Polaris Donates 10 Off-Road Vehicles for OK Tornado Relief
Polaris Industries, Inc., on Monday announced plans to donate 10 military, off-road vehicles to The Salvation Army to aid with relief efforts in Moore, Oklahoma, where a tornado ripped through the city early last week, killing 24 and hurting many others.
Polaris joins a number of other Minnesota companies that have contributed to tornado relief efforts. Last week, Target; Royal Bank of Canada (RBC), under which Minneapolis-based RBC Wealth Management operates; U.S. Bank; Starkey Hearing Technologies; and Best Buy said they would donate financial and other resources to help Moore recover from the natural disaster.
Medina-based Polaris said its donation of off-road vehicles will help The Salvation Army to transport food, water, and other critical supplies to survivors. The units will be delivered from Polaris’ Osceola, Wisconsin, plant free of charge thanks to a donation from two other Minnesota companies: Rosemount-based Bay and Bay Transportation and Lakeville-based Overbye Trucking. Two Polaris representatives did not immediately return Tuesday morning phone calls inquiring about the total dollar value of the vehicles donated.
The vehicles that Polaris is donating are a combination of military all-terrain vehicles (ATVs), its Ranger-brand side-by-side utility vehicles, and its RZR-brand side-by-side ATVs. Some of the units are outfitted with run-flat tires, which resist the effects of deflation when punctured so that operators can continue to use the vehicle, and others have non-pneumatic tires, which are built to never go flat and are “virtually indestructible,” according to Polaris.
“Oklahoma will rebound from this terrible tragedy through the resiliency of its people and the assistance of organizations like The Salvation Army,” Polaris CEO Scott Wine said in a statement. “Polaris has long supported their charitable efforts, and we hope the donation of these vehicles will assist them as they provide the affected communities with the relief they desperately need.”
Local companies have a history of providing support after natural disasters occur. In the wake of Hurricane Sandy, for example, half a dozen Minnesota-based companies together pledged more than $1.25 million.
Polaris is among Minnesota’s 20-largest public companies based on revenue, which totaled $3.2 billion in 2012. Last month, Polaris reported record first-quarter revenue and earnings, driven in part by this year’s extended winter weather.
While Polaris is typically recognized for its powersports equipment, it has been making military versions of its ATVs and side-by-side vehicles for more than five years. Additionally, Polaris has recently made several acquisitions in the commercial and small-vehicle markets, and it produces the Victory and Indian brands of motorcycles.
Twin Cities Business profiled Polaris in a May feature story, examining how the company has built up its powersports business and is now becoming a global small-vehicle manufacturer. To read more, click here.
In mid-May, the U.S. Department of Defense announced a $382.5 million contract for fire and emergency vehicles, and Polaris was named as one of the companies that can sell vehicles under the contract. The contract grants military customers the ability to purchase Polaris vehicles, and there is no guaranteed amount awarded specifically to Polaris.