November 2018 November 2018 - Page 20

INSIDE By Stephen Metzger Managing Director Small Vehicle Resource, LLC THE GATED COMMUNITY What Next for Textron and E-Z-GO? T My colleague at Small Vehicle Resource (SVR), Marc Cesare, puts it rather boldly in this way in an e-mail to me: Textron’s reorganization efforts were on the right track, but… “I think it (the management change) implies that if your business…drags down the company’s quarter- ly results you [are in trouble]. I think there is more than a quarter’s worth of problems. They moved the guy (Scott Ernest) who led their largest business segment over to take over this business. I think this means two things. One, they need someone who is effective to go in and clean up a mess, and two, the new guy is probably being groomed as a possible successor for CEO of the entire company.” he small, task-oriented vehicle (STOV) industry was rocked last week by the announcement that Textron had designated Scott Ernest, head of the company’s Aviation Di- vision, to replace Kevin Halloran, as head of Textron Specialized Vehicles (TSV). Evidently, the TSV division’s poor performance over several quar- ters finally resulted in a top manage- ment change. When the TSV division was formed several years ago, the objective of put- ting the variety of small, task-oriented vehicles under a single organizational umbrella made a lot sense. The idea of building a horizontal organization with semi-independent business units, coordinated at the top with corporate oversight for planning and strategy, has been successfully implemented by many companies. The key to suc- cess is in the word and in the deed of implementation. Here is where diffi- culties arose. 20 WWW.GOLFCAROPTIONS.COM Marc goes on to compare acquisition strategies of Polaris and TSV: “The difference between Polaris and Textron is that Polaris…acquired the leading brands when they made acquisitions in this space. Arctic Cat was really a third tier brand, maybe second tier brand, not leading in either the recreation segment or the work segment.  The Bad Boy Buggy acquisition wasn’t great either.” Slow growth in a maturing industry (as current- ly defined) Compounding the implementation issues, as not-