One of our readers, George Thompson, asked us what the future looked like for Arctic Cat’s Snowmobile Division now that the company has been purchased by Textron.
Good question, George, and here are a couple of our thoughts:
1. Yamaha isn’t going anywhere. The agreement between Cat and the Big Y is a good one and it’s proving itself to be profitable over both the short and long haul. Yamaha is saving millions on R&D, tooling and engineering and making millions by selling Yamaha snowmobile engines to Arctic Cat.
2. Arctic Cat wants and needs its relationship to stay in play with Yamaha. Those Yamaha triples are proving to be bulletproof and Yamaha’s influence and knowledge on the quality control side has been a huge boon to Cat’s production quality over the last four years.
3. We already mentioned dealer and retail financing by Textron and it’s a huge factor.
4. Cash: Some of our readers already alluded to it and we see Cat having enough of it to continue their plans for future product development in the snowmobile biz.
5. No, we don’t see Yamaha buying out Arctic Cat. The bottom line is profits – and it’s very profitable for Yamaha to continue forward with the status quo already established between the two companies.
Besides, Cat is sustainably profitable on its own and with some creative management input from Textron, can quickly return to the levels it saw a couple of years ago.
6. Future products: With both companies (Yamaha and Cat) having excellent engineering resources, you just know there’s lots of stuff on the drawing boards waiting to be released over the next couple years.
You bet both companies want to get these new sleds and powerplants on the snow and thus increase customer enthusiasm and boost sales. This duo is better when it’s working together than when it’s separated!