A party 50 years in the making
8 September 2004
A party 50 years in the making
“If Polaris made a beer, I’d be drinkin’ it …..”
An off-the-cuff comment from a typical Polaris customer sums up the enthusiasm evident at the company’s 50thanniversary celebration in Minnesota.
Grins were everywhere as the giant of the global powersports industry came back to its roots to celebrate 50 years of providing The Way Out.
Sixty Polaris dealers from Australia and New Zealand joined 600 dealers, distributors and staff from around the world plus a few thousand from the US and Canada.
It was the company’s largest sales meeting ever, taking several days to review the past half-century and kick off the next with a stunning lineup of 2005 models.
In a world-first, dealers saw three road-going ATV models named Quadricycles.
Also launched were a powerful new 800cc Sportsman ATV with electronic fuel injection; all-new 200 Phoenix ATV for 16-years plus; new military-style ATV called the MV7 and hailed the toughest of the tough; hot Predator sports / race ATV now with reverse gear and with a tricked up Troy Lee edition which ATV Guide and ATV Rider magazines have already named the 2005 Sport ATV of the Year.
In total, 62 percent of the Polaris ATV range is all-new for 2005.
Among the fast-growing fleet of RANGER off-road utility vehicles, a new Lock & Ride cargo system makes it easier than ever to attach or remove accessories. And a new option called SpeedKey allows a RANGER owner to control the vehicle's top speed based on the ignition key that is used.
New models bristled too in the snowmobile range, as well as the Victory motorcycle lineup and Pure Polaris gear and accessories.
Two Dealers from Downunder shared the limelight at a glittering dinner in St Paul as the 50th celebration burst into life.
Chris Joblin from Chris Joblin Motors at Wairoa and Phil Swindell of Tamworth 4WD Australia were named our Polaris Dealers of the Year in a Radisson Hotel ballroom packed with 600 dealers and distributors from around the world.
Then tens of thousands of Polaris customers and fans joined the fun at the Minnesota State Fairgrounds at Minneapolis for a party that ran all day Saturday and late into a warm starlit night. A party 50 years in the making.
It was in nearby Roseau (pron Rose-oh) it all began in 1954 when three hard-working young entrepreneur engineers making farm implements, Edgar and Allen Hetteen and David Johnson, began searching for a better Way Out. Within a few years they had created the first commercially-successful snowmobile, and a dynasty was born.
Two of those pioneers are still with us, Edgar and David becoming the first of ten foundation inductees into the Polaris Hall of Fame at The Way Out party.
And they were “proud, mighty proud” to see today’s lineup of Polaris powersports products which all share the spirit they created in a humble tin shed.
Today Polaris Industries is listed on the New York Stock Exchange and noted as a Fortune 500 company which has recorded record profits for each of the past 25 quarter-years.
Asked to share the secret for success, President and CEO Tom Tiller pinpointed enthusiasm and product knowledge.
“Throughout the company, at Polaris we ride,” he commented.
“That’s how we’ve been creating The Way Out for 50 years.”