Dealers react to 2013 Arctic Cat, Polaris off-road models
Though nothing in Arctic Cat’s 2013 lineup was as jaw-dropping as the first Wildcat, dealers contacted by Powersports Business are happy with the company’s latest showing, which includes a new 500 EFI ATV, new 400 and 450 ATVs and a collection of CORE, XT and limited packages.
“Overall reaction on their 2013 lineup was new colors, very similar to 2012 — but we had some new colors,” said Justin Henderson, general manager of Big Pine Sports in Fairview, Utah. “I was still pleased with it because the 2012 lineup was a good lineup.”
Some of the more talked-about updates were the additions of the Orange Metallic paint to the Wildcat, and the launch of the Wildcat Limited, which comes in White Metallic or Vibrant Red Metallic with matched-color seats and front and rear aluminum sport bumpers.
“We’re happy with that [lineup]. The price didn’t go up too much, and we have a two-year warranty on it now,” said Garry Griffith, owner of Garry Griffith Cycle in Chattanooga, Tenn.
Griffith said he has probably sold more Wildcats than any other dealer in the Eastern U.S., and he already has two 2013 models pre-sold.
“They make a great product, and they’re going to be there for the customer if and when something happens, and I’m proud of that,” he said of Arctic Cat.
The new 500 EFI ATV is another model Griffith is looking forward to getting onto his showroom floor. It features Fully Independent Suspension and a 445cc, SOHC, single-cylinder, liquid-cooled engine at only $6,399.
“It’s an awesome machine. The price point that we’ve targeted it at is a big feature. We expect to sell a bunch of those because of that,” he said.
Also new to the recreation and recreation 2-Up lineups are CORE models, which feature color-matched bodywork, steel wheels and a front rack at a value price point.
“We’re just hoping that those — I think they have five or six of them — that they will get us the right price in the right niches,” said Barry Levitt, owner of Sierra Cycles in Sierra Vista, Ariz. “We’re just hoping they’ll let us order more of the CORE units to replace the pricier units.”
All three dealers admitted that Polaris is Arctic Cat’s biggest competition, especially in the side-by-side category, but Griffith said he still outsells the Polaris dealers near him.
“We’ve got Polaris out-produced; we’ve got them out-built. We’ve got a better machine,” he said.
Though the dealers are happy with what they’ve seen so far, each is hoping for a mid-model-year release of a four-seat Wildcat.
“That’s, without a doubt, what I’m waiting for, what the customers are waiting for. Four-seaters are beating the two-seaters in sales,” Levitt said, adding that he’s hoping for a November or December release, with models hitting showrooms shortly after.
Henderson is also anticipating a four-seat Wildcat, along with other innovations in the future.
“They need to attack Polaris, and they need to come out with a 50-inch 4X4 machine,” he said. “They need a four-seater and a 50-inch 4X4, and it wouldn’t hurt to have a new motor in the lineup.”