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With the steadfastness to be in business more than 50 years and a 2006 sales figure of $1.7 billion you would think that with Polaris as your parent the future might be limitless. Approaching its tenth birthday, Victory Motorcycles, a subsidiary of Polaris Industries, is still marching forward but with a cautious eye on the future.

Harley-Davidson recently announced some rather deflating but realistic news about its plan to reduce shipments in the third quarter of this year, due in part to cooling consumer enthusiasm. While attending the 2008 Victory model press ride, asked Mark Blackwell, Vice President of Victory Motorcycles and International Operations, Polaris Industries, if Victory has as a response similar to Harley's toward a slowing motorcycle industry: "We have a goal of 10-15% retail growth next year," Blackwell stated. Those figures seem in line with Victory's 13% increase in sales in 2006, which, coincidentally, was also the motorcycle maker's first year of profitability since launching in 1998.

Citing the current state of macro economics in the U.S., Blackwell explained that the core of the bike market consists of people who carefully consider where money earmarked for the purchase and maintenance of a bike could be spent otherwise. "The guy driving the hundred-thousand-dollar motor home isn't going to notice an extra two hundred dollars to fill his tank, but most buyers are going to be holding back and waiting to see what happens," Blackwell commented. In order to achieve the modest growth for the coming year, Victory is planning to gird up its dealer network (360-strong) rather than expand it, by "focusing on training" of existing dealer sales staff.

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