2019 marks the 65th anniversary of Polaris, a brand that has substantially grown to become a global leader in the Powersports industry, fuelling the passion of riders, workers and outdoor enthusiasts for more than six decades. Striving to deliver quality, safety and performance, Polaris continually develops new innovation and technology to help people do more outside, whether it be on sand, snow, water, trails or road.
In the small town of Roseau, Minnesota in 1954, two brothers and a best friend had a problem to solve. Avid outdoorsmen, the three needed a better way to travel through the deep snow of Northern Minnesota during the long winter months. Combining skilled hands and their collective ingenuity, Edgar and Allan Hetteen and David Johnson built the first Polaris snowmobile, pieced together from parts in their machine shop. That year, Polaris Industries Inc. was founded.
The very first snowmobile was sold for less than $500 to a lumberyard owner, but over the next 65 years, that same ingenuity and adventurous spirit drove Polaris forward, amassing a number of industry firsts and inspired ideas along the way.
In 1985, Polaris expanded its product suite to include All Terrain Vehicles with its first ATV brought to market, the Trail Boss, later joined by the world’s first ATV with electric fuel injection, the Sportsman®. In the 1990s, momentum continued to build when Polaris introduced personal watercrafts, Victory® motorcycles, and the original Polaris RANGER®. During difficult times in the US economy, Polaris put the pedal to the medal and introduced the RZR® in 2007. Not only was this a game-changing new product in the market, but it also created an entirely new product category, the sports-recreational side-by-side.
More recently, Polaris has continued to grow its brand portfolio. In 2011, Polaris acquired and relaunched the Indian Motorcycle brand, and later in 2014, Polaris created a new product category with the Slingshot as well as celebrating the grand opening of Opole in Poland, its first manufacturing facility outside of North America. Creating a customer experience outside of the sole purchase of a Polaris vehicle has led to the addition of multiple aftermarket parts, garments and accessories brands including, 509, Klim, Kolpin, and Transamerican Auto Parts. Last year, Polaris acquired Boat Holdings LLC, expanding Polaris’ footprint in the recreational outdoors market.
What started with a single snowmobile has morphed into more than 30 brands across a variety of product lines. No longer just for snow, the Polaris product lineup is now enjoyed across every terrain, in every continent.
This year, Polaris has introduced its new branding with an updated corporate brand purpose, corporate name, logo and emblem, as well as a new tagline – Think Outside. Combining a historic commitment to excellence and getting people outside with a drive the deliver unique experiences and services to new audiences, the idea behind Think Outside has always been at the core of what Polaris does, and now it’s inviting more people to embrace that mindset.
“Our founders built the first snowmobile so they could embark further into the snow-covered woods of northern Minnesota, and we have spent the last 65 years continuing to bring that pioneering approach to everything we do, from creating the first automatic ATV and sport-recreational side-by-side vehicle to introducing RIDE COMMAND and other technology solutions to assist in the adventure,” said Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Polaris Scott Wine. “Today, Polaris offers a wide range of products and services designed to help our customers experience ultimate enjoyment outside. Our evolved Polaris branding, Think Outside, articulates the unifying thread that runs across every product, experience and service we offer.”