Indian Motorcycle saw a small growth in sales and market share during the first quarter of 2018, according to Polaris Industries’ quarterly financial report. The modest increase was enough to offset a decrease in Slingshot sales and increase Polaris’ motorcycle sales by 9.3% to $131.6 million.
Polaris reported a low single digit percent growth in Indian sales and a mid single digit decrease in Slingshot sales. The industry, as a whole, saw a drop in the mid-teens for heavyweight motorcycles (900cc and up) during the quarter, leading Polaris to claim an increase in market share for both Indian and Slingshot.
An unusually cold and wet spring over much of North America also had a negative impact on sales. Outside of North America, Polaris saw better results, reporting a 42% growth in motorcycle sales internationally.
Polaris credits demand for the Scout and Scout Bobber for some of Indian’s first quarter growth. Demand for the Jack Daniels Scout Bobber was especially high, with Indian selling out the limited edition run in less than 10 minutes.
Polaris’ motorcycle business reported a gross profit of $16.6 million over the quarter, compared to a loss of $19.8 million over the same quarter of 2017. That sounds like an impressive turnaround, until you remember a big part of last year’s loss was due to wind down costs for shutting down the Victory Motorcycles brand. Polaris will continue taking a hit on that decision to the tune of $80 million to $90 million through the end of 2018, for disposal of assets, cancellation of supplier agreements and support for Victory dealers in selling what’s left of their inventory.
As a company, Polaris Industries reported overall first quarter 2018 sales of $1.297 billion, a 12% increase over the same quarter in 2017. The company recorded a net profit of $55.7 million in the first quarter compared to a $2.9 million loss in the first three months of 2017.