The Polaris/Brammo Empulse: Moving to Iowa Mid-2015
Can you say, Spirit Lake, Iowa?
Couched deep in the press release we reported yesterday is the statement:
“As part of this transaction, Polaris will utilize the assets acquired to begin manufacturing electric motorcycles in the second half of 2015 at its Spirit Lake, IA facility.”
That facility is where Polaris builds both the Indian and the Victory motorcycles and employs over 1000 people (compared to 70, at Brammo earlier this year), so it’s not a huge surprise that they’ll consolidate manufacturing and bring the Empulse (and presumably Enertia Plus) there. It’s not, however, great news for the economically depressed Talent, Oregon area, where Brammo was one of the largest employers, or the city of Ashland, after securing funding and a development loan to keep the company in Ashland, in spite of the subsequent move to Talent.
The facility looks huge, and we’re estimating it’s a little over twice as big as the 99.000 square-foot ex-Walmart Brammo currently calls home:
From the Polaris corporate info page, we get this:
Our Spirit Lake facility manufactures select Indian Motorcycles and Victory Motorcycles. Polaris, Spirit Lake is located in the Northwest corner of Iowa. We are in the heart of the Iowa Great Lakes where recreation and fun are a way of life.
The Spirit Lake facility was established in 1994, and currently has 500 employees and 3 production lines. These lines are dedicated to the final production of RANGER and Victory products.
This facility has 225,000 Square Feet located on 23 acres of land and has a Welding Department, Liquid and Metal paint systems supporting our manufacturing operations.
Polaris describes Spirit Lake on the Careers page (but there are no job listings as yet at that location):
Spirit Lake, Iowa, population of 4,907 people, is one of the most beautiful and dynamic cities in the Midwest. Spirit Lake is a full-service city offering a wide variety of recreation, employment and social opportunities to citizens and visitors. Spirit Lake has a vibrant downtown with a variety of retail businesses and an industrial park that provides current employers and potential companies with attractive amenities. Spirit Lake is a great place to raise a family. It is a rapidly developing city, boasting one of the fastest growing economies in Northwest Iowa.
Stay tuned, we’re in contact with Polaris representatives with a list of questions.