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Arctic Cat Snowmobile Demand Spurs Growth at Textron

Textron Inc. grew its industrial business, which includes Textron Specialized Vehicles, 19.6% year over year to about $4.7 billion in revenue, the OEM reported in fourth-quarter earnings.

The growth was due, in part, to Arctic Cat Inc., which the company acquired last March. Specific numbers on Arctic Cat’s performance were not made available.

“We saw improved demand in the snow[mobile] retail channel, allowing dealers to clear older inventory and drive 2018 model sales, including our new introductions in the youth and mountain categories,” Scott Donnelly, Textron’s chairman and chief executive, said on the earnings call last week. “We also saw higher sales in our E-Z-GO product line, led by our new lithium-powered Elite golf cart.”

Notably, Arctic Cat launched a financial incentive in mid-January for select 2015-2017 snowmobiles in order to help dealers move out carryover inventory, according to the company’s website.

“Arctic Cat was an important contributor to the 2017 performance of Textron’s industrial segment,” a spokesman for the company told Powersports Finance. “… Many factors drove the demand for Arctic Cat products in the past year, not limited to the rebates/incentives. New products, enhancements, marketing campaigns, and expanded distribution also played a role.”

The promotion includes rebates up to $3,000, plus as low as 0% financing for 60 months. Alternatively, consumers can opt for a two-year factory warranty instead of the low APR financing. The incentive is valid through Feb. 25. The OEM is also offering a 3.9% APR option for 36 months, valid on 2018 models.

“The challenge that we have on [Arctic Cat], as we acquired it, was — frankly — they have too much inventory,” Donnelly previously said on the OEM’s first-quarter 2017 earnings call. “The first step out of the gate here has been to put together these [incentive] programs [and rebates] … to help the dealers move [carryover inventory] out. I think that’s been very well received, and we’re already starting to see the impact of that.”

Textron Specialized Vehicles manufactures golf carts and other vehicles under the Bad Boy Off Road, E-Z-GO, Tug Technologies, Cushman, and Douglas Equipment brands.

“To summarize the year, we continued to execute our plan for growth through strategic acquisitions and new product innovation to create long-term shareholder value,” Donnelly said on the call. “The integration of Arctic Cat continues and reflects our strategy of acquisitions that complement our core businesses and product lines. Equally important is the need to continue to innovate through new product introductions, which was evident throughout Textron’s specialized vehicles.”

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