The company also said it will acquire legendary Indian Motorcycle of North Carolina.
Citing strong sales in all its recreational product lines, Polaris Industries Inc. said Tuesday it plans to keep about 50 engine assembly jobs at its manufacturing facility in Osceola, Wis., where it previously announced it would lay off 515 workers and close the plant.
The Medina-based company also announced it was adding to its motorcycle business by acquiring 110-year-old Indian Motorcycle of Kings Mountain, N.C. Terms of the acquisition from British investment firms Stellican Ltd. and Novator Partners LLP were not disclosed.
Polaris began laying off workers at the Osceola facility in March. It announced the shutdown last year as a part of a reorganization of manufacturing operations that includes opening a new plant this year in Monterrey, Mexico.
In an interview, CEO Scott Wine said the company plans to retain the 50 workers in Osceola "for the foreseeable future." The workers will assemble snowmobile and motorcycle engines, he said.
Analysts are expecting Polaris to post strong sales growth when it reports its first-quarter results Wednesday. The company reported a 27 percent gain in revenue and 46 percent increase in earnings for 2010 and last month announced a record profit-sharing payout to employees.
Wine said the acquisition of Indian Motorcycle builds Polaris' presence in the $4 billion heavyweight motorcycle market. Polaris entered the motorcycle market about 13 years ago, and the business last year accounted for about $82 million of the company's total $2 billion in sales.
Wine said the modern styling of Polaris' Victory brand appeals to performance enthusiasts. Indian is a heritage brand with classic styling that appeals to a different market segment, he said.
Wine said Indian will be operated as an autonomous unit and will continue to build at its Kings Mountain plant. Some manufacturing may also be done at Polaris' plant in Spirit Lake, Iowa, but Wine said, Polaris "will be protective of the Indian brand."
Susan Feyder • 612-673-1723