Ever since Polaris bought the struggling Indian Motorcycle Company, there has been a lot of speculation about what it was going to do. A lot of you have been fearing the new Indian would be nothing more than a fancy and higher priced Victory, which would pretty much seal the fate on another attempt to resurrect the brand, but it looks like Polaris really is serious about Indian being separate.
Polaris already knows what the problems are:
… the bikes are very, very expensive–$37,000 or so–at the high end of what anyone would spend on a motorcycle. And the quality and performance were just okay–not what Polaris wants to stick its name behind.” Polaris made some improvements but produced only about 100 this year, deciding to pour its energy and resources into developing the new models.
The new Indian is going to be new, completely new, new frame and new engine, but carrying styling cues from the originals, in the same way the new Camaro or Challenger carries a strong resemblance to the decades old models from the 60s, even though everything underneath is new.
Now this is the part I found interesting:
With only 20 Indian dealers left in the U.S., Polaris also has to build a new distribution network. Victory has some 450 dealers in North America, many of whom also sell Polaris machines, but Indian will have a separate dealer network
That’s going to take an investment, piggybacking on many of those Victory dealers would be a lot easier, but it may be necessary just to make sure no one starts thinking the brand is nothing more than an extension of the Victory line.
Polaris is in a strong financial position and if anyone is going to finally put Indian back on the road for good, the smart money is probably betting on this attempt. We’ll find out soon.