Interesting take on SlingShot future

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  • As the model ages, more used units become available and will naturally cut into new sales. In 2015 and 2016 when the SS was in its first 2 years of production there was not the number of used units to buy as there is now. High 20% decline in new sales is rough though. Would be interesting to add the number of used units sold to new units sold to see if the popularity of the SS is declining, or just new sales.

    To complete with used units Polaris may have to beef up incentives. Zero % financing, free extended warranties, purchase dollars to spend toward mods etc.

  • Interesting read. I know that the Slingshot is legally a motorcycle, but I am not sure a forecast of declining sales of motorcycles will necessarily impact slingshot sales. Also even if it did and Polaris chose to stop new production I dont know if I would care very much - I have no intention of ever buying another slingshot, and I plan on riding the one I have until one of us stops working. So long as parts are available I cant think of any reason why it shouldn't last a very long time - When you consider that most of the major components are standard GM issue even if polaris completely stopped support I suspect that it wouldn't be too much of a problem - especially with the network of knowledgeable people here that I am sure would be able to help with any problems

    Cage Free - 2016 Pearl Red SL
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  • Polaris has been known to pull the plug on product lines in the past... I can see the S/S going down...No big deal to me i had a Victory so been there done that...And it wouldn't surprise me if Indian bites the dust a few years down the road.. ....

    Some times a Cigar is just a Cigar.......

  • My opinion is that you can count on the demise of the Slingshot brand. Let's be realistic. This is not Ford, Chevy, Dodge, Mercedes, BMW, Porsche or any of many other vehicle manufacturers that have survived and succeeded for the last hundred years or so. Polaris has shown that they exist to provide short term returns to their shareholders and nothing more. To expect them to develop a brand loyalty like Harley-Davidson has is pure fantasy. They will kill the brand as quickly as they created it and come up with something new to engage the impatient new consumer that wants something 'new' every few years. Look for the next new thing - I'm sure it's already on the drawing board.

    In my defense, I was left unsupervised.

  • If Polaris does not drop the SlingShot, we are going to see a major redesign equating to less weight and more bells and whistles, the challenge is that Polaris is going to have to do this without raising the sales price any more than they already have, possibly actually reducing it.


    Bill

  • I’m not that pessimistic for the Slingshot. For something that has only been around a short time the aftermarket products available for it are astounding which to me represents great interest. I was intrigued with Indian when it first came out however every time I turn around I hear adverse things about fit, finish, and reliability.


    Harley Davidson is Harley Davidson and unique unto itself. It has ebbed and flowed over the years. Gone into the shitter with AMF and back in the saddle with warren Buffett.


    No matter what happens to the Brand I do believe there will always be a space in My stable for the one I have. The Slingshot is the ultimate starter kit. Individualization possibilities are endless. My wife looked over at me on a recent ride and asked how long do you think we will be able to have this one? I said as long as we want it, everything is fixable and replaceable. Perhaps the ultimate 10 year down the road mod will be an elevated swivel seat to get my sorry ass in and out of it for as long as I can ;)

  • Question....


    Do you think the slingshot is to expensive for what it is?


    Do you think a Harley is too expensive for what it is?



    https://www.rideapart.com/arti…le-sales-soar-74-percent/


    The steel and aluminum tariffs were added to make the American made steel and aluminum more price competitive. Most of the foreign products are sold below the price to make them....they actually take a loss.....its called dumping....the countries they come from pay the manufacturers to make up for any money they lose...


    The tariffs will help to keep American manufacturers open.....since they now have a level playing field. The down side is all the American companies that have been using the cheap foreign products.....supporting the foreign jobs.....and killing ours.....causes a price increase for those products.


    So now the choice becomes....do you want to support our country and our workers and jobs or foreign workers and their jobs....


    Buying American usually will cost you more.....but the product quality is also usually much higher.... you get what you pay for......


    How many times have you settled for a cheap Chinese product or tool only to have them break? So did you really save money if you had to buy it again....


    Buying American keeps that money in our country to benefit our economy and workers...

    There is going to be an adjustment period to return to buying American made items again.... but the faster it occurs the better off we'll be as a country. Corporate greed killed the American jobs. Companies that worry more about stock holders than workers and product quality. That trend needs to be reversed. It’s also the reason you lost wages, benefits and healthcare...


    If you remember when Walmart first started taking over the country their big thing was we only sell American made products.....a lie to get you to accept them killing the small town ma and pa stores......walmart has sold us a bill of goods and sold out to only selling cheap foreign junk products....


    The Walton family members last time I read about them...several years ago.....were each worth 18 BILLION dollars..... at the expense of killing good American jobs and businesses....while supporting foreigners....and offering their employeees low wages without benefits. Hillary Clinton was on the Walton board of directors....imagine that. Nothing fishy there.... bill clinton signed NAFTA which helped to kill milllions of good paying American jobs....by sending them over seas and to Mexico. Using workers that literally get paid a fraction of what American workers make/made. Americans are still losing jobs to foreign countries....


    It was predicted years ago that we would become a service oriented country.....meaning the majority of our jobs would be doctors, lawyers and plumbers and skilled and semi skilled people.....you can not export doctors and plumbers to other countries.....currently we only export 8-10% of American made goods......that means we import 90%.....because we have no major manufacturing......that makes us very weak and vulnerable as a nation. Do you think we should buy military hardware like tanks and planes from Russia and China to defend ourselves in the event of a war?


    The bottom line here is.....we need for matters of national defense....American steel and aluminum factories. Like it or not. Transforming back into a powerful manufacturing country will cause some pain from job loses and slightly higher prices for goods...because the American companies have to stop worrying about the bottom line and stock holders and get back to caring about workers and making and selling quality products.


    Buying American......because you are one. And it’s patriotic and it will benefit the entire country..... in the long run....for your kids and grandkids. These are the jobs that built this country.....without them we won’t survive.

  • I do not know what the bean counters at Polaris will decide on it's fate. But here is my take, and why I'm hopeful the Slingshot will be around for a long time. When introduced, the business model for the Slingshot projected 2,000 units per year for a course of 10 years. I'm not sure if they had a model after that, but that was what the startup of building it was. Loaded with that information, I bought ours 18 months into being able to purchase one..... and mine is number 16,890. If their model was correct, mine should have been around number 3,000. The fact is, they likely could have sold more, they just couldn't build them fast enough. The Slingshot has went over 1/2 again the amount that they originally called for (to be sold) for a 10 year model.... in less than half that time. We still have 10 more months to make it to 5 years since you could actually buy one, so if they could keep up the current average, they might sell as many as 60,000 of them by late 2024. That is 3 times what they estimated..... yet they built it based on those much lower numbers. To have decided to build it, they would have projected costs and determined the price (with profit) for the amount they planned to build.

    Anyone with experience in manufacturing, knows that the lower numbers you build, they higher the price must be to assure profit. The higher the number built, the more streamlined the process becomes, and the higher the profit and/or the lower you can build it for and still maintain profit. The recalls we have had have been many..... however, they had some of that built into the original price. The extra units sold should have more than compensated the offset of the minor actual costs of the recalls they have done over the years. They are still showing 10% profit, when 7% is the guideline for a profitable business model. Some of the naysayers here will talk about the steel and aluminum tariffs, maybe even turn it into a political stance in this thread. But the fact is, the Slingshot only weighs 1700 pounds, and much of that is rubber and plastic. Even if it were all steel and aluminum, all 1700 pounds of it (likely around 1000 pounds actually is) and basing it on the higher figure of 25% increase, that would only be around $450 increase for materials. When the truth is, it's most likely less than $300, and even on a base unit that's only 1.5% increase. If Polaris can't absorb that in streamlining the process or taking less profit per unit (they still should be able to easily do either), then increase the base by $500 next year. If they choose to kill the Slingshot, I think they are making a huge mistake. Granted, if Honda (who applied for a patent over a year ago for something similar) or one of the other larger Japanese companies jumps in, it might happen then. But for now, there is nothing in this narrow class that fits like the Slingshot. The next closest things are double the money or more. No, I don't consider the Vanderhall to be the same, as it is priced at entry at the high end of the Slingshot.... and is front wheel drive. While those might be fun enough to drive, rear drive is what makes the Slingshot stand out to me. Plus, with me being a big guy, I like the room in the Slingshot compared to the Vanderhall.

    Bottom line here is this, from my perspective. I'm hopeful they will continue building them, and I currently see no reason not to. This is only a minor challenge that comes up to businesses on a regular basis.

  • And for once, even if it never happens again, I must admit I agree with some of what Bigdog said up above my previous post. We absolutely need manufacturing in this country. If we buy steel and aluminum parts from China for our military use, what happens if we end up at war and China decides not to make replacements? What if we are at war with them, do you think we will be able to get parts we need? I've heard for many years that this is a world market now, but I don't buy that. Unless all manufacturers are held to the same standards (safe working conditions, EPA restrictions, and so on), then it's NOT a world market. It's a forced market where we are intentionally disabled and they (other countries without those restrictions) are given an upper hand (based on bottom line selling price) from the start. I'm not against clean air, nor am I against keeping workers safe. But if China and India are allowed to put as much pollution into the air as they choose, do you really think that doesn't affect us here? We see in the news everyday about how there is humanitarian crisis all around the world. Yet in some countries a man/woman can work in conditions where they could fall into hot liquid metal with no precautions in place... just because, should they die, there are a thousand people to replace them the same day. World markets can only be world markets if all play by the same rules. Otherwise, it's just disabling one to allow another to be able to win. While we can't force those countries that don't comply to our guidelines to play by the same rules, we can choose to pay a little more (in some cases where we can still buy American made or made where they at least follow our guidelines) to buy from those that do.

    Even in that case, I'm all for paying a bit more to have it built here. It's and investment in our long term future.
  • Well, Birddog, back in the "early days" several decades back, I would have agreed with you about foreign vehicles, they were inferior to our American made vehicles, but today, I can no longer agree. Our 2001 Volkswagen Jetta makes better fuel mileage, providing us with a more useful utility, and has been far more dependable than any American vehicle we have ever owned, ( 50 + MPG highway, 35 MPG while competently pulling our 1200 pound camp trailer, and currently sneaking up on 400,000 miles of practically trouble-free driving.) In the vehicular market, it has been the foreign market that has reinvented itself leaving we Americans to play catch-up where economics, quality and dependability are concerned. Unfortunately, to purchase an American vehicle today can mean sacrificing......................... :(


    Bill

  • and mine is number 16,890. If their model was correct, mine should have been around number 3,000.


    Where do you see the build number, or is that based on the VIN? Did they start with #1? My 2019 VIN ends in K8130438


    I somehow doubt they sold 8 mil of these

  • Just reminiscing here, back in the 70's, when I was a teen, auto workers had a big strike stating that they were not making enough money or benefits. Living in Montana at the time, a couple of friends and I actually packed up and headed east, if the autoworkers were unwilling to work for the wages and benefits in which they were receiving, by golly, we would be scabs and eagerly take over for them. Fortunately, or unfortunately, depending on how you looked at it, they settled a couple of days before our arrival......................


    Bill

  • Well said Bigdog - Well said!


    I am one of those people that USED to not care about looking where the tool or product came from. Just price. Those days passed long ago. Let us not forget that China is a totalitarian communist dictatorship that has concentration camps, and does horrific things to its people. This price thing - if followed - will do great things for THIS country.

  • Bigdog


    Question....


    Do you think the slingshot is to expensive for what it is?


    Base Model - no. Here in Cali the full on SLR out the door can be as much as 40K TT& L - ya - to me that's too much. I have a base and used it as a starter kit and have on it just what I want ( can afford at the moment ;) to moment) I do get people asking or acting like I must be some millionaire for having one. We have parked next to crazy high dollar cars here in California and guess who gets the attention... The person I bought mine from said this; "Driving this will be the closest you will get to being a rock star". I thought " ya right" but she was correct. This buggy is a real conversation starter!


    Do you think a Harley is too expensive for what it is?


    Harley is Harley. You either like 'em or not. People buy them for all kinds of different reasons. Harley is, I think very Image driven. Harley's do not fit me off the shelf. If I had buckets of cash I would fly to England and get sized up for an EXILE - See, right there - we all have our preferences.

  • We have parked next to crazy high dollar cars here in California and guess who gets the attention... The person I bought mine from said this; "Driving this will be the closest you will get to being a rock star". I thought " ya right" but she was correct. This buggy is a real conversation starter!

    From a thoroughly practical point of view, yes, we did pay too much for our Slingshot. Though other considerations are that we were looking for a motorcycle alternative, second we wanted something that didn't look like everything else on the road, and even though it is too expensive for what it is, it is a whole lot cheaper than the possible other alternatives that were available........................

    Bill

  • The largest problem with all of this is the American buying public,is they wanted tobuy the cheapest stuff out there even if they had to buy twice as often because of poof quality. Then at the same time crippling our American manufacturing . If this was to continue on and let us say we were to go to war, we will not even have the ability to manufacture Alum. or Steel of our own. "THINK ABOUT IT"

  • The largest problem with all of this is the American buying public,is they wanted tobuy the cheapest stuff out there even if they had to buy twice as often because of poof quality. Then at the same time crippling our American manufacturing . If this was to continue on and let us say we were to go to war, we will not even have the ability to manufacture Alum. or Steel of our own. "THINK ABOUT IT"

    Reality is, we currently are not in any emergency situation, If an emergency like a war did develop, then I have no doubt that, as history has shown us, as a country we would fire things up again and take care of ourselves.....................


    Bill

  • From a thoroughly practical point of view, yes, we did pay too much for our Slingshot. Though other considerations are that we were looking for a motorcycle alternative, second we wanted something that didn't look like everything else on the road, and even though it is too expensive for what it is, it is a whole lot cheaper than the possible other alternatives that were available........................

    Bill

    I think I can agree with that but Price is subjective to the buyer - one persons no way is another persons can’t wait to get it.

    Case in point, a high-end Harley doesn’t do much for me but if I was 20 years younger a Ducati, could I have afforded it then, I would’ve jumped at it. Long before ripped jeans at the knee were fashionable I was a squid and loved to say how mine got that way. (Not a tripod moment!)🙃

    Eye of the the beholder.

  • Reality is, we currently are not in any emergency situation, If an emergency like a war did develop, then I have no doubt that, as history has shown us, as a country we would fire things up again and take care of ourselves.....................


    Bill

    If we do not have the capability to produce or the plants to produce then please tell me how we could do the in a timely manner. ) to 100% let us say in one year even if we could