Expanding its electric empire, Polaris gobbles up Goupil

Yesterday, Polaris announced the acquisition of Goupil Industrie SA, a French manufacturer of on-road commercial EVs.

 

They’re not quite as glamorous as roadsters or luxury sedans, and they may not inspire the messianic ambitions that some vehicles do, but the small, practical EVs known as “low-speed vehicles” or “neighborhood electric vehicles” occupy the most solid and well-established niche in the electric vehicle ecosystem. Minnesota-based Polaris Industries (NYSE: PII) seems bent on dominating this large and steadily growing market.

Yesterday, the company announced the acquisition of Goupil Industrie SA, a French manufacturer of on-road commercial EVs. Goupil’s vehicles are built on a modular design, and come in many configurations to meet the particular needs of the company’s municipal, industrial, delivery, service provider and other commercial customers. Goupil sells its products in 18 countries, and had about $25 million in sales in 2010.

In April, Polaris bought Global Electric Motorcars (GEM), a US company that builds a line of vehicles that neatly complements Goupil’s. The combined catalog gives Polaris a comprehensive lineup of handy little EVs, from people-movers to light-duty haulers. Polaris also recently made a hefty investment in electric motorcycle maker Brammo, with an eye toward including Brammo’s battery and powertrain technology in Polaris’s ATVs and snowmobiles.

“As Polaris continues to deliver outstanding performance and gain market share in our core business, we are excited to acquire Goupil and add to our growing small electric vehicle lineup. We are eager to pursue the natural synergies between their commercial light duty work products and the more people-mover oriented offerings from our GEM business,” said Polaris CEO Scott Wine. “We see tremendous, long term growth in the global small electric vehicle market, and Goupil, with its established product line, history of profitable growth, and segment-leading European presence, will be an integral part of our strategy to realize that potential.”

 

Image: GOUPIL INDUSTRIE SA