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Arctic Cat history


During the mid-1990s the North American snowmobile industry was expanding at a 20 percent annual clip, while the market for personal watercraft (PWC), the company's other primary business area, was recording annual gains in excess of 30 percent. In 1993 when Arctco began its PWC division by introducing its Tigershark brand, earnings remained strong and the company infrastructure looked very solid once again. In addition, Arctco had established a new company presence in the South, where dealers agreed to carry the Tigershark brand of PWC and its line of accessories. The next few years, however, found the PWC division unable to establish a solid foothold in the industry and by 1998 PWC earnings were down by 7 percent and the company's watercraft future appeared uncertain.While Arctco's watercraft division was floundering, further opportunities for financial growth were opened to the company when it made its first foray into the market for all-terrain vehicles, a $1.2 billion industry during the mid-1990s that was recording nearly 20 percent annual growth. In January 1996, Arctco's first four-wheel-drive recreational and utility vehicle, the Bearcat 454, rolled off the company's production line, giving Arctco a diversified, cross-seasonal product line to drive its growth in the years ahead. Although finding it difficult to assert itself in the competitive field of PWC, Arctco seemed to have found its niche in the ATV arena. Following an aggressive marketing campaign targeted at its ATV products, Arctco posted a net earnings figure up 39 percent for 1997.



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