Polaris Debuts Slingshot, A “Three-Wheel Roadster”

Polaris Debuts Slingshot, A “Three-Wheel Roadster”

Several days after reporting record quarterly sales and earnings, Polaris introduced Slingshot, a three-wheel vehicle that starts at $19,999, and added a new business unit.

Polaris Industries, Inc.—which has been expanding beyond the snowmobile and ATV products for which it is has long been known—just introduced its newest product: the “Slingshot.”

The Medina-based company describes the new vehicle as a “three-wheel roadster.” While it sits low to the ground and features side-by-side seating, the product is technically a three-wheeled motorcycle, and its release comes after Polaris reintroduced the iconic Indian motorcycle brand.

Designed for on-road use, the Slingshot features a five-speed manual transmission and an “open-air cockpit.” It has two wheels in the front and one in the rear. The base version is silver and starts at $19,999; the “premium” red model with slightly larger wheels, a media console, and other features sells for $23,999. Both models will go on sale this fall.

Polaris has been dramatically diversifying its product portfolio. In addition to its growing motorcycle business, the company has been expanding in the commercial, electric, and and small-vehicle markets through acquisitions such as Aixam Mega S.A.S. Polaris also makes military vehicles.

And its business expands beyond vehicles themselves: Polaris recently acquired Kolpin Outdoor, a Wisconsin company that makes powersports accessories, and has added added other equipment such as power generators.

Polaris is among Minnesota's 20 largest public companies based on its revenue, which totaled roughly $3.8 billion in 2013.

On Friday, the company said its second-quarter earnings and sales reached record highs. Earnings increased 21 percent to $96.9 million while sales climbed 20 percent to exceed $1 billion.

Several other Minnesota companies also recently reported record sales results.

In addition to introducing the Slingshot, Polaris said Monday that it is adding a new business unit that brings together multiple areas in which the company has been expanding. The new “Global Adjacent Markets” business will involve Polaris' small vehicles lines, its commercial off-road vehicles, and snowmobiles and motorcycles that are “outside Polaris’ traditional dealer channels.” Polaris’ Defense products will report financial results through the Global Adjacent Markets business, but continue to operate as a separate business line, the company said. Matt Homan will lead the new business unit.