Less than four months separated from the opening ceremony of a huge factory in the country of Poland, Polaris announced today plans for yet another new manufacturing facility, this one back in the U.S.A.
In a press release, Polaris said it would start work on a 600,000-square-foot factory located on a 435-acre plot of land in Huntsville, Alabama. The press release seemed purposely generic, mentioning only that the new factory would focus on “off-road vehicle production” but not narrowing it down to whether RZRs, Rangers or ATVs would be rolling off the line. We think it’s safe to assume, though, that snowmobile production will stay at the company’s original hometown of Roseau, Minnesota.
One problem that both Polaris and neighboring Arctic Cat have faced in past efforts to expand in the northwest corner of Minnesota is the limited labor pool in that region vs. the total number of manufacturing jobs available. By adding in Alabama, Polaris addresses that issuye and also puts down roots in an area that can more easily serve another portion of the country that is ATV/UTV friendly.
Below is the press release from Polaris.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Polaris Industries Inc. Announces Expansion of Manufacturing Operations
Addition of a new production facility will provide needed capacity and flexibility to support growth as well as close proximity to key customers
MINNEAPOLIS (January 9, 2015) — Polaris Industries Inc. (NYSE: PII) today announced plans to build a new production facility in Huntsville, Alabama to provide additional capacity and flexibility as the company continues to experience rapid growth. Located Southwest of Huntsville City Center, the 600,000 square-foot facility will focus on off-road vehicle production.
Polaris selected Huntsville due to its skilled workforce, history of technology and innovation, existing utility infrastructure, and strong local and state resources supporting economic development. The 453-acre Huntsville site offers Polaris close proximity to its key customer base in the Southeast U.S. and strong logistics network.
“This new facility will complement our already strong and growing North American manufacturing footprint by reducing pressure on our existing facilities and enable each to remain focused on their current product lines as we continue to meet the demand for our innovative, quality products.” said Ken Pucel, Executive Vice President of Operations, Engineering, and Lean, Polaris Industries Inc. “We are grateful to the city of Huntsville and the state of Alabama for their support as we invest in our shared future.”
Polaris will design and develop a lean and flexible facility to drive continuous improvement from the start. The new plant in Alabama will become part of our North American plant network and will reduce complexity within the existing plant network and enable logistics optimization. The facility will have multiple assembly lines providing flexibility to quickly replenish demand and support continued product innovations. Equipped with state-of-the-art technologies, the plant will support several core processes including, vehicle assembly, chassis and body painting, welding, fabrication and injection molding. At full capacity, the site will employ at least 1,700 people.
“I am honored to welcome Polaris Industries to Alabama,” said Governor Robert Bentley. “The Alabama workforce, our business climate and our quality of life continue to make Alabama extremely attractive to companies. I am confident that Polaris will soon experience the same type of success that other companies in Alabama have already experienced. Alabama’s success in advanced manufacturing is a result of the state’s successful Accelerate Alabama plan, and Polaris’ off-road vehicle production strategy fits perfectly within our manufacturing goals. Today’s announcement will create at least 1,700 well-paying jobs in Huntsville. I look forward to the completion of this state of the art facility next year, and a continued partnership with Polaris.”
Polaris will break ground on the Huntsville facility in the first quarter of 2015 with completion slated for early in the second quarter of 2016. Production will begin shortly thereafter.
Polaris is a recognized leader in the powersports industry with annual 2013 sales of $3.8 billion. Polaris designs, engineers, manufactures and markets innovative, high quality off-road vehicles, including all-terrain vehicles (ATVs) and the Polaris RANGER® and RZR® side-by-side vehicles, snowmobiles, motorcycles and on-road electric/hybrid powered vehicles.
Polaris is among the global sales leaders for both snowmobiles and off-road vehicles and has established a presence in the heavyweight cruiser and touring motorcycle market with the Victory and Indian Motorcycle brands. Additionally, Polaris continues to invest in the global on-road small electric/hybrid powered vehicle industry with Global Electric Motorcars (GEM), Goupil Industrie SA, Aixam Mega S.A.S., and internally developed vehicles. Polaris enhances the riding experience with a complete line of Polaris Engineered parts, accessories and apparel, Klim branded apparel and ORV accessories under the Kolpin and Cycle Country brands.
Polaris Industries Inc. trades on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol “PII”, and the Company is included in the S&P Mid-Cap 400 stock price index.
Information about the complete line of Polaris products, apparel and vehicle accessories are available from authorized Polaris dealers or anytime at www.polaris.com.