If you've visited your local Polaris dealer in Michigan lately, you know the popularity behind the Polaris brand. Polaris Industries first made a name for itself as a snowmobiling company with high-quality vehicles made for back country and mountain riding. Today, Polaris Industries is also known as a major manufacturer of power sports vehicles like dirt bikes and motorcycles.For those who don't know as much about this famous company as they'd like to admit, here are six major things you may not have known about this snowmobile superpower.
- Polaris Industries was first founded in 1954. Snowmobiling may seem like a modern sport, but the first snowmobiles took the ice as early as the 1920s. By 1954, Polaris was making five different snowmobiles, a number which increased to 300 by 1956. Surprisingly, the company was originally producing farm equipment rather than snowmobiles.
- Textron acquired both companies of the original Polaris founders. Polaris Industries was originally founded by David Johnson and brothers Edgar and Alan Heteen. In 1960, Edgar Heteen separated from the company and went on to found Arctic Enterprises, later known as Arctic Cat. Coincidentally, the manufacturer Textron would acquire Polaris in 1968 and later Arctic Cat in 2017.
- Polaris brought us the first American-made ATV. The original ATV industry was dominated by Honda. In 1985, Polaris not only became a key competitor but brought the U.S. its first American-made ATV.
- Polaris came out with its first watercraft in 1992. The Genesis personal watercraft device was Polaris' first marine child, built to seat four people and to bring greater innovation to the marine market.
- Polaris began giving Harley-Davidson a run for its money in 1998. Harley-Davidson has been king of the open road for years before Polaris Industries sought to take some of the company's fame and fortune for itself. In 1998, Polaris introduced its first line of American-made motorcycles called Victory.
- Polaris served in the military. During the 1980s, the U.S. military began using Polaris ATVs. However, it wasn't until 2004 that Polaris signed a five-year contract to produce 700 ATVs specifically for the U.S. Army Special Operations Command. In 2013, Polaris also became contracted with Germany to produce tactical vehicles.
The snowmobile is one of the most popular types of Powersports vehicles with a $26 billion annual impact on the U.S. economy. For more information on snowmobile equipment or snowmobiles for sale, contact your local Polaris dealer in Michigan at Nelson's Speed Shop today.