A three-million-dollar expansion will bring more than 100 new jobs for the town of Spirit Lake. The Polaris factory there produces all-terrain vehicles, personal watercraft, and a motorcycle named Victory. Mark Karl is director of operations at the plant. He explains that the company came out with the Victory Motorcycle in 1998, having found it’s a big market and motorcycles are the fastest-growing recreational product, and it fits right in with the company’s other vehicles. Like Harley-Davidson, Karl says it may be a plus that the Victory’s made in America. He says the “American-Made” awareness has heightened since September 11th. Though Polaris is known as a snowmobile brand, that may be the only recreational machine not made at the Spirit Lake Polaris factory. Karl says there are new products in all three lines produced at the Spirit Lake plant, a new A-T-V model named “Predator,” new M-S-X watercraft, and a new Vegas motorcycle introduced last summer that goes into production this winter. Karl says more hi-tech manufacturing equipment and workspace will be added in the 33-thousand-square-foot addition that got underway just days ago. Most of the expansion is the weld area, which takes lots of space for making the cycles and ATVs, some automation’s being expanded and the assembly line will also be enlarged in another year or two. Karl says in the next three years it should create 120 jobs. Karl’s hoping all the work will be done early in May.
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