Exclusive. Interview With Steve Menneto, Polaris Industries’ Vice President Of Indian And Victory Motorcycles.

cyril-huze-3Seven months after the re-launch of the Indian brand and a few weeks after the introduction of a new 2015 Victory model (the Gunner), while in Daytona for Bike Week. I sat down with Steve Menneto for an interview. As a fast introduction, let me mention that Menetto is a former Polaris dealer who became 16 years ago Polaris director of sales, then taking responsibility for the Victory Motorcycles line up in 2009 and in April 2011 becoming the Vice President of Motorcycles for both Indian and Victory motorcycles. He is the man who convinced the board of Polaris that the acquisition of the Indian brand would help grow the company from a 3 billion to a 5 billion business. (photography @ H. Roesler & Polaris for Cyril Huze)

cyril-huze-1Cyril. Marketing 2 motorcycle brands requires a clear definition of what they should be as products, of how they should be perceived by the consumers and how they should evolve in the future to never interfere with each other but instead contribute both fully, if not equally, to Polaris growth. Please, tell me your strategy to have Indian and Victory play their own distinct market and be successful at it.

Steve. We have spent a lot of time and effort in this area. The purchase of the Indian Motorcycle brand actually frees up Victory to some degree. We believe we can be very successful with a two-brand strategy. Each brand has its own individual personalities, Indian more Premium and Heritage, Victory more Performance and Modern, and when you take the time to ask the riders, they have clear reason why they like either brand. Victory and Indian will continue to appeal to different segments of the market. We believe we have the perfect combination of brands to be very competitive.

Cyril. During the fourth quarter of 2013, Polaris saw motorcycle sales increase 94% year over year from $35.4 million to approximately $68.8 million. This huge increase was driven by your new line of Indian Chief bikes, not by Victory. Indian will always be a bigger brand than Victory now standing at about 5% market share in the heavyweight motorcycle market. How do you intend to accelerate the momentum for Victory motorcycles? With brand new models competing with both Harley and metric bikes? Privileging tourers versus cruisers? Showing innovation with a brand new performance powertrain? etc…

Steve. We do not speak about future products for obvious competitive reasons. The rapid growth of Indian Motorcycle is of course important to the parent company, so is maintaining strength of Victory. Incidentally, the Q4 market percentage does not tell the full story – in the segments that Victory competes – heavy weight cruisers, baggers and touring bikes – Victory is #2 in the market. We continue to work hard to create competitive and profitable brands for our dealers and exciting brands for our consumers.

cyril-huze-4Cyril. Since unveiled in my website, many times my readers have expressed a great interest for the Victory CORE concept motorcycle. Is Polaris still considering bringing this model to market? If not, why?

Steve. Sorry, again we do not talk about future products. CORE represented just some of the technology we have access to at Polaris Industries. The ID team wanted to build it as a styling exercise – the surprise was that it could, and does, run. CORE shows how we can create a complex casting that has multiple roles, frame air intake and body mounting – just as we do on Victory touring motorcycles, and in the new Indian Chief series.

Cyril. Polaris is competing against top hog Harley-Davidson for market share in the heavyweight motorcycles segment. In 2013 Harley-Davidson claimed a US market share of 56.5% in this segment. What percentage would you like Victory and Indian combined to represent at the end of 2014?

Steve. Again, we do not share detailed internal numbers by year – however we do see a long term opportunity for our two brands combined to achieve a 15-20% share position.

Cyril. As of today, how many Polaris dealers selling motorcycles are there in the US, in Europe, in Asia? How many sell only Victory motorcycles, only Indian motorcycles and both? Are you represented by some Harley dealers having decided to also sell the Indian brand? Total number of Indian dealers you would like set up at the end of the year 2014 in the US and abroad?

Steve. I can’t share our entire growth plan, however to give you a sense of momentum, last January we started with 13 dealers that carried over from King Mountain. We closed 2013 with roughly 140 Indian dealers in North America and 70 international dealers. Not all are open and retailing yet, some are finishing new buildings and others remodeling. We have over 600 Victory Dealers globally. Our goal is to grow our dealer base smartly and for the long term, we want dealers who are committed to our brands and to providing an outstanding customer experience.

cyril-huze-2Cyril. Since the official launch of the new Chief models last August in Sturgis, did you learn anything that surprised you, modifying somewhat your strategic plan for the brand? If yes, which ones?

Steve. We didn’t hear anything that really caught us by surprise because we had done so much voice of customer work prior to the launch.  We certainly heard from customers what they like and what they may want to see different in terms of features, accessories, colors etc.  Which our product team has been evaluating and adjusting our plan. Anything we bring to market, we will take the time to do it right, and we highest quality.

Cyril. The Indian’s launch has been a kind of Lovefest. But what surprised us the most, both media and bikers, was the unexpected launch of a hard bagger, the Indian Chieftain with its bold design and power windshield on a fork-mounted fairing. Since it’s the 1st bagger ever produced under the Indian name, was it internally a difficult decision to take since some could have argued that it didn’t belong to the Indian heritage?

Steve. Not really – after some discussion we knew that we needed to build a Chief Classic and a Chief Vintage. But being who we are, we push for the next level, and taking the opportunity to surprise the public and the media with a bagger was just a great opportunity to show that we are serious about the product range, and our commitment to making Indian Motorcycle a long term viable competitor, so the team pushed and created the Chieftain.  The Chieftain has already won some shoot-outs, so it shows our capabilities, our depth of commitment, and where we are taking Indian Motorcycles in the future.

Cyril. Can you tell me what percentage of your Indian sales each Chief model – Classic, Vintage, Chieftain- represents. How many are produced every day in you manufacturing facility of Spirit Lake, Iowa?

Steve. We do not share sales and production numbers for competitive reasons.  However, we have invested in our Spirit Lake facility to be able to handle future demand.

IndianengineCyril. Please, explain to my readers your “Retail Flow Management Program” (RFM). If I order an Indian Chief model not currently on the show floor of my Indian dealer, how long will I have to wait to get it delivered?

Steve. RFM is a sophisticated system integrated into what many know as a “just in time” delivery system. We will strive for both the flexibility and the speed to get our dealers the products they need as efficiently and as fast as possible to satisfy consumers.

Cyril. You have said several times that Polaris was open to the launch of many different platforms, V-Twin, Indian Four or others in different applications to occupy as many segments as possible of the motorcycle market. You justified the Chiefs as the 1s models sold by Polaris because they were expected to bring the largest number of sales. The Scout is the other iconic model of the Indian brand. So, I guess it’s in your future. Can it be a few months away?

Steve. Sorry, we cannot speak to future products.  However, Indian is just getting started.

Cyril. At what date and where will you launch the 2015 Indian and Victory models? How many new models of each brand can we expect? Will you release a new motor? At least, give my readers a few hints…

Steve. The fact is that we are investing in product development for both brands.  I’ll ask you to look back in history and chart our progress with the Victory brand. We will continue to bring products to market and deliver the quality, reliability and performance that customers expect from Polaris Industries.  As far as launch plans, we have been pretty consistent with the Motorcycle industry timing.

JudgeEngineCyril. Do you have a date at which you have decided to mobilize engineering resources to prepare the return of Indian to racing?

Steve. Racing is an important part of our past, and may be part of our future. Presently, we will concentrate on making sure that we spend our resources on expanding our range to satisfy our customers and dealers. We do not want to get distracted now as we build a great foundation for the future. Maybe the earliest you could expect us is 3-5 years. Right now we are focused on building our Indian Motorcycle business and racing could be a big part of our future.

Cyril. Indian already brought new life to Polaris’ motorcycle operations and can potentially be a big and fast growing part of the company success. This last spring, potential buyers were primed by an extensive marketing blitz and a flurry of commendable, hard-won reviews. Your display at the International Speedway during Daytona Bike Week is close by the one of Harley-Davidson. Here, every day you see consumers making their motorcycle brand choice. How does it make you feel to be part of a company now considered a very serious Harley competitor?

Steve. Damn proud. We respect our competitors,  We’re ready to work relentlessly to deliver the choice that many riders are looking for in an American Motorcycle.

Zipper's

64 Responses to “Exclusive. Interview With Steve Menneto, Polaris Industries’ Vice President Of Indian And Victory Motorcycles.”


  1. 1 Paul Aiken @Aeromach Mar 24th, 2014 at 8:13 am

    I’d love to tell you what I think about this interview but I’m not allowed to share any details at this time.
    😉

  2. 2 Bruce Mar 24th, 2014 at 8:13 am

    Great interview. Good incisive questions but Steve menneto will say only what he wants to reveal. Next Indian is?

  3. 3 P. Hamilton Mar 24th, 2014 at 8:16 am

    Still, I learned a few things.

  4. 4 Shifter Mar 24th, 2014 at 8:22 am

    Cyril, agressive. Steve, cautious. But being confident about 15% to 20% market share (2 brands together) is good to hear.

  5. 5 Kamikaze Mar 24th, 2014 at 8:25 am

    Huze does great interviews. Menneto is a great diplomat. Can’t wait to know what is Indian’s next move.

  6. 6 Paul Sharp Mar 24th, 2014 at 8:30 am

    Evidently, pictures shot on the beach side of the Daytona Hilton.

  7. 7 Drake Mar 24th, 2014 at 9:00 am

    The dealers part is interesting.

  8. 8 qajaqr Mar 24th, 2014 at 9:18 am

    Mr Menneto
    Evasive responses do nothing to further the Indian/Polaris image esp. in a forum as widely read as Cyril’s, though that approach must pervasive in the corporate structure. I found the same dodges on the investor page of Polaris.

  9. 9 Matt W. Mar 24th, 2014 at 9:23 am

    Was interesting to read how Steve breaks down the differences between Indian and Victory. I couldn’t agree more. Good interview.

  10. 10 Chpperjohn Mar 24th, 2014 at 9:36 am

    I guess we’ll find out how everything pans out over time…

    Ride-on

  11. 11 Vic Rider Mar 24th, 2014 at 10:06 am

    Thanks to this interview, Steve Menneto starting a new teaser campaign.

  12. 12 H. Thompson Mar 24th, 2014 at 10:10 am

    15 to 20% market share is ambitious, but possible. Polaris has the financial means and engineering force to do it if they understand what most of us want. A Scout.

  13. 13 Robert Pandya Mar 24th, 2014 at 10:15 am

    Thanks for the interview time Cyril.

    All – you will certainly not catch the Vice President of Polaris Motorcycles answering questions that would hurt the business. Steve is a smart guy and strong leader for our team – and preserving competitive advantage is a key part of any business.

    What will “further Indian/Polaris Image”? Building excellent products, a quality dealer network and maintaining positive relations (fully knowing that there are many who love to knock on us at the same time).

    It strikes me just how impatient so many people are, and WERE we to rush to market, throw anybody with a pulse a dealership, and work with blinders on how quickly and mercilessly the “They Screwed it up” gong would be rung.

    The first 2014 Indian Chief was sold in October 2013 after developing a 100% new and highly praised motorcycle in 27 months following brand acquisition in April 2011. If anybody thinks that is dragging our feet, you really do not understand the dimensions of the work and how the simple statement of “Do it right” weighs on us every day.

    I hope that even those who choose to not like our products do themselves a favor and ride them at a demo event. We will cover the gas, and then you have some real insight as to why we stand behind the brand, and the great people involved in Minneapolis, Wyoming (MN), Osceola, and Spirit Lake.

    Robert Pandya
    External Relations Manager
    Indian Motorcycle

  14. 14 Peter Ashley Mar 24th, 2014 at 10:25 am

    Good answer R. Pandya. People who don’t work in the business (I don’t but have many friends belonging to it) don’t understand how difficult and time consuming is a new motorcycle conception, and production. I think that most readers here don’t realize that Indian has to conceive and build from scratch, not like Harley, mostly mixing new parts and calling them new bikes.

  15. 15 Kurt Mar 24th, 2014 at 10:27 am

    Mobilizing bikers and making them impatient is a good thing in business if there is no disappointment when the new bikes are announced.

  16. 16 Jeff Nicklus Mar 24th, 2014 at 10:28 am

    Good interview Cyril.

    Over & Out,

    Jeff

  17. 17 Ariel Moss Mar 24th, 2014 at 10:30 am

    To do it right, do it like there is no time limit. What is paramount is consumer satisfaction.

  18. 18 Mr Dick Mar 24th, 2014 at 10:32 am

    What I would like to see is existing Victory dealers to sell Indian too. My closest Victory dealer, which I have a good relationship with, after nearly 20 years of buying Polaris sleds and quads from, is 90 miles away. Indian dealer is 500 miles away, but the Vic dealer will do warranty. Sad as far as in stock parts and accessories available. I would likely upgrade my Fat Boy otherwise. Maybe I will any way, since these new bikes seem very well built.

  19. 19 Johnyletgo Mar 24th, 2014 at 10:35 am

    Hey guys, if you were Menneto, you would say and not say the same things. As somebody commented. Harley is listening.

  20. 20 Chris Davis Mar 24th, 2014 at 10:39 am

    You don’t observe the same impatience, expectations for the 2015 Hartley models. Ha, ha.

  21. 21 John E Adams Mar 24th, 2014 at 10:53 am

    Awesome work Cyril, although understandably he could not answer all of your questions some very nice insights here -;0)

    Cheers!

    John

  22. 22 Zen Mar 24th, 2014 at 10:58 am

    Robert,

    The fact is no one needs anything produced by a powersports company unless they live in a 3rd world country and it is the only means of affordable transportation. So you have to understand we are talking about a luxury product that people are more emotional about; it is more personal to them.

    Americans have been screwed by Harley so hard and so long with poor pricing, bad quality, long waiting times, arrogant service, etc. because until recently, there was no American choice or competitor. Americans are starved for competitively priced, innovative, high quality, made in America motorcycles (or other products for that matter). Harley’s monopoly has been going on too long and while Polaris has made great strides in recent years, we need more and that is why people appear to be impatient. I don’t see how giving a few hints hinders competitiveness. In fact, I think it would just fuel the fire under Harley’s ass to even be more innovative. I doubt that without Polaris, there would have been a Project Rushmore.

    Competition is good for Customers but it is even better for companies because in this global economy, only the most efficient and effective seem to be surviving.

    If I were representing a company on a forum like this, I would be soliciting input for future products via a webcast or fielding questions and taking notes because it is obvious that passionate powersports fans use this forum on their free time and have a lot of valuable input because they are experienced riders who know what they want.

    Keep up the good work!

    Zen

  23. 23 Tom Mar 24th, 2014 at 11:10 am

    Now they are going after the antique replacement part people. The last Indian Businesses had previously left them alone.This is crazy as the old Indians supply a lot of brand recognition for the new Indian.

  24. 24 Gunther Mar 24th, 2014 at 11:18 am

    Tom. If Polaris is after people making parts that are called Indian parts, they are right to stop this. Old Indian motorcycles contribute to the attraction of the new ones, but not the new parts called Indian parts which were not made by the old or new indian company. By the way, Harley did the same thing. You can’t call a Harley part a part made to replace a genuine Harley part.

  25. 25 Bob Semla Mar 24th, 2014 at 11:23 am

    Zen, well said. This interview gets bikers animated. Great.

  26. 26 qajaqr Mar 24th, 2014 at 11:27 am

    Mr Pandya
    while I certainly defer to your greater understanding of your business, as a potential customer, I see secrecy as an negative indicator, as though there is something to hide. Mr Huze asked no industrial espionage type questions, and since designing and building a motorcycle is nothing new, what differences Indian/Polaris may introduce are likely not something unseen before. The Polaris Indians are stylish and as high tech as anything on the road, but aside from liquid cooling, there isn’t much you could be up to worth sequestering. It is just a matter of shooting straight with your potential customers. Polaris/Indian is currently not in position to be evasive; it is too easy to ride another brand rather than try to find a Polaris/Indian dealer with inventory for sale.
    Regarding dealers,though the buildout is happening, there are established Polaris dealers, with a pulse, still waiting to be certified as Indian outlets after a number of years now.
    All the best, sir, in your endeavors.

  27. 27 Roger Davenport Mar 24th, 2014 at 11:52 am

    Cyril. Do you know if Indian intends to start a teasing campaign with step by step reveal of the new model details?

  28. 28 takehikes Mar 24th, 2014 at 11:55 am

    All I know is we care what Indian and Polaris have to say and we don’t care what the latest rebadged HD model is…..no doubt it will be the FUAGAIN2015 model….don’t flame me I own one but ride my Yamaha.

  29. 29 Rod Mar 24th, 2014 at 12:09 pm

    Robert.

    I have ridden one in a demo, and I am impressed. Please go look at the way Harley does their demo rides, the registration process, I really like they way they operate. Very organized. Also, Harley offers a limited number of 4 hour rides. This is a wonderful way to get the true flavor of the bike that you will never see in a 10 mile demo ride for the serious potential buyers. Also, the Harley rental program is another good selling tool, have the buyer spend $150-200/day and see how they like it.. If they buy, you give them the rental amount in credit. Then you will have serious buyers riding, and make those conquests. Someday we may have a dealer close to where I live, and it might be time.

    Rod.

  30. 30 Terence Tory Mar 24th, 2014 at 12:50 pm

    Talking about the Harley sector as “a market” is a little too much spin for my liking.Both brands competitors come from all around the world.You can’t respect “competitors” when he has only referred to one.

    I can’t understand why one man is a spokesman for two brands trying hard to differentiate themselves as different entities.A strange strategy.

    I’m pleased with the evolution and growth of both brands.

  31. 31 George Princeton Mar 24th, 2014 at 12:51 pm

    Harley is much more secretive than Polaris. Ask Cyril to interview president Keith Wandell. To the same type of questions he will probably get a “no comment”. At least Steve Menneto confronted Cyril’s questions and gave you some bits of info.

  32. 32 mkv Mar 24th, 2014 at 1:38 pm

    Robert Pandya

    I tried to set up a demo day at Arlen Ness in Dublin, but due to their popularity test rides were meant for the more SERIOUS BUYER. I can go to any Harley dealership, get a test ride and leave without any pressure.

    I know you are in the business of making money, but you should know that happy customers are returning customers. Their product is only good if you can give good customer service. But then you should know that already right? They dont pay you big bucks for no reason.

  33. 33 Rodent Mar 24th, 2014 at 1:45 pm

    As usual Cyril stirs the pot. Good for Indian, not so good for the MoCo.

  34. 34 Brenda Terrell Mar 24th, 2014 at 4:09 pm

    And why Polaris has to tell you everything in advance? The other manufacturers don’t do it. So, what’s the issue?

  35. 35 Jason Dietrich Mar 24th, 2014 at 4:17 pm

    The questions were too good, too soon, 4 or 5 months before the unveil. Both positive and frustrated reactions demonstrate great interest to both brands. Polaris should be happy.

  36. 36 Catamini Mar 24th, 2014 at 4:19 pm

    Make your consumers talk about you. Success!

  37. 37 James just another crazy Kiwi Mar 24th, 2014 at 4:27 pm

    MotorCycle manufacturing in the USA has never been particularly successful because the Car manufacturing sector was very cost effective so early on.
    I am reading the Jerry Hatfield’s book “Flat out” the Rollie free story.
    In there it stated by 1923 only Harley Davidson and Indian were manufacturing large numbers of MotorCycles .By then a Model T Ford was cheaper than a MotorCycle with a side car and the second hand T’s were less than a MotorCylce .
    It became a sporting or enthusiasts market only soon after. And it has been so ever since

    Britain and other countries sold motorcycles for transportation and recreational users right up until the 60’s.Their cars were expensive and their car manufacturers were protected by tariffs.
    In NZ we had to put higher sales tax levies on American vehicles as we were part of the Empire and had to do what Britain demanded.

    What is hard to understand is why the USA never produced a “Ducati” or a serious sporting Motorcylce. The Buell was the closest you got to this but alas is currently in demise
    You have imported many Japanese, British, Italian and German sports bikes through the years.
    Why not build your own ?

    In conclusion, you are back to the early 20’s again.
    Is it not interesting how history repeats ?

  38. 38 spaz Mar 24th, 2014 at 4:33 pm

    mkv, you made two different obsevations. You said that you can go to a Harley dealer any day for a test ride, but complained about how popular Arlen Ness is making a demo day what, a huge success because so many people show up? Dude, that’s just whining. And I know for a fact that you can get a test ride at Arlen’s shop any day of the week.
    Zen, you said it, bro. And competition is a GOOD thing! Just imagine if we only had 1 brand of American car? I think Harley is finally working as hard as they can to put out a better product, and that’s what the Rushmore project is. We can all thank Polaris for that. Once people get over their perception of Harley, and actually compare the ride of comparable Harley’s, Victory’s, and Indians, Harley will be in serious trouble unless they continue to innovate at a blistering pace. Riding a Victory makes your precious Harley look pretty bad, I think.

  39. 39 Terence Tory Mar 24th, 2014 at 5:02 pm

    James just another Kiwi.The U.S.A. did produce it’s own sports road bike:once.The pre-WWII Indian Sport Scout was The serious sporting domestic bike of it’s era,and was comparable to many other high performance motorcycles of the time,worldwide.

  40. 40 BobS Mar 24th, 2014 at 5:19 pm

    Thanks Cyril for the interview. I understand Mr. Mennetto, any piece of information, no matter how seemingly insignificant, is information his competitors don’t have. But since I know he and Mr. Pandya both ride I’m sure they already know, we’re enthusiats. We may not care about deeply about sales numbers but do we want to know if/when a Scout, a Four, a CORE, or a SWiss Auto / Weber V-4 200 hp Vision will be coming our way? Hell yeah!!! Just as it’s understandable that Mennetto is going to give evasive answers it’s equally understandable that enthusiasts are going to be frustrated. By the way to any ears at Polaris listening…you own that V-4, that would be a SERIOUSLY sweet Vision!

  41. 41 James just another crazy Kiwi Mar 24th, 2014 at 6:30 pm

    TT you could say the same about the 36-40 Knuckles with 18” wheels and the Crocker which was produced in such small numbers that I should not mention it.. lol
    The AMA always tried to slant it against the British and European bikes in the race rules to protect their domestic market.
    The best of British and European motorcylces of the time were far better performing than the scout.
    1000cc JAPs NSU’s BMW’s,Vincent, Norton, AJS and lots of others.
    The 1936 Knuckle was a 61” OHV motorcycle which was advanced then and really anything sporting a SV motor after that should not be looked at.

    What I was actually alluding to was the modern serious super bikes.
    That was why I mentioned the Japanese who if you look at it unemotionally are probably the most successful manufactures of motorcycles period.

    Many MotorCycles have been game changers but the 1973 900cc Kawasaki changed everything.
    Performance was the yard stick for the next 20 years and because the average age of a motorcyclist was probably 25-30 they did not want big fat old unreliable V twins.
    At the time I despised them but looking back they did us all a favour.They bought quality control and modern manufacturing ( Robotics) to the Motorcycle industry.
    Maybe we will look back in 20 years and think the same about Indian , who knows

  42. 42 Charisse Tyson Mar 24th, 2014 at 7:21 pm

    A great interview Cyril.
    For those who’d like to test ride an Indian and visit the Birth Place of the American Biker, the weekend of April 11-13 could not be a better time. The Hollister Indian Motorcycle Demo Tour 4/11-4/12 features the all-new Indian Chief motorcycles, including the Chief Classic,the Chief Vintage and the fully-loaded hard bagger, the Chieftain. Come on down for the weekend and join the Top Hatters annual bike blessing at Sacred Heart Church on the 13th. We’re serving breakfast and lunch at Johnny’s Bar & Grill beginning at 9:00 a.m. I am also celebrating the one year publication anniversary of my book, Miracles and Grace in an Unlikely Place / Memoir of a Christian Woman Biker Bar Owner. I’m signing books all day and offering a $2.00 discount. The weather should be great and there is no place better to ride than Hollisters rolling hills. We hope to see you there, Cat

  43. 43 Zipper Mar 24th, 2014 at 7:57 pm

    Nice to see some new American motorcycles. ..Z

  44. 44 Just a kid into bikes Mar 25th, 2014 at 3:03 am

    Sometimes when reading these comments I start to wonder when talking shit became more important than the motorcycles themselves. If your on this blog I would assume your into motorcycles or love riding them.

    This Harley vs. Victory is a heavy topic and most comments regarding the issue are not filled with logic but just ignorant emotions. They are both american companies and if you love either of the brands stick with the brand. You love it for your reasons and thats just fine, doesn’t mean you need to defend your brands “honor”. You truly should be happy that multiple American motorcycle companies are both successful at the moment. American innovation is a great thing no matter what AMERICAN brand it comes from. Whether you like it or not foreign companies are making quality motorcycles that will last most likely longer than our lifetime. As far as I’m concerned when talking about American motorcycles on a global scale I would love to say that American motorcycle companies (key word: american companies) build the best motorcycles on the planet. And not the best because of image..instead I rather it be judged on the motorcycle itself.

    In regards to the constant negative comments on custom bikes..Its alright if you don’t like a build or style, you don’t need to be the tough guy and say some horrible shit about something that someone put some serious work and pride into. Your not dumb or a jealous 12 year old in middle school…you know damn well built the bike is stoked to have his work on this site and is reading all the comments. Respect the art form and take the build for what it is

    And the comments about secrecy and brand trust…please rethink your statements. If you still are set in your thoughts think about this: There is not a single company, sports team, or custom motorcycle builder that does not value the secrecy of their hard work. Secrecy in business and competition drives innovation…its part of the game. And no matter what game your in whether its the motorcycle business or football, I would assume you don’t put your hard work and time into it to lose.

    I love Harley Davidson, Indian, and Victory…fortunate enough to have owned each at one point. I wish the success of all brands because I would like to ride them all to the day I can’t. So before you comment, think about why your into this and think with logic…thats all I got for tonight

  45. 45 Henry Mar 25th, 2014 at 6:30 am

    “Just A Kid” made the best comment.

  46. 46 Magnet Man Mar 25th, 2014 at 6:36 am

    Cyril does a great job in asking penetrating questions.
    Thank you Steve for your time and insights, looking forward to seeing Polaris grow one veil at a time.
    Made in USA, Hallelujah!

  47. 47 Paul Lanza Mar 25th, 2014 at 6:37 am

    Huze obtained the interview and Menneto accepted to answer as much as he could. Kudos to both. You all read it. Mission accomplished!

  48. 48 Matt W. Mar 25th, 2014 at 9:28 am

    Kid: Just give it time. America just isn’t as used to having a multiple brand motorcycle industry like our cousins in Europe and Japan have had consistently for decades. We’ll figure it out eventually ;).

  49. 49 Robert Pandya Mar 25th, 2014 at 9:32 am

    Hey all –

    Thanks for the comments and interest. Certainly there are WAY more people reading than commenting, and of course every opinion is worth something.

    We do endeavor to be as open as possible, the CHB is a great watering hole for enthusiasts.

    Think back one year – we had only just revealed the TS111 engine and the awesome Spirit of Munro built by Jeb Scolman. We had 13 dealers and ended December with about 140 signed up. In 12 months there is a completely different discussion happening – not a “I wonder if they will screw it up” conversation – but a largely positive commentary on the state of American Motorcycle brands, and an overwhelmingly positive reception to the new bikes from media, dealers and owners, as well as a rapidly developing aftermarket.

    I will not that is isn’t our job to spur the competition along – it’s our job to make kick-ass motorcycles that fit what riders are looking for. When products get better – we all win. When products export we all win. When there is a choice and you are free to make it – you get it.

    Steve oversees two teams that address Victory and Indian separately, with visions and enthusiasm towards each. Polaris Industries is committed to each brand, our dealers, and our customers. Sure it all can’t happen fast enough, but that only means that there is genuine interest.

    You all will start seeing more Indian Motorcycles on the road this year ridden by happy owners. And in a year from now – lets see how the conversation has evolved.

    Robert Pandya
    External Relations Manager
    Indian Motorcycle

  50. 50 Jeff Griar Mar 25th, 2014 at 11:54 am

    Go Polaris. Make Harley become more humble.

  51. 51 Pat Simmons Mar 25th, 2014 at 12:11 pm

    Great interview Cyril! Great comments everyone!

  52. 52 Robert Pandya Mar 25th, 2014 at 12:30 pm

    For those who want to see where PII is heading, Here is the CEO with additional comments on Opening Bell.

    http://video.foxbusiness.com/v/3388716435001/the-business-of-polaris/#sp=show-clips

    Robert Pandya
    External Relations Manager
    Indian Motorcycle

  53. 53 John Brendel Mar 25th, 2014 at 6:14 pm

    Really enjoyed the article, great interview!

    I met Steve in Sturgis 2012 wanted to know why my backrest was on backorder and no one knew when they would be shipped, I was civil but relentless I wanted an answer, I did not know at the time I had met the Man, he did what he said he would and even a followed up with an email.
    One thing he says in the article that I really wish they pushed, is dealer loyalty, how can you have customer loyalty when the dealer has all kinds of metric crap sitting on the floor Polaris has enough products to fill any showroom floor, I have been at my dealer and seen the sales man lead a guy away from the Victory and have try a metric out, same dealer whines about not getting the Victory truck in when they want, they don’t carry a complete line of accessories, clothing line is limited, I actually like everyone that works there the service department is good, parts are great, I think dealer loyalty is going to be key in Victory’s success.

  54. 54 Blackmax Mar 25th, 2014 at 7:09 pm

    Mr Menneto was gracious enough to sit down with me at the V-Twin Expo
    I got pretty much the same answers that you got Cyril & really did not expect much different .
    Why should he “tip his hand” about anything, on either brand ????
    “Just a Kid into Bikes” has had the most insightful comment on this thread.
    If you’re astute enough to read and understand the questions that were asked and
    what Mr. Menneto and Mr Pandya said & didn’t say, I’m pretty sure you can draw your own conclusions about what coming down the road from BOTH Polaris brands.
    I have an opinion of what I think is going to happen and if it does come to pass, it means large success for both brands and the estimate of a 15 – 20% market share being realized or better…..

  55. 55 Chris Johnston Mar 25th, 2014 at 7:14 pm

    Those smart enough have found out that Cyril’s questions contain many answers that Steve Menneto didn’t want to give, yet. Read again guys.

  56. 56 C. Brookstone Mar 25th, 2014 at 7:19 pm

    Chris Johnston. Funny because I was thinking the exact same thing.

  57. 57 KSW Mar 25th, 2014 at 7:40 pm

    Robert Pandya,

    As an industry journalist/photographer can you please explain how it is that Indian/Polaris has all this money for marketing, product, parties but when it comes time to purchase the best images for advertising there is no Budget?

    Cyril,

    Nice interview. Very professional on both sides.

  58. 58 Birddoggie Mar 25th, 2014 at 8:27 pm

    Cyril is awesome. I look forward to seeing Victory/Indian having their place in the Sun. I’ve been hoping to see change. Arrogance is so evident, just this past weekend in SD at a “Grand Opening”, I couldn’t take more than 1hour of the BS…

  59. 59 Rick Lossner Mar 26th, 2014 at 7:22 am

    I think I’m going to be a big dog this week and start every conversation with …

    “well, I can’t share that for obvious reasons, but ….”

  60. 60 Robert Pandya Mar 26th, 2014 at 10:07 pm

    KSW,

    Sorry you don’t like something we are doing. You are probably not the only one!

    Robert Pandya
    External Relations Manager
    Indian Motorcycle

  61. 61 BobS Mar 27th, 2014 at 8:29 pm

    ’cause so many of us base our purchasing decision on which company has the best photographer. You know we don’t really ride them, we just leave them on the trailer and show our friends the brochure of our badass ride. So the brochure has to be really really badass.

  62. 62 Dan Gannon Mar 29th, 2014 at 2:51 pm

    Thanks Kid..!

    I love American bikes and biker type people.

    DD

  63. 63 Terence Tory Mar 29th, 2014 at 7:58 pm

    John Brendel,by “metric crap” I guess you mean Japanese bikes.I’d say everything Polaris,Victory and Indian bolts together uses modern designs and metric fasteners.

    I gather there is “metric” and “metric” : In your mind.

    One brand shops can be very boring,The shops of the seventies had good new and used bikes from all around the world under the same roof,and that mix made a visit always interesting.

    The one brand shop can be done.But it needs more than ten bikes artistically displayed,an espresso machine and thirty leather jackets.Add a pushy salesman and not a ridden old motorcycle anywhere in site(or parked out the rear): And I’m out of there.

    I’ve got my own concepts of a modern workshop/showroom/coffee bar.From my own experience,and not just a skinny-fresh grad’s idea of Gruen transfer in action “to move units”.

  64. 64 BCinSoCal Apr 8th, 2014 at 7:41 pm

    We can thank the Japanese for pushing the quality and performance of our bikes up to a new standard just as the Japanese cars forced the American car manufactures to began offering a good product, which we have seen only in the past few years with the cars . With the bikes it started when the CB750 was first introduced, but they only had one American to push up HD . Competition is good for the customer, he benefits. Victory and Indian will raise the bar , Harley is looking over their shoulder. The Victory Gunner has forced Harley to reintroduce the Low Rider. Both bikes offered at a reasonable price. If I didn’t ride a ’93 FXR but wanted to step up to a newer and faster bike I would buy one of the two , again a win for the buyer!

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