Arctic Cat Debuts Virtual Reality Test Rides

canstockphoto36022297Arctic Cat Inc. is taking its marketing strategy to places unseen in powersports with the introduction of its virtual reality test-ride experience.

The manufacturer launched the Arctic Cat 360 Experience, which features Samsung Gear VR headsets powered by Oculus, according to a company press release.

“The headsets allow consumers visiting Arctic Cat event displays and dealerships to feel the thrill of riding an Arctic Cat snowmobile or a Wildcat side-by-side in an incredibly realistic 360-degree virtual reality world,” Christopher Metz, Arctic Cat’s president and chief executive, said in an earnings call. “This is one way we are living our brand promise to create the ultimate off-road riding experience.”

The snowmobile virtual reality ride was initially launched at Arctic Cat’s snow dealer show in March, and has been such a “huge success” that the company announced a second virtual reality experience, featuring a Wildcat side-by-side vehicle, on May 10, Metz said.

While it’s unclear how virtual reality will affect consumer financing volume, it is likely the new marketing strategy can help augment consumer sales and – in turn – increase retail financing. Arctic Cat’s objective is “to deliver passionate and exciting experiences at all customer touch points to fuel double-digit retail sales,” Metz said. “Experiencing virtual reality together with other event activation touch points is helping to drive customer conversions to Arctic Cat products,” he added.

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