Every manufacturer produces cruisers, some a plethora of cruisers. Considering the size of the market, its cruiser oversaturation and buyers have numerous brands and models to choose from. Not good from a manufacturers perspective. Polaris owning two companies competing for the same customers, doesn't make a lot of sense to me.
It actually makes more sense than you think.
For one, competition drives everyone to make better products. It inspires innovation. And from Polaris' perspective, it's a win/win. Because whether you buy an Indian or a Victory, they still get paid, while self-competing to make a more viable product for either name.
And this is not a rare practice, either. Numerous fast food chains are owned by the same parent company. I can think of Taco Bell and KFC off the top of my head. Whether you elect to go for some fried chicken or a taco...you're paying the same people. While they compete to provide products that will draw you more toward that individual brand over the others. All while also downplaying the effects of the monopoly.
Another strong example of this, is with the WWE. They hold what is basically a total monopoly on major professional wrestling. Their 2 main outside competitors are...shall we say...not exactly threatening. TNA is a joke, and ROH is a glorified "indie fed".
To this end, in the absence of credible competition, the WWE has split its roster into 2 major "brands", and several smaller, supporting products. The 2 brands that compete directly against each other on national TV ( both on the USA network ), are Raw and Smackdown. Each with a unique roster ( which gets scrambled up once a year in the annual "brand draft" event ), and unique management staff, and ran and monitored competitively. This drives both halves of the company to work hard to create products that people will flock to, and keep things interesting and innovative. Although, regardless of which brand prevails from week to week, the WWE as a whole profits equally.
It's actually genius business. I question Polaris' decision not to embrace this opportunity for at least a little while, to experiment, and see if one ends up operating at more of a loss, or if both could be quite profitable. Total missed opportunity...