Polaris will retire the Larson FX and two other boat brands and shut its Syracuse, Ind., factory, displacing about 120 workers.
Medina-based Polaris, maker of outdoor-recreation vehicles, also said it will retire its Rinker and Striper brands. Customer service and warranties will continue to be honored for past customers of the discontinued brands.
"We deeply regret the impact this will have on our employees, boat dealers, sales representatives, suppliers — and, of course, our Rinker, Striper and Larson FX customers," said Bob Mack, Polaris' president of global adjacent markets and boats.
The move will allow Polaris to concentrate on its Bennington, Godfrey and Hurricane brands, "strengthening our leadership in those segments."
The displaced Syracuse workers can apply for open positions at Polaris' two Elkhart, Ind., plants about 30 minutes away where the company produces the other branded boats.
When Polaris bought the assets of the Larson Boat Group in January 2019, it had plans to expand the storied brand once headquartered in Little Falls, Minn. The sale also brought the Striper brand under Polaris.
But new "market dynamics and the continued uncertainty around the sustained impact of the COVID-19 pandemic" made Polaris decide to scrap expansion plans and to exit the brands, Mack said.
The Rinker brand was part of Polaris' $805 million purchase of the Boat Holdings LLC in July 2018.
The COVID-19 pandemic — and the resulting economic downturn — has greatly disrupted Polaris' entire $6.8 billion business as outdoor enthusiasts cut back on discretionary purchases and followed stay-at-home orders.
Polaris temporarily closed most of its vehicle factories for one week in late March and later furloughed or cut the salaries of nonfactory workers. CEO Scott Wine gave up his salary for the rest of 2020.
The Larson brand was more than 100 years old, once employing 800 workers at the Little Falls factory. By the time Polaris bought the brands, production had shifted to another plant in Wisconsin.