MINNEAPOLIS (Sept. 23, 2014) – Polaris Industries Inc. (NYSE:PII) today announced the grand opening of its new manufacturing facility in Opole, Poland. The 345,000-square-foot facility will be the first Polaris plant dedicated to manufacturing Off-Road Vehicles (ORV’s) outside of North America.
Employee training has already begun at the Opole facility which will employ 300 people in 2015 and should begin shipments to customers in the first quarter of 2015. The plant will produce approximately 35 different ORV vehicle models in 2015 and ship them to six subsidiaries and over thirty distributors in the Europe, Middle East and Africa (“EMEA”) region. Opole will also house research and design for the Europe, Middle East and Africa markets allowing vehicles to be tailored to local needs.
“With a stated goal of a third of our total Company sales outside North America, the Opole facility is a cornerstone for our international growth plans, as it provides both a timely capacity increase and a localized manufacturing presence that allows us to provide the best possible experience for our customers across Europe, the Middle East and Africa,” said Scott Wine, Polaris Chairman and CEO. “We are incredibly excited to add the highly-skilled employees in Poland to our outstanding Polaris team and confident in their ability to spur ongoing growth in the EMEA region.”
“With our engineering and manufacturing assets in Poland, we will be able to develop and manufacture products specifically for this market. We will reduce the order lead time for our customers and will be able to provide better customer service. We also have opportunities to source more of our component parts locally from suppliers within the region. This will be a big benefit to this entire region” said Suresh Krishna, Vice President, Europe, Middle East and Africa.
Allowing Polaris to manufacture products locally for the EMEA region, the Opole facility will improve the supply chain and help the company keep up with strong demand for its wide range of products. The facility will also focus on operational efficiency by incorporating LEAN manufacturing processes such as 5S implementation and visual management methodology.
“This project is the greatest example that dreams come true. We are very proud that Polaris has decided to choose Opole as a partner on the other side of the ocean,” said Opole President Ryszard Zembaczyński. “It was a big challenge to complete this project for the City, Opole institutions and Opole University of Technology. I do believe Polaris feels here at home.”
The Opole facility took just over a year to construct with only 15 months lapsed from the time the building contract was signed to production start. The Building features include a 2,500 meter product test track and energy saving paint systems. The plant has capacity for up to 500 employees to help Polaris meet future market demand. This facility is built on nearly 30 acres, within the Walbrzych Special Economic Zone in Opole, Poland, an area dedicated to encouraging economic growth in the region.