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Polaris celebrates 65 years

It’s almost over but this year marks the 65th anniversary of Polaris, the powersports manufacturer has almost belatedly announced.

It was founded in the small town of Roseau, Minnesota in 1954. Two brothers and a best friend had a problem to solve. As avid outdoorsmen, the three needed a better way to travel through the deep snow of northern Minnesota. 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.

“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,” says the manufacturer.

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.

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.




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