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History Timeline

Defining moments in history


Company renamed Polaris Industries Inc. and first snowmobile built in 1955.


Textron, Inc. purchases Polaris; keeps manufacturing operations in Roseau, MN.


TX-L340 uses first Polaris liquid-cooled engine, first independent suspension snowmobile soon follows.


W. Hall Wendel, Jr., named president of Polaris, led management group that purchased Polaris from Textron in 1981.


Polaris achieves $1 billion in sales for first time.


Victory Motorcycles debut, with Indy Car driver Al Unser, Jr. riding the first bike into Planet Hollywood restaurant at the Mall of America. Polaris expands its off-road business with the Polaris RANGER side by side vehicle.


Polaris introduces RANGER RZR as first trail-capable & fastest acceleration side by side vehicle.


Annual sales exceed $2 billion in sales for the first time. Polaris acquires legendary Indian Motorcycle brand and re-launches the Chieftain in Sturgis in 2013. Polaris acquires GEM electric-powered vehicles.


Polaris celebrated the grand opening of its Opole, Poland Manufacturing facility, the first manufacturing facility outside of North America.


Polaris purchases a new paint facility in Spearfish, South Dakota. The company also acquired Timbersled, the leading developer and manufacturer of snow bikes.


Polaris opens its brand-new manufacturing facility in Huntsville, Alabama. Polaris acquires Transamerican Auto Parts, the leading manufacturer, distributor and retailer of off-road Jeep and truck aftermarket accessories.


Annual sales exceed $5 billion for the first time; and the company celebrated building its one-millionth RANGER. Polaris launches Polaris Adventures.


Polaris acquires Boat Holdings, a privately held boat manufacturer of four recognized brands – Bennington, Godfrey, Hurricane, and Rinker. Polaris is named to the Fortune 500 list, making its debut at No. 496.


Mike Speetzen was appointed Chief Executive Officer; preceding this, he was the interim Chief Executive Officer since January 2021. He joined Polaris in August 2015 as Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer.