Polaris has today confirmed that it will withdraw all of its ATV models from the Australian market before October, 2020.

According to the off-road vehicle giant, the process of making its ATV models comply to upcoming safety regulations is not viable due to the relatively small size of the market.

The company says that its ATVs meet the required standards in the United States and Europe, however, the new Consumer Goods Safety Standard, which will take effect on October 11, 2020, has forced it to withdraw from the Australian quad bike market entirely.

Polaris had already planned to withdraw in 2021 when fitment of Operator Protection Devices (OPD) becomes mandatory, a new regulation which the brand strongly opposes.

In a press release, the company stated a lack of “reliable science or evidence to support the safety claims made of such devices”.

It then went on to suggest that the OPDs will likely cause as many injuries as they prevent.

“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,” Polaris Australia managing director Alan Collins.

“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.”

Mr Collins also said that the new safety standards will accelerate the decline of the ATV market in Australia.

“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 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[new safety standard] takes effect.”

The company is currently clearing its remaining ATV stock, including its 50cc and 110cc youth models, before it ceases completely in October.

Polaris will continue to produce quad bikes for other markets, and will honour current warranties in Australia.

Alan Collins: Managing Director of Polaris Australia & New Zealand.
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