Minneapolis-based Polaris Industries Inc. plans to build a new manufacturing plant for off-road vehicles in Huntsville, Ala., seeking more capacity and greater production flexibility as it manages “rapid growth” in demand for its product. Construction will begin soon for the “lean and flexible,” 600,000-sq.ft plant, and production will start in mid-2016, Polaris noted.
The new plant will product off-road vehicles, of which Polaris designs and manufactures numerous models, including ATVs and “side-by-side” vehicles like the Polaris Ace, RANGER®, RZR®, and Sportsman models. Polaris also produces snowmobiles, motorcycles, and on-road electric/hybrid-powered vehicles.
No budget was announced for the project. At full capacity, the new plant will employ at least 1,700 people, according to Polaris.
It claimed it chose the Alabama site based on its skilled workforce and its proximity to its customer base, among other factors. The manufacturer reported it will design “a lean and flexible facility to drive continuous improvement from the start.
It said the plant would “reduce complexity within the existing plant network” and improve logistics for the organization. The plant will have multiple assembly lines that are flexible enough to fulfill product demand quickly, and support product innovations. It will perform vehicle assembly, chassis and body painting, welding, fabrication, and injection molding.
“This new facility will complement our already strong and growing North American manufacturing footprint by reducing pressure on our existing facilities and enable each to remain focused on their current product lines as we continue to meet the demand for our innovative, quality products,” according to Ken Pucel, exec. vice president of Operations, Engineering, and Lean, Polaris Industries Inc.