MINNEAPOLIS – Citing decreasing demand for products as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, Polaris Inc. said today it is closing its plants for one week, effective Tuesday. Included in the shutdown is the Spirit Lake, IA plant where Indian motorcycles are built.
Other plants being closed are in Alabama, Minnesota, Washington and Wisconsin as well as in Mexico and Poland. According to a company press release, Polaris will to continue shipping finished vehicles to dealers.
“As we confront the COVID-19 pandemic, we are focusing on the health and safety of our employees, dealers, customers and the communities where we operate, while also taking bold action to protect our business,” said Polaris CEO Scott Wine in a statement.
“As anticipated, pandemic concerns ultimately began to impact demand, which dropped suddenly in the middle of last week, and we are adjusting our operations accordingly.”
Employees May Still Receive Pay
The press release noted that Polaris has implemented enhanced health and safety protocol at its facilities and has established a COVID program under which employees may receive up to 10 days of pay. “Employees are able to use this benefit for income replacement in the event of COVID-related quarantine, illness, or suspension of plant operations,” the company said..
Wine said that he expects the downturn in business to have significant impact on 2020 sales results.
“Consistent with 2008, we are prepared for a period of vehicle retail demand being down significantly,” he said. “Today, however, we have a much larger installed base and broader aftermarket portfolio, which will help to mitigate the impact of this unwelcome downturn.”
Additional Dealer Support
Polaris also said that is launching new dealer support programs in the areas of retail rewards and flooring on future orders.
“As small business owners, our dealers are facing considerable pressure on their business. In addition to program enhancements we have been in frequent, open communication with our dealers, which is allowing us to adjust shipment plans on an individual dealer basis and better monitor and protect dealer inventory health,” Wine said.
Polaris’s stock has dropped 50 percent over the past month. As of 3:30 p.m. today it was trading at $41.74, down $6.75 for the day, from a 52-week high of $104.37.
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