Skip to main content

Polaris cuts jobs after warm winter hits off-roader, snowmobile sales

  • Author:
  • Updated:
    Original:

Off-road vehicle maker Polaris is cutting jobs after its latest results announcement revealed falling sales and profits, partly down to the warm winter.

The Medina-based manufacturer saw its 2015 fourth quarter profits drop 18 percent to $110.7 million, with overall sales dropping 13 percent.

As a result, the firm – which makes snowmobiles, off-road vehicles, motorcycles and three-wheelers – announced it will be cutting 100 jobs in a conference call Tuesday morning.

The company confirmed to BringMeTheNews 50 of the layoffs will be at Polaris locations in Medina, Plymouth and Wyoming, with a "small number" also eliminated in Roseau.

Workers were told of the impending job cuts on Monday.

Warm weather hits sales

In its results announcement, Polaris said off-road vehicle sales dropped 20 percent in the fourth quarter, while snowmobile sales were down 25 percent compared to the same period in 2014.

This, it said, was partly because the "unseasonably warm winter constrained demand for off-road vehicles and snowmobiles."

The strengthening dollar and the falling value of oil played a role, with Polaris performing poorly in oil-rich states such as Texas, Louisiana and Oklahoma, as well as western Canada.

Polaris told media these same pressures, combined with a jump in expenses related to severance packages for those laid off, means its profits for the first three months of 2016 could be half the level it was a year ago.

"Our outlook for 2016 reflects another volatile year in powersports driven by near-term growth pressures from weak end markets as the threat of a worldwide economic slowdown looms," CEO Scott Wine said in the news release.

"However, we have been in this situation before, and we know how to manage through difficult economic climates. We will continue to optimize dealer inventory, aggressively manage operating costs and other risk exposures, and provide our end-consumer with products and services that exceed their expectations."

Regarding the job cuts, a spokesperson told BringMeTheNews: "Over the last several months, we have taken actions to reduce overall employment costs by approximately 7 percent to right-size our costs with our growth projections.

"We've done this through thoughtful attrition, reduced use of contractors and temp agency workers, and closing of open and planned/budgeted positions. In addition, yesterday, we eliminated approximately 100 salaried positions worldwide that were staffed with Polaris employees."

Next Up

Tettegouche State Park bridge

Trails reopen as waters subside, but bridges damaged at Tettegouche State Park

Water levels on the river have dropped about six to eight feet since Friday.

Keith Harvell

Body pulled from Mississippi River ID'd as missing Elk River man

Keith Harvell had been missing since early last month.

900 W Broadway Ave, Minneapolis, Minnesota - July 2021

2 victims identified in double-fatal north Minneapolis shooting

A 21-year-old man and a 51-year-old man were identified as the people who died at the scene this past weekend.

Proctor football

Former Proctor HS football player pleads guilty to sexual assault of teammate

The case will also remain in juvenile court, with conditions.

Doug Wardlow

Doug Wardlow reneges on promise, will challenge GOP's AG candidate in primary

Wardlow's announcement sparked swift criticism from the MN GOP and the party-endorsed candidate, Jim Schultz.

Flickr - welcome to minnesota sign - Tony Webster

US News '150 Best Places to Live' features 1 from MN, 3 from WI

The latest US News list is for the most populous metro areas only, so no small towns.

tornado

7 tornadoes touched down last week in western MN, ND

Two of the seven were EF-2 level tornadoes, according to the National Weather Service.

covid

Minnesota's COVID-19 update for Tuesday, May 17

72 hours of case data reported over the weekend is included in Tuesday updates.

Stallings surveillance footage - screengrab - crop

City of Minneapolis, Jaleel Stallings reach $1.5M settlement

Although a settlement was made, the city will not admit fault or take any responsibility for the incident as part of the agreement with Stallings.

Kayak

2 rescued after kayaks capsize on Sauk River

Recent heavy rainfall produced a strong currents on the water.

Related