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Arctic Cat Plans to Release New Sled Models Soon

Snowmobile manufacturer denies rumors of its impending demise
Arctic Cat Textron logo
Contrary to industry rumors that Arctic Cat is on the skids, the manufacturer is turning a profit now and has plans to release new snowmobile models soon. That was the word from Cat officials at Hay Days this past weekend.

Craig Kennedy, Arctic Cat’s vice president, made a point of calling together the snowmobiling media at Hay Days to dispel a glut of rumors about Cat floundering, and possibly being purchased by other sled makers. Such rumors have been rife this past year and since Arctic Cat was purchased by Textron Inc. in January 2017 for $247 million in cash.

Kennedy forcefully denied all the bad juju while admitting that Arctic Cat has not communicated its plans well to the media.

The plan, he said, was first to set Cat up to make a profit, which he says the OEM is now doing. To make that happen, Arctic Cat has begun cutting down the number of its dealerships and heavily scaling back on race team sponsorships, which Kennedy said had reached roughly 400 racers at $1,000 to $2,000 minimums each. He said Cat will continue to sponsor racers, but at a much lower overall cost, and it will be much more selective of which teams and racers it backs.

The various cost-cutting moves have put Arctic Cat back in the black, says Kennedy. It also ensures the OEM will be able to offer new snowmobiles, which he says a large team of engineers has been working on for years already. Riders should expect to see at least one new 2021 sled, maybe more, by late this year or early 2020.

Kennedy also promised that the 800+ workers at the Arctic Cat plant in Thief River Falls, Minn., will be keeping their jobs. He said ensuring a quality workforce there is his top priority now.
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