Polaris hiring as it expands line of motorcycles

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Sales of Indian motorcycles are strong enough to support more jobs at the Iowa plant that makes them.

Polaris Industries expects to hire 300 more people at its Spirit Lake, Iowa, plant that already employs more than 700. Final assembly of the motorcycles will be done there.

The Minneapolis-based company is hiring because it is expanding its Indian line of motorcycles to include the lighter, less-expensive Scout. Polaris revived the Indian brand of motorcycles in 2013 with three models.

Sales of Indian motorcycles have been strong for Polaris, but the brand remains well behind industry leader Harley-Davidson.

Polaris’ Steve Menneto said the company is confident there will be strong demand for the revived Scout model, which should be available later this year starting at $10,999.

“It was always known as that bike that was cutting-edge,” he said. “It was easy to ride, it was nimble, it was powerful, it was really the leading bike of its time.”

The original Scout motorcycles were one of Indian’s most popular models. It was made beginning in 1920, and the U.S. Army used 30,000 of them during World War II.

In Cedar Rapids, McGrath Powersports became an Indian motorcycle dealer this summer, said general manager Jeremy Richardson.

“The amount of folks that have come in wanting to look at, test drive, learn about these motorcycles, has been really inspiring,” he said. “The energy behind it has been great.”


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