Polaris, the all-terrain vehicle maker that acquired neighborhood electric vehicle maker Global Electric Motorcars (GEM) from Chrysler last year, may start selling electric vehicles in India as a way to benefit from the growing vehicle market in that country, automotive news website CarTradeIndia reported.
Polaris hasn't decided whether the EVs earmarked for India will be on-road or off-road vehicles, the website said, citing Polaris India Managing Director Pankaj Dubey. The company is looking to boost revenue from India to about 5 billion rupees (about $94 million U.S. at current exchange rates) by 2016.
By selling EVs in India, Polaris would be looking to benefit from demand in an Asia-Pacific region that's most likely to be the fastest growing when it comes to plug-in vehicle sales over the next few years. Globally, cumulative plug-in vehicle sales, including battery-electric and plug-in hybrid-electric vehicles, will surge to 5.2 million in 2017 from 114,000 in 2011, according to green-technology research firm Pike Research. The Asia-Pacific region will account for about 617,000 electric-drive vehicles sold in 2017, almost double North America's total, Pike Research Senior Analyst Dave Hurst told AutoblogGreen.
Polaris last year acquired GEM from Chrysler for a purchase price that wasn't disclosed. GEM, which was founded in 1998 and had about $30 million in revenue in 2010, sells six lines of neighborhood-electric vehicles. Those vehicles are legal on roads with posted speeds of 35 miles per hour or less, and are typically used by local, state and national government agencies and on closed campuses like resorts and universities.
Polaris in November also acquired closely held France-based Goupil Industrie SA, which makes commercial electric vehicles. Goupil, whose purchase price wasn't disclosed, generated $25 million in revenue in 2010. Through the first three quarters of last year, Polaris boosted revenue by 37 percent from a year earlier to $1.87 billion, largely on the jump in on-road vehicle sales from the company's acquisitions of GEM and Indian Motorcycle Co.