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Utility vehicle line gets new name, launches 2018 product

Slideshow: Don't call it Arctic Cat anymore: While the snowmobiles keep the name, for utility vehicles it's now Textron Off-Road. Familiar vehicles, new corporate brand.

A corporate acquisition these days isn't unheard-of in most industries. In March 2017, Textron Inc. acquired Arctic Cat, the Minnesota utility vehicle and snowmobile maker. Textron already has such well-known brands as Bell Helicopter, Cessna and Beechcraft aircraft, and the well-known Dixie Chopper zero-turn mower line.

The line brings the Arctic Cat Alterra, Prowler and Wildcat brands under the Textron Off-Road umbrella, which includes the Stampede side-by-side. And for 2018, the entire utility vehicle lineup will be known as Textron Off-Road. The Arctic Cat brand stays on those well-known snowmobiles that have been prowling the Minnesota North Woods since 1960.

As with any merger, there are some other brand and lineup changes that will be completed for the 2018 model year. Some Alterra and XC ATVs and HDX and Prowler side-by-side models will retain the Arctic Cat brand until inventory is sold; but to avoid product overlap, Textron is discontinuing the Recoil and Ambush side-by-side lines, and the Onslaught ATV.

Production of the product lines is being consolidated, too, with the Stampede line moving from Augusta, Ga., to Thief River Falls, Minn., original home of Arctic Cat. And production of the Textron Motors engines that power the Stampede will move from Germany to St. Cloud, Minn., where the company already produces four-stroke off-road engines for ATVs, and side-by-sides and two-stroke engines for Arctic Cat snowmobiles.

Kevin Holleran, president and CEO of Textron Specialized Vehicles Inc., commented in a recent statement: "We are marrying Arctic Cat's legacy of high performance, reliability and innovation to Textron's powerful combination of engineering expertise, manufacturing know-how and Fortune 200 resources."

Textron Specialized Vehicles partners with other companies to market machines — for example, the new New Holland Rustler side-by-side is manufactured by Textron.

You can learn more about Textron Off-Road at

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