As some have pointed out, Victory has always been a Polaris-owned company. They did have some problems with engines (or was it transmissions) back in the early days (V92s) but I don't think that ever jeopardized the company.
Seems obvious that they bought Indian for the name and to have a direct competitor to the "legacy look" that seems to (artificially) prop up Harley. Polaris probably said "We could develop a Victory that looks old but that would take away the cutting-edge styling that makes a Victory well, a Victory for a 1/2 gazillion $'s or we could simply buy Indian for pennies on the dollar and utilize our experience and built-in efficiencies to bring the Indian line back into profitability."
Someone stated that the prior owners spent a lot of time & $'s on the prior engine.... and then nearly went bankrupt because the bikes ended up being priced too high for the market. The FIRST thing Polaris probably did was to set aside that particular "mistake" and move the engine to a more reliable and FAR less-costly engine to build, maintain and keep running. If they want to put some cosmetics on them that helps them retain that "legacy" look, the more power to them.
If you like modern, you won't like Indian (because it's too traditional). If you can appreciate tradition, you won't like Victory (because it's too modern). The Indian bikes are about 2 inches longer than the Victory Vision. This makes them ride even smoother that the Vision bikes. In person the '09 and newer Indian Cheif's are absolutely BEAUTIFUL motorcycles. Unfortunately, they were simply priced beyond what most people buying a traditional bike are either willing or capable of paying ($35K plus) for that privilege.
Offer a Chief without all the chrome for around $19K or $20K (Max) that can directly compete with the H-D Road King. Then offer the chrome add-on baubles to it along with a healthy markup into the $35K+ CVO pricing territory. You will have a longer bike that rides FAR smoother than ANY Harley. If the engine looks traditional but doesn't require expensive maintenance, you will have the H-D owners that detest the modern Victory styling beating a path to your door in an effort to get away from Harley.
Merchandising - Many Victory owners gripe (justifiably) about the lack of clothing. Polaris probably thought about beefing that area up but thought "if we are going to sink $'s into clothing, Indian clothing may be a more sensible brand to make that investment in.
Note: In 2 years pull this post back up and see how accurate my predictions may have become in those years. I did apply for that marketing job @ Indian but nobody ever called me about that application so that probably means that everything I outlined here is what will happen because.... great minds think alike, right?
It's not just any victory.... It's MY Victory!
2011 Victory Ness Cross Country #120
Ness Knurled Highway Pegs/KwelMetal Brackets
Ness Radius laydown license
Chrome CAM Tension Covers
Red Engine Bolts
DIY Garage Door Opener
Victory Chrome Saddle Bag Lid Rails
Küryakyn Upper Fork Shrouds
Küryakyn Lower Fork Covers
Power Commander V Tuner
Power Commander AT-300
Hertz HCX 165s Speakers
JL Audio HX280/4 Bridged 140w