Polaris has announced it will stop selling quad bikes in Australia in less than eight months and is already running down stock.
Polaris had already said it would stop supplying quads to the Australian market by October next year, when Operator Protection Devices (OPDs) become mandatory.
The withdrawal will affect all Polaris quad bikes, including its current 50cc and 110cc Outlaw youth models.
It will continue to sell side-by-sides such as the popular Ranger model, Polaris Australia & New Zealand managing director Alan Collins said.
"Over recent years the Australian off-road vehicle market has experienced record levels of transference as farmers transition en masse from quad bikes, to side-by-side vehicles," he said.
"Polaris has led this transition with its industry-leading range of 30 vehicles with ROPS, and the market shift has been helped along in no small part by the safety rebates offered by SafeWork NSW and WorkSafe Victoria."
"Considering the vast contraction of the quad bike market over the past five years as customers flock to side-by-side vehicles with properly engineered ROPS and factory integrated safety technologies, Polaris maintains its view that the market itself would end up signaling the end for quad bikes over coming years anyway through sheer lack of demand driven by the availability, benefits and range of side-by-side vehicles.
"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 - obviously this shift will now accelerate even further over the coming two years as the Consumer Goods (Quad Bikes) Safety Standard 2019 takes effect."
The new standard requires suppliers of new and imported second-hand quad bikes to:
- improve information for consumers (through a hang tag, warning for operators and additional information in the manual) from 11 October 2020
- improve the design of quad bikes (through requiring quad bikes to meet certain requirements in the US or European Standard) from 11 October 2020
- improve the design of general use quad bikes to reduce the likelihood of a rollover incident occurring (through stability requirements) and to mitigate the harm if a rollover does occur (through operator protection devices) from 11 October 2021.
In a statement, Polaris said models such as the entry-level Ranger 500 were cheaper than many 500cc quad bikes.
It will also will continue to offer its ROPS-equipped youth range comprising the single-seat ACE 150, RZR 170 and Ranger 150.
Polaris has assured customers it will provide full product support for parts and warranty in Australia for at least the next decade.