Polaris buys big in to 4X4 parts

Polaris announces intention to acquire tap

MANY of you will be familiar with the Polaris brand via its range of all-terrain vehicles and quad bikes, including the excellent Polaris RZR off-road buggies. But did you know it also makes American motorcycle brands Indian and Victory Motorcycles.

The massive US-based company is set to get in to the 4x4 aftermarket game in a big way, announcing today its intention to acquire the Transamerican Auto Parts (TAP) group.

Never heard of TAP? Neither had we, but we do know brands such as Smittybilt, Poison Spyder, Rubicon Express and Pro Comp all come under the TAP umbrella. Viewers of popular online 4x4 programs will also recognise the names 4 Wheel Parts and 4Wheel Drive Hardware – and yes, they’re also part of TAP.

If the sale of TAP to Polaris goes through as expected it will give Polaris huge reach into the off-road accessories market via the brands, the bricks and mortar, and the online retail businesses, and that could extend to the market here in Australia.

The announcement was only made today and a spokesperson for Polaris Australia told 4X4 Australia that it was still early days and couldn’t comment further on the deal.

On the other side of the pond, Polaris Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Scott W. Wine said in a statement: “We are excited to add TAP’s market-leading multi-channel business, proprietary brands, proven management team and experienced employees to the Polaris portfolio. This transaction is consistent with our long-term strategy, provides us an immediate leadership position in a growing market, and allows us to accelerate Polaris’ growth and profitability.

“TAP’s products and services for customers in the off-road 4WD market correspond closely to our Off-Road Vehicle business. Our similar cultures, centred on innovative brands and performance, make TAP a great addition to Polaris’ expanding portfolio.”

Presently in Australia brands like Smittybilt, Pro Comp and Poison Spyder are available from a selection of mainly Jeep-focused businesses, such as Murchison Products in Queensland and JeepKonection in Melbourne. However, any changes to this arrangement are yet to be seen. What will be interesting is if or when Polaris expands the power of the online reach of 4 Wheel Drive Hardware to our markets.

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