Spotlight On Polaris UTVs

Polaris Off Road Logo

In case you’ve haven’t noticed, I’ve got UTVs on the brain as of late (check out my article on the UTV classification).  Despite the fact that they’re pretty damned wide for trail riding, I do actually prefer having my riding partner next to me rather than behind me.

So with that theme in mind, I wanted to profile one of the biggest name’s in the UTV class, namely Polaris, who commands close to 40% of the market segment, and by last count, offers some 20 different UTV models in the heavy-duty Ranger, General, and RZR lines.

The Polaris UTV Lineup

Going into 2018 Polaris has (10) Ranger models, (8) RZR models, the EFI RZR170 side-by-side, (1) Brutus Series vehicle, and (10) General Series Models.  All of these are specifically targeted for recreation customers.  We won’t be covering their GEM models since they are targeting commercial customers.

The General family of UTVs blurs the lines between hard-working Ranger and fun RZR. and were launched in Spring of 2016 with three models – the 1000 EPS ($15,999/$17,499) and 1000 EPS Deluxe ($19,999). Targeted squarely at the Can-AM BRP Commander, all three General are powered by a 999cc twin-cylinder engine offering 100hp/65 ft. lb. of torque – or what Polaris touted as “18% more horsepower than Commander.” What’s more?  Outfitted with dual rate springs, the suspension is said to maintain 62% of its ground clearance when fully loaded, or according to Polaris, sit “1.3 inches higher than Commander.”

Also in 2016, Polaris introduced several new Ranger 570 (1) and Crew 570 (2) models along with a 900 Hi Lift Edition.  For the RZR line, Polaris introduced four new models: the RZR-S 1000 and several RZR1000 Turbo models in 2- and 4 passenger and a Hi Lift Edition.

The Polaris UTV Market

According to the reports we’ve seen, nearly half of all Ranger buyers in North America are Farmers & Ranchers.  About 36% of the remaining applications are Estates & Hobby Farms, Residential Homes, Hunters and Recreational riders.  Most RZRs were purchased by Recreational Riders and Hunters.

The company also announced plans to build a new 600,000 sq. ft. production facility in Huntsville, Ala. in 2017, in an effort to provide additional capacity and flexibility for production of its off-road vehicles.  Polaris says the 453-acre Huntsville site offers close proximity to a key customer base in the Southeast U.S. as well as a strong logistics network.

Looking At The Books

Polaris is estimated to have retailed about 177,871 Polaris branded UTVs in North America in 2015 counting Ranger, RZR, the mini RZR170 and the Ace lines.  This compares with 170,080 sold in 2014.

In recent years, the ratio between Ranger and RZR lines has changed with RZR’s gaining an increased percentage of sales: 39.7% (2011), 41.5% (2012), 40.0% (2013), 42.7% (2014) and 41.2% (2015), although these percentages can shift seasonally within any year.

In 2017, the biggest sellers in the Ranger line were the various models of XP900s that accounted for nearly 38% of North American Ranger sales.  Among the RZR models, by far the most popular seller was the RZR 1000 XP EPS that reflected about 22% of total North American RZR sales. Also popular sellers were the RZR 900 S EPS and RZR 900 EPS Trail.

The company also announced plans to build a new 600,000 sq. ft. production facility in Huntsville, Ala., in an effort to provide additional capacity and flexibility for production of its off-road vehicles.  Polaris says the 453-acre Huntsville site offers close proximity to a key customer base in the Southeast U.S. as well as a strong logistics network.

Polaris is estimated to have retailed about 177,871 Polaris branded UTVs in North America in 2015 counting Ranger, RZR, the mini RZR170 and the Ace lines.  This compares with 170,080 sold in 2014.  It should be noted that Polaris does not include the mini RZR 170 and Ace in its side-by-side reporting.  Apparently the mini RZR170 is deemed a mini ATV and the Ace is considered a separate class altogether.

 

 

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About the Author

Fred Willlett

Fred is an off road junky from Memphis who, from the best of his recollection, was born on back of an ATV riding the trail north of Hotsprings, Arkansas. In addition for writing for a couple other ATV blogs including this one, Fred spends whatever money & time visiting Offroad hotspots throughout North America.

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