Just because Polaris is coming off of a record year for sales, don’t expect the Minnesota-based manufacturer to slow down. In fact, Polaris seems to have every intention of growing – notably its Parts, Garments, and Accessories (PG&A) and Small Vehicles businesses.
Polaris has announced the hiring of Steve Eastman, former president of Target.com, to lead its PG&A business. According to Polaris, this appointment allows Scott Swenson, who previously ran both PG&A and the Small Vehicles business, to focus his attention on establishing a strong Polaris presence in the $4 billion small electric vehicle market.
“Our Small Vehicles and Parts, Garments and Accessories businesses are vital to the company’s success and we are committed to pursuing growth in these markets,” says Scott Wine, Polaris CEO. “In order to achieve these aggressive goals, we need talented leaders dedicated to each business. Hiring Steve to lead PG&A, thereby allowing Scott to devote his efforts to Small Vehicles, puts two strong executives in position to drive outstanding results.”
PG&A can be a huge money maker for manufacturers. In fact, Polaris told us last year that the average Ranger RZR off-road customer spends $1,200 on Pure Polaris accessories, with 75 percent walking out of the dealership with at least a roof and windshield and 50 percent adding a bumper or brushguard. Polaris doesn’t expect that trend to slow down in 2012 and would no doubt like to see results like that across its entire snowmobile and ATV product lines.
According to Polaris, Eastman is an innovative leader with more than 30 years of business experience. In his most recent position, as president of Target.com, he was responsible for growing and managing a $1.3 billion business and leading a team of more than 1,000 global employees. While at Target, he managed strategy development and execution, merchandising, operations, distribution channel management, marketing, and e-commerce, experience that will be directly relevant to his new position with Polaris.
Scott Swenson was promoted to vice president of Small Vehicles in 2011, while retaining his existing role as vice president of Parts, Garments & Accessories. Eastman’s hiring transitions Swenson out of PG&A, allowing him to focus on building the Small Vehicles business, a critical component of Polaris’ long-term strategy. Swenson began his Polaris career as Assistant Treasurer in 1998 and his leadership has been instrumental in the success of the Company’s snowmobile and PG&A businesses. He will continue to lead Polaris’ retail financial services group.