Polaris announces it will abandon sale of ATV vehicles in response to government regulations

Alan Collins.
Alan Collins.

A Dubbo based retailer is warning that stocks of Polaris brand all terrain vehicles are set to vanish, with the leading manufacturer set to abandon the Australian market in response to government regulations.

In a letter addressed to customers, Manager Alex Dendham at Dubbo City Motorcycles said that the retailer would continue to stock 'all Polaris Quad bike models for as long as they are available however some models have already sold out'.

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While the supply of parts and warranty services will continue uninterrupted and the vehicles will continue to be sold overseas, Polaris said in a statement that the latest round of regulations passed by the federal government made remaining in a weakening market unviable.

"Polaris has publicly stated numerous times that we believed within 24 months the quad bike market would be minimal at best, as the market shift away from ATVs (quad bikes) and towards Side by Side products was in full force long before any government mandates or safety standards were enacted," said Alan Collins, Managing Director of Polaris Australia & New Zealand.

"Obviously this shift will now accelerate even further over the coming two years as the Consumer Goods Safety Standard 2019 takes effect."

Polaris' issue stems from the inclusion of requirements surrounding the installation of Operator Protection Devices, which the company has previously opposed 'due to the lack of reliable science or evidence to support the safety claims made of such devices, and the fact that research indicates these devices will likely cause as many injuries as they prevent'.

Federal Minister for Parkes Mark Coulton responded to the announcement by Polaris by stating the government welcomed Polaris continued commitment to continue sale of their newer 'side by side' vehicles, stating that in his view, 'safety was paramount'.

"I am aware of the decision of Polaris to focus on side by side vehicles and the Government welcomes their commitment to provide product support for ATV customers in Australia for at least the next decade," Mr Coulton said.

"Since 2011, on average 16 people a year are killed in a quad bike accident, and an estimated six people a day present to an emergency hospital department with at least two of these admitted with serious injuries.