Whatever happened to Arctic Cat

If you are in the high plains above the snow line you might see an Arctic Cat badge on snowmobile whizz past, but apart from that, the name has all but disappeared off the once familiar all terrain vehicle range.

The Arctic Cat badge was taken over by US firm Textron in March 2017 when it acquired Arctic Cat, the Minnesota utility vehicle and snowmobile maker. Textron is no small player, it already had well-known brands such as Bell Helicopter, Cessna and Beechcraft aircraft, and the Dixie Chopper zero-turn mower line.

The acquisition brought the Arctic Cat Alterra, Prowler and Wildcat brands under the Textron Off-Road umbrella, which also includes the Stampede side-by-side. And a further kink to the Arctic Cat tale is that by 2018, the entire utility vehicle line-up will be known as Textron Off-Road.

With the name changeover some badge and model names will still be around until the 2018 models are in full swing. In the meantime some Alterra and XC ATVs and HDX and Prowler side-by-side models will sport the Arctic Cat brand until inventory is sold.

It is also expected that in an effort to avoid product overlap, Textron will discontinue the Recoil and Ambush side-by-side lines, and the Onslaught ATV.

Production of the product lines has also been consolidated. The Stampede line has moved from Augusta Ga, to Thief River Falls Minn in the US, the original base of Arctic Cat. And production of the Textron Motors engines that power the Stampede will move from Germany to St. Cloud Minn in the US, where the company already produces four-stroke off-road engines for ATVs, and side-by-sides and two-stroke engines for Arctic Cat snowmobiles.

Textron Specialized Vehicles Inc. released a recent statement to say, “We are marrying Arctic Cat’s legacy of high performance, reliability and innovation to Textron’s powerful combination of engineering expertise, manufacturing know-how and Fortune 200 resources.”

Textron Specialized Vehicles partners with other companies to market all terrain vehicles, with a well known example being the latest New Holland Rustler side-by-side, wholly manufactured by Textron.

You can learn more about Textron Off-Road at textronoffroad.com