Arctic Cat history
Mario Andretti's 1981 El Tigre 6000
1981 Arctic Enterprises news
To the chagrin of the workers and management at Thief River Falls, history continued to repeat itself in the decade ahead, as the early 1980s paralleled the early 1970s and rampant growth quickly disappeared. This time, however, the effects were much more devastating. Sales in 1980 climbed to $185 million, despite a decline in snowmobile sales throughout the country, but by far the most telling and most depressing financial figure for the year was the company's profit total. Arctic Enterprises lost $11.5 million during the year, a staggering blow that was followed by another $10 million loss the following year. As production totals in 1981 fell to their lowest levels since 1969, the bankers who had granted the company loans over the years became disgruntled and alarmed. Worried that the company would not be able to make good on its financial promises, the bankers called for the payment of $48.5 million in loans on February 6, 1981. Eleven days later, Arctic Enterprises filed for protection under Chapter 11 of the U.S. Bankruptcy Act. In a year that otherwise would have been celebrated as the company's 20th anniversary year, Arctic Enterprises was ruined financially.
1981 Arctic Cat newsletter "Cat's Pride"
1981 Arctic Enterprises under bankruptcy
The news could not have been worse, but even as steps were
being taken to liquidate the snowmobile operations and the
rest of the company was being sold piecemeal, there were
some encouraging reports that at least seemed to underscore
the strength of the Arctic Cat name in snowmobile circles
across the country. Even though the company's production
facilities had been shuttered, the demand for Arctic Cat
snowmobiles had increased. Remarkably, sales were up high
enough for the company to capture 38 percent of the U.S.
market one year after production had stopped, providing
ample evidence that loyalty to and confidence in Arctic
Enterprises' products remained high.
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