The Arctic Cat brand is coming back to off-road, though the truth is, it never left.
Arctic Cat was bought by Textron back in 2017, and when the move was made, the brand decided to re-badge all of Cat’s off-road products as Textrons. Now, it seems the brand has decided that this was a bad decision, and all of the brand’s ATVs and side-by-sides are back to being Arctic Cats.
The products aren’t changing, which means the Wildcat XX, Wildcat Sport, Wildcat Trail, Stampede, Alterra and more aren’t going anywhere. They will just have new badges on them, starting in 2019.
All of the vehicles are still built in Thief River Falls, Minn, the same place Arctic Cat has been building its vehicles for many years.
No specific reason was given for the name change, though overall confusion about it was probably among the issues. Another piece of the the puzzle is that Textron has lower than expected earnings in the third quarter of 2018, and the company blamed it on the slow growth of Arctic Cat.
This means that Textron is scrambling to find a way to make Arctic Cat more profitable, and clearly the belief is that the name change was a mistake that was costing them money.
You need only to look at Ram trucks and how many people still call them Dodge pickups, despite the fact that Ram became a standalone brand back in 2009. It takes a long time to build a brand like that, and changing an established name like Arctic Cat to a new name in the business like Textron was clearly viewed as a deterent to sales.
Arctic Cat says that we can expect to hear more about its 2019 lineup soon, so stay tuned.