Polaris Buys Electric Vehicle Co. from Chrysler

Less than a week after Polaris announced that it had purchased Indian Motorcycle from two British private equity firms, the company has agreed to buy a manufacturer of electric vehicles from Chrysler.

Medina-based Polaris Industries, Inc., on Monday announced that it has agreed to buy Fargo, North Dakota-based Global Electric Motorcars, LLC (GEM). Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

GEM is a subsidiary of Chrysler Group, LLC. The company manufactures low-speed electric-powered vehicles, and it recorded roughly $30 million in sales in 2010, according to Polaris.

Since its inception in 1998, GEM has manufactured more than 45,000 electric vehicles that are used by local, state, and national government agencies, resorts, universities, medical and corporate campuses, sports teams, and other entities, as well as individual customers.

The company makes six vehicle models that are legal on most streets with 35-mile-per-hour speed limits or lower. According to Polaris, the vehicles contain similar features to full-size automobiles but “are much more economical in price and fuel consumption.” They're also eligible for tax incentives in certain areas.

“GEM provides Polaris with an established position in the low-emission small vehicle market and supports Polaris' strategy of penetrating on-road market segments poised for growth,” Polaris CEO Scott Wine said in a statement, adding that the company is “excited about the outlook for growth within this market space.”

Polaris said that the acquisition will close in the next 60 days as it finishes securing the necessary state certifications to sell GEM products. The company said it won't outline specific plans for the acquired business until the deal is officially closed.

News of the GEM acquisition comes less than a week after Polaris announced that it bought Indian Motorcycle from two British private equity firms for an undisclosed sum.

Polaris is among Minnesota's 30-largest public companies based on revenue, which totaled $1.99 billion in 2010-up 27 percent from 2009. Net income totaled $147.1 million last year, up 46 percent from 2009.Last month, Polaris made a record $13.6 million profit share payment to its employees-which amounted to nearly 19 percent of their annual salaries, on average.