Polaris Industries buys 4Wheel Parts and Transamerican Auto Parts Company
WRITTEN BY MIKE ACTON
Earlier this month Polaris Industries Inc. announced that it was acquiring Transamerican Auto Parts Company, the parent of off-road retailer 4Wheel Parts who operates 75 stores throughout North America, and manufacturer of leading aftermarket brands PRO COMP®, RUBICON EXPRESS, SMITTYBILT®, POISON SPYDER™, G2™, LRG® and TRAIL MASTER®.
Transamerican Auto Parts, referred to as TAP, also operates a variety of online stores including www.4wheelparts.com, www.4wd.com, www.jeeptopdepot.com, www.tirepackage.com, and www.smittybiltdepot.com. TAP’s combined subsidiaries produced roughly $740 million in sales over the last year.
By spending $665 million to acquire the largest retailer of Jeep and off-road aftermarket products in North America, Polaris gains an immediate foothold into the growing $10 billion Jeep and truck accessory market. Polaris also acquires TAP’s premium 4-wheel drive product technology and the existing network of independent off-road parts retailers and installers.
As off-road enthusiasts we can expect TAPs aftermarket engineering and manufacturing prowess to be applied to Polaris off-highway vehicles like the RZR®. This synergy between the companies could enable a rapid transformation of the Polaris UTV add-on and performance aftermarket, enabling a broad selection of “factory” performance parts targeted at the expert level rider and professional UTV racer.
Greg Adler, Lucas Oil Off Road Racing Series competitor, and TAP’s President and Chief Executive Officer said “Over the past 55 years, our employees have built a company that prides itself on serving our customers with quality products at competitive prices. We see tremendous opportunity for further growth as we become an integral part of the Polaris organization. Combining TAP with Polaris’ aftermarket brand portfolio facilitates significant synergies, while Polaris’ financial resources provide the backing we need to pursue a variety of growth prospects we have identified across the organization.”
This is the latest in a series of acquisitions for Polaris Industries. In the last five years Polaris has purchased the legendary Indian Motorcycles brand, adding to their existing Victory Motorcycles brand, and purchaged the GEM electric vehicles business. These strategic purchases and the technologies that came with them have likely already contributed to the EMPULSE® TT, the first electric motorcycle from Victory Motorcycles.
It’s still too early to know what effect this merger will have on the cost of aftermarket off-road parts for our weekend wheelers and prerunners, but there will likely be more options from which to chose, and possibly more performance options direct from the factory on future Polaris UTV and side-by-side vehicles.
1“Polaris Industries Inc. Announces Agreement to Acquire Transamerican Auto Parts” October 12, 2016. Accessed October 25, 2016. http://www.polaris.com/en-us/company/article/polaris-industries-inc-announces-agreement-to-acquire-transamerican-auto-parts
Images courtesy of POLARIS, TAP