s given exchange rate) while Yamaha had sales of $1.67 billion Yen (equivalent to about $1.5 billion U.S. dollars) though Yamaha is structured in a manner that makes an apples-to-apples comparison difficult (for instance, Yamaha Motors U.S. and Yamaha Motors Canada are both separate companies that don’t wholly roll up directly into the Yamaha Motor headquarters numbers in Japan).

Editor’s Note: Every issue of Snow Goer magazine includes in-depth sled reports and comparisons, aftermarket gear and accessories reviews, riding destination articles, do-it-yourself repair information, snowmobile technology and more! Subscribe to Snow Goer now to receive issues delivered to your door 7 times per year for a low cost.

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