Based in Medina, MN, Polaris Industries built its first snowmobile in 1956. With the development of its Liberty line of engines in 1995 and the expansion into motorcycles in 1998, Polaris now offers a full line of vehicles capable of tackling everything from backcountry to the open road, including All Terrain Vehicles (ATVs), Ranger side-by-side vehicles, and Victory motorcycles.
With annual sales approaching $1.6 Billion, Polaris is a leading powersports manufacturer in the U.S. Polaris products are sold through a network of nearly 1,400 dealers in the U.S., plus a growing distribution network in Canada and abroad.
In advance of the recent economic downturn Polaris was looking for a smarter way to manage inventory across its dealer network. The company's early adoption of a model driven upon dealer sales activity has provided a competitive advantage as slowing retail has driven industry inventory levels upward. To change its distribution model Polaris needed an inventory finance provider that understood the markets in which it operated and could support a solution tailored to its specific needs.
GE Capital's strategy
GE Capital Commercial Distribution Finance has a broad footprint in motorsports financing, giving GE Capital insight into industry-wide trends beyond Polaris' dealers. With advanced analytical capabilities, GE Capital is able to provide valuable information to Polaris on its dealer network, allowing it to manage inventory in a way that mitigates risk and promotes healthy growth.
Tom Orluck has worked alongside Polaris for more than 25 years leading a team of GE Capital distribution finance experts working on-site at Polaris' Medina, MN, headquarters. This close working relationship enables GE Capital to work as part of the Polaris team. "GE Capital and Polaris are strategic partners-we share both risks and rewards as we jointly develop solutions for our dealer network", Scott Wine, CEO of Polaris Industries, said.
On the consumer front, since 2006, GE Capital Sales Finance has helped Polaris build sales volume by providing attractive promotional financing programs. By using promotional financing, Polaris drives more consumer traffic into dealer stores and allows sales people to close more sales More than 90 percent of U.S. Polaris dealers are signed up to use GE Capital promotional financing plans with their customers. GE Capital's Amy Kneeland helps Polaris dealers process customer applications faster by introducing them to Business Center, a proprietary GE Capital system designed to help dealers to take applications, receive credit decisions, and prepare customer contracts online.
GE Capital is now Polaris' exclusive dealer financing source in North America and the preferred source globally. Together, Polaris and GE Capital have established financing programs to service eight global markets.
"By aligning our initiatives with Polaris' goals and objectives, we help Polaris to manage inventory in a way that mitigates risk and allows for healthy, sustainable growth," Orluck said.