Analyst Predicts Indian Will Outsell Victory in 2014

01/08/2014 @ 4:03 pm, by Bryan Delohery14 COMMENTS


According to an analyst from UBS Investment Research, Indian Motorcycles is on track to outsell its sibling company Victory Motorcycles in 2014, its first full year of sales since the company’s recent rebirth.

If this prediction turns out to be accurate, this will be a huge feat for Indian, considering the fact that the American brand only sells three models since its relaunch in August of last year, compared to Victory’s current 15 model lineup.

Victory has also been around since 1998 when it was created by Polaris Industries to be a cruiser alternative to the iconic Harley Davidson brand.

Among other predictions boosting revenue for Polaris in 2014 is the release of the Slingshot, a three-wheeled, reverse trike that will be powered by a 2.4L Ecotec four-cylinder engine from GM, which may give the KTM X-Bow and Campagna V13R some stiff competition.

Though 2014 looks to be a great year for Polaris Industries, time will tell if their plan to resurrect the Indian brand will bury some of Harley Davidson’s sales figures.

Source: Powersports Business

  • Tom

    Polaris is approaching a crossroad – but I suspect that they expected this when they acquired Indian. Victory will need its own identity or face being discontinued, and I suspect the latter. Indian always seemed poised to become the premiere brand due to its history and name recognition. It’ll be interesting to see if Victory has a long term future.

  • Bruce

    Perhaps it is wishful thinking, but if Indian can strongly establish Polaris in the cruiser market, it will allow Victory to move into other segments, such as sportbikes, dirt bikes, sport tourers, etc.

  • The risk of either Victory or Indian venturing outside their established markets is utter failure, akin to how Harley’s repeated forays into the small-displacement segment has always been both odd and a failure. If a particular direction feels unnatural, buyers will avoid it like the plague.

  • Bicho

    Any brand can succeed in any segment,if they have a great product.I believe in engineers,not in badges!

  • Yes, venturing outside their established market is a risk H-D has taken- and failed again and again. The reason for this is H-D was attempting to lure new customers with designs too close to their current models. This, indeed, created an “unnatural” feel for both existing and prospective H-D customers with the offerings being too similar for H-D fans, and too H-D for customers wanting something more “modern” and “competitive”. I see it as another example of H-D’s fear of competition by refusing to attempt to build anything outside of their “comfort zone”- which always ensures failure.

    Indian, on the other hand, has the opportunity to go head-to-head with H-D’s core market as well as venture into markets where H-D has been afraid (or incompetent) to go- sport, sport-touring, adventure, dual-sport, etc. If done smartly, Indian/Victory could have a model designed specifically for every market segment- which is quite natural for consumers of products from the Big Four, BMW, Triumph, Ducati, etc. Following this path allows Polaris, through Indian & Victory, to become a world-class American manufacturer with a line of products for everyone- a real coup if you ask me, and a shameful slap in the face to H-D.

    I sincerely hope this is where Polaris/Indian/Victory is heading, because I truly believe American consumers have long been waiting for a home-grown manufacturer to produce a full-line of motorcycles they’d be proud to own. EBR and Motus have thrown down the gauntlet, so let’s cross our fingers that Polaris will pick it up and run with it.

  • John D’Orazio

    No surprise here. While the quality of Victory motorcycles has steadily improved over the years, they (at least to me) are still stunningly ugly. The Indian brand has done a nice job of producing a “more traditional” bike that is more likely to appeal to the target demographic.

  • It’s all about the target demographic and I think Polaris would benefit greatly from taking all of it’s R&D and experience from Victory and dumping it into Indian because Indian stands a much better chance of competing with Harley

  • Indian has one marching order: to be the other legacy American cruiser brand. This is a market that has nothing to do with technology, and everything to do with marketing…a very difficult nut to crack, as we have seen from the failures of the metric cruisers. Victory had to learn this lesson the hard way too, but has ultimately found its footing as the “anti-Harley” in the market.

    Why have Indian go after Harley-Davidson, instead of pursuing other segments? Because Harley sells roughly one of every two new bikes sold in the United States, that’s why. H-D is the motorcycle market in the USA essentially, and Polaris wants a piece of that pie.

  • Tim

    I ride a Victory. I will be buying an Indian in the near future. But neither one in the near future will out sell Harley. Go into a Harley showroom- you have 100s of bikes there. Victory or Indian dealerships have only a hand full.

    Where I see it, is Indians name and 100 years history will put a small but noticeable dent into the Harley market. Because of its name and nothing else.

    Most Harley riders will never change the brand, in fact they won’t even acknowledge another brand. And that’s fine with me. I love my Victory, and I have test road the new Indians. Different machines, both amazing and first class engineering.

    There is nothing wrong with a little competition in the motorcycle world. Indian is now here to stay, and so is Victory.

  • V2win

    Jensen– Do you know what percentage of the bikes sold in the US are Victories now? Just curious.

    The above comments bring up some good points. I am invested in Polaris stock (ticker symbol PII) and it did extremely well in 2013 — UP 169%. A $10,000 investment would have provided you with profit to buy a free new bike AND not touched your principal! They have a smart business plan–they and their dealers have no yearly sales lulls — motorcycles in the summer and snowmobiles during the winter. Perfect! My local BSA dealer did the same thing in the 1960s and retired very successfully. Indian can only add to filling-in that menu.

    Whether the Indian line hurts Victory remains to be seen. Victory has accumulated a good number of loyal followers, moving over from HD and certain other cylinder head draggers. And they are gaining a large police following–type in “police rodeos” on YouTube and such. Victory is now one of the preferred bikes of Motorman Jerry Paladino–see his videos and training DVDs. My local Victory/Polaris dealer touts the high reliability and ease of service. He says: “After I sell one, I never see it again because maintenance is minimal, oil changes are just as easy as a car (one plug for everything), and people can easily do their own.”

    Each year my brother (retired motor cop) and I ride a couple Victories when the factory Demo Van comes through town and we’re impressed with a few things (eg, engine design) and disappointed in others–namely the pointy, “urban bagger” look influence of the Ness family, but there’s a growing populace of folks who are into custom baggers and can buy one off the floor.

    Hopefully, there’s room for All. We’ll see….

  • singletrack

    What’s in a name indeed.
    I’m not a cruiser guy, but personally, I was turned off at the very beginning by the hubris of the brand name ‘Victory’.

    I still think Polaris should have leveraged their own 50 years of brand equity to market motorcycles. Were they really so embarrassed by the Polaris name? Are their ATVs and sleds so inadequate that a motorcycle under that name would be relegated to the dusty corners of a snowmobile shop? Hard to be worse than Victory’s current low single digit market share.

    A premium Polaris cruiser model called Victory might have made some sense… after some prior sales success.

  • singletrack

    Here’s more, from the Minneapolis/St. Paul Business Journal

    “When Scott Wine joined Polaris Industries Inc. as CEO in 2009, the company’s motorcycle business was at a crossroads.

    Polaris’ built-from-scratch brand, called Victory, had been around for a decade, but it was still small and unprofitable, with only 2 percent of North American market share.

    “When I got here, the board was divided. Even the executive team was divided about whether or not we should stay in motorcycles,” Wine said.

    Polaris’ motorcycle business accounts for less than 7 percent of the Medina-based company’s $3.2 billion in annual sales. It also makes ATVs, side-by-sides, snowmobiles and other small vehicles. …

    ….Wine then hired McKinzie & Co. consultants to review the motorcycle business. “They made some recommendations for pricing and promotions, but also said, ‘Scott, if you really want to be in this business, you need to get a brand.’ ”

    For Polaris, that would mean pouring millions into Victory to reposition it. Or, the company could buy a brand.

    …. Or, how about this – market bikes under the Polaris brand. One that millions of people already know !!! That way they could sell any type of motorcycle – sport, dirt, or cruiser, touring….

  • Doctor Jelly


    Based on memory alone:
    Harley sells +/-250,000 bikes per year stateside.
    Victory sells roughly 10,000 per yer in the states.

    Also, H-D owning half or more of the motorcycle market here only applies to the on road ‘heavyweight’ bikes (I think that means 750+cc only). Add in all the on road small displacment bikes, and it might skew their percent a bit lower.

    Again, take all take with a grain of salt as I don’t remember for sure…

  • buellracerx

    Polaris Ind isn’t ashamed to build an mc brand around the Polaris name, it just takes too long. Reconstructing Indian is less costly and was done in a matter of a few years.

    Hindsight is 20/20. Indian has the benefit of learning from H-D’s past.