At about the same time that Yamaha and Arctic Cat reached the agreement, Yamaha was paving the way for a brand new high-performance propulsion system. While Yamaha may have much deeper financial pockets than the Arctic Cat, or any other sled manufacturer in this matter, the company has a board of directors and has to make sound financial decisions, meaning that the blow for a new engine might not be just for snowmobiles. If you took Yamaha`s market share and combined it with Arctic Cat, you could be in second place in the current global market of 150,713 sled sales. Yamaha`s management probably wouldn`t be too upset, but if you could share the new engine with another powersport unit that could make such a tasty move. “Arctic Cat Inc. announced today that it has entered into an engine delivery contract with Yamaha Motor Corporation… This agreement has been extended to some Yamaha 4-stroke engines. “Arctic Cat has also extended a co-branding agreement to build Yamaha snowmobiles selected in Arctic Cat`s Thief River Falls, Minn., a factory to Yamaha`s specifications… and will now include large-scale snowmobiles from the 2014 model year. These snowmobiles are built to Yamaha specifications with Yamaha 4-stroke engines. The new procurement contract is part of a short- and long-term approach to getting new snowmobiles to Yamaha dealerships as quickly as possible. Beyond the five 2014 models, company officials stressed that Yamaha is redoubling its efforts in the snowmobile market and that this agreement is part of a longer-term plan that will include several new four-stroke engines in the near future and a new snowmobile model each year for the next five model years. On the same day as the Meeting of Yamaha Dealers in Minneapolis, Arctic Cat released – less than 10 miles west in Plymouth, Minn. – a statement on the delivery contract with Yamaha.
As part of the agreement announced last month, Yamaha will introduce five snowmobiles for the 2014 model year, built on Arctic Cat`s ProCross chassis in Thief River Falls, Minn. The models are powered by the four-stroke Three-cylinder Genesis Yamahas and use Yamahas clutches. The new units will receive their own unique colors and revive the company`s viper-moniker used so far to create five unique models: SR Viper and SR Viper RTX SE shorttrack, SR Viper LTX and SR Viper LTX SE and LongR Viptrack SR Viper XTX SE. To achieve its objectives, the development of new engines is underway at YMC Japan and the company has integrated employees in its research and development plant in Minocqua, En Wis. Yamaha insisted that the new “mutually beneficial” agreement is not a merger with Arctic Cat now or in the future, and that this moment is a turning point, with Yamaha reconnecting with the North American snowmobile market. Today, Arctic Cat sent this unilateral press release announcing an extended agreement with the Yamaha Motor Company, in which there are some informative details, but also some important information that is not (yet) available.