Over the last four years, ARGO initiated a strategic plan, led by President and CEO Brad Darling, with the intentions to significantly grow the business. As a result, the Canadian-based brand doubled their team by adding industry veterans, combined with ARGO’s already seasoned staff to drive their brand to success. The ARGO team was prepared to take on the unexpected and “Go Anywhere” to overcome obstacles, even in the face of a pandemic.
“Certainly, the COVID-19 crisis was our largest obstacle to overcome, however, the team really pushed through these challenges and the results speak for themselves,” said Kevin Asselin, vice president of sales at ARGO. “We have enjoyed double-digit growth in our retail sales this year, and this past June, we were proud to announce that we set a new monthly record within the organization of units retailed, with an 89% increase in retail activity, followed by an 86% increase in July.
“We have the product and have built a strong network of profitable dealers to support this growth,” Asselin continued. “This surpassed any of the forecasts that we anticipated. We did everything we could to satisfy dealer and consumer demand for their new ARGOs.”
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The flagship vehicles for ARGO are their amphibious six- and eight-wheeled XTV models, which fill the gap between recreational quads and heavy off-road vehicles, designed for both work and play. These vehicles are the epitome of ARGO’s tagline “Go Anywhere,” and can literally do just that.
“As for shaping the company into 2021 and beyond, we have now updated every segment within our XTV business with the all-new Aurora, Frontier and Conquest models, combined with significant growth within our ATV product line that we launched in 2017,” Asselin said.
“We optimized the 2021 ARGO off-road line-up to benefit both our dealer network and customers,” Darling said. “This includes introducing more specialized engines to the portfolio while increasing the capabilities and value of our XTV and ATV platforms. These changes reflect our ongoing commitment to expand the ARGO off-road line-up, while staying true to our ‘Go Anywhere’ DNA, which is grounded in performance and innovation.”
The 2021 lineup includes 20 XTV models, featuring the new 650- and 800-series. The new Conquest model for commercial applications boasts an 800 EFI V-Twin engine to provide an improved balance of horsepower and torque.
Following the success of the 2020 Frontier XTV that brought in a double-digit increase in sales, the 2021 Frontier 650 configuration relies on a dependable and smooth operating 650 V-Twin OHV with 23 HP in a lightweight and compact design.
“Getting into an ARGO is much more affordable than most people think,” Asselin said. “Starting at only $8,999 for the amphibious Frontier 600 6×6; in today’s world, there is no better way to enjoy social distancing than in the ‘Go Anywhere’ ARGO XTV.”
Also included for 2021 are seven ATVs with a new engine and added colors. The new 561cc single cylinder engine with SOHC offers 42 HP, with a strong acceleration and improved towing muscle, thanks to its low-to-midrange power.
“Within our ATV product line, we are very excited to expand our product offerings with the addition of the all-new 570 EFI models,” Asselin said. “Our ARGO 570 ATV models offer the highest HP in their class and come with an industry-leading three-year warranty and a free 3,000-lb. winch, which is factory installed. Our new 570 models are available in both 1-up and 2-up models starting at as low as $6,799.”
The biggest selling point for an ARGO vehicle is the experience.
“Over the past three years, we have engaged in demo ride and drive campaigns throughout North America and proved that demoing an ARGO sells itself,” Asselin said. “New this year, dealers have the opportunity to be part of the ‘Ultimate ARGO Experience’ program. Quite simply, this identifies dealers within our network that have all model series of XTVs and ATVs in stock, accessories on display, offer a demo ride for prospective customers and have a factory-trained ARGO specialist on staff. We will be identifying these top-tier dealerships with an Ultimate ARGO Experience icon that can be found within our Dealer Locator section of our website.”
In addition to bringing in new models for 2021, ARGO added garments to their lineup.
“Part of our strategic plan was to have continued growth within this segment of our business,” Asselin explained. “Until this year, we referred to this area as P&A — parts and accessories. However, new for 2021, we have updated this to PG&A — parts, garments and accessories. We now offer a complete lineup of over 100 new ARGO garments; hats, tees, sweats, key tags and mugs, just to name a few. This allows our dealers to offer more to the consumers, which equates to increased revenue and profits, while the ARGO customer can wear the ARGO brand proudly.”
With the 2021 lineup being released without delay from COVID-19, other aspects of ARGO’s business were prioritized to meet the dramatic change in how customers can interact with ARGO’s product line in early 2020.
“When COVID became reality, we worked together and created something that was on our list for the future but moved up to high priority because of social distancing,” Asselin said. “The ARGO Digitalship is a virtual opportunity for customers to see the lineup on our website. Through a series of questions that are answered by our virtual online ARGO factory specialist, they are directed to the unit that is right for them. At that point, they can have the specs and MSRP emailed to them and be directed to a local dealer who has the 2021 unit in stock. We also have a live factory-authorized specialist available to answer any questions our customers may have.”
The pandemic has made keeping inventory in stock a difficulty for dealers across the country, notwithstanding ARGO, who is working to get vehicles to dealerships.
“Similar to many OEMs within the industry, we also reached a sold-out position at the factory level back in May, and have been playing catchup ever since,” Asselin said. “We continued to manufacture at full capacity, as stipulated by our government, and are now back to full staff in all areas of the business. This will allow us to ramp up production and satisfy the demand for the new 2021 models.”
With their increased growth, ARGO is motivated to add dealer partners in North America to bring more XTVs to customers.
“One of the biggest benefits we offer our dealers is to make money,” Asselin said. “Simply put, ARGO dealers make very good margin on all of our products. Our strategy is to give a dealer a large area of responsibility, combined with a unique product offering that continues to gain awareness. We continue to increase retail sales year after year and with our limited competition within the amphibious XTV line, plus with the addition of
our terrific ATV lineup, it is a perfect time to join our team.”
For more information about ARGO, visit argoxtv.com.