Are Polaris and Bobcat the Same Manufacturer?

Bobcat side-by-side UTVs are relatively different than other equipment in the Bobcat lineup. But how did they come about? With the announcement of a Polaris partnership in 2009, you may wonder if Polaris and Bobcat are the same manufacturer.

a Bobcat UV34 gas utility vehicle
Bobcat UV34 Gas | Bobcat

The two UTV brands do in fact have a corporate relationship. However, Bobcat is not technically owned by Polaris. They are not the same manufacturer, but Bobcat isn’t exactly a stand-alone entity.

Who owns Bobcat?

The Bobcat equipment manufacturing company is owned by the global industrial conglomerate, the Doosan Corporation. According to the Bobcat website, “Bobcat is a global brand with employees and manufacturing facilities worldwide.” The company produces a variety of machines and equipment.

“Customers use our machines and technologies to accomplish more in construction, agriculture, landscaping, rental, grounds maintenance, utilities and other applications.”

Bobcat

A turkey farmer named Eddie Velo approached the Keller brothers in 1956. The Kellers already built customized farm equipment and had experience with manufacturing equipment that could handle unique jobs. Velo needed a compact and powerful machine for big jobs in smaller spaces, so the Keller brothers built a three-wheeled compact loader.

Before long, demand rose so that the Kellers could not meet production on their own. In 1958, they partnered with Melrose Manufacturing Company––a fabrication company headquartered in North Dakota. This partnership ultimately lead to the debut of the Bobcat equipment brand.

What equipment is produced by Bobcat?

using Bobcat to load | Alessandro Dahan/Getty Images

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The brand is rooted in loaders. From that first three-wheeler to the 1960 introduction of the first skid-steer loader, the M400. From there the lineup grew over the next few decades. In 1999, the Bobcat equipment lineup expanded to include compact track loaders. In 2002, the mini track loaders joined the family. Then last year, in 2020, small articulated loaders hit the scene.

From skid-steers to forklifts, to larger excavators, the Bobcat equipment brand boasts a unique and extensive lineup. There’s something to suit virtually any relative job. The technology integrated into Bobcat machines is also advanced. Revolutionary industry firsts like the 1999 introduction of a “deluxe instrumentation system that provides vital loader monitoring and diagnostic information in seven languages” define the brand in more than one way.

Farming, construction, and other similar environments are advanced far past a shovel and a wheelbarrow. For Bobcat, that is the name of the game. Striving to keep up with the needs of workers around the globe, Doosan’s Bobcat continues to produce new machines with cutting-edge technology.

a bobcat utility vehicle driving through farmland on a dirt road
Bobcat UTV | Bobcat

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Now, the lineup expands even more providing a selection of UTV or side-by-side models. Because of the 2009 partnership with Polaris, the Bobcat equipment now includes even more diversity. But this partnership doesn’t mean that Polaris and Bobcat are the same manufacturer. In fact, according to UTV Guide, Polaris Industries and Bobcat co-create UTVs but they are built in the Alabama Polaris factory and sold by Bobcat dealers.

Polaris and Bobcat team up for utility vehicles

a Polaris Ranger driving between to corn fields is a side-by-side from the most popular ATV and UTV brand
Polaris Ranger | Polaris Off-Road

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In order to deliver to consumers on yet another important front, Bobcat partnered with Polaris for side-by-side production. In fact, Bobcat utility vehicles, or UTVs, include four new products you can buy today. Employing knowledge from Polaris’ UTV manufacturing experience, Bobcat offers the UV34 and UV34 XL with both gas and diesel options for each model.

Pricing for these UTV side-by-side machines starts at $14,300, according to the Bobcat UTV sales page, for the gas-powered Bobcat UV34. The most expensive model starts at $17,900. This model is the diesel-powered Bobcat UV34 XL Utility Vehicle.