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History 101: The Tale Of The Arctic Cat

arctic cat accessories

There's no better feeling that whipping through the snow on your Arctic Cat. After all, they're one of the most popular brands for snowmobiles on the market today for a reason. But if you've ever wondered about the history of the Arctic Cat, there's a rich story to unfold.

Here's everything you should know about the history of the Arctic Cat.

It started in 1960

The Arctic Cat just experienced its 50th anniversary back in 2011, but their 60th is just around the corner. This popular brand was formed by Edgar Hetteen in 1960 once he left Polaris Industries, another self-started business. A pioneer in his craft, Hetteen developed the Boss Cat line throughout the '60s and '70s under Arctic Cat's old name, Arctic Enterprises. In fact, it was under Hetteen that the first front-engined snowmobile was developed.

Bankruptcy abound

Unfortunately, not even the boat manufacturers they partnered with could save the financial hole Arctic Enterprises had dug itself into. In 1982, the company went bankrupt.

Luckily, Hetteen had founded a new company known as Arctco and was able to continue the production of Arctic Enterprises' snowmobiles only two years later.

The Arctic Cat name

In 1996, Arctco changed its name to Arctic Cat after much success in the business. Since then, Arctic Cat was able to expand on Arctic Cat accessories, all-terrain vehicles, and more. Though they tried to delve into the watercraft industry, the company soon abandoned its endeavor in 1999, but Arctic Cat dealers and boat dealers often go hand-in-hand with powersports dealerships. After all, 95% of Americans actually live within an hour's drive of navigable waters.

In 1990, Arctic Cat became a publicly traded company, which only increased its success in the market. It was estimated that the snowmobile industry was expanding at 20% per year throughout the mid-1990s. When their boating endeavor went belly-up, the company began to focus its attention on snowmobiles and other all-terrain vehicles.


Arctic Cat was actually acquired by Textron in 2017 and the Arctic Cat name has only stuck with its snowmobiles. Textron adopted most of the company's all-terrain vehicles and similar models under a different name or discontinued the products altogether. But snowmobiles have always been Arctic Cat's bread and butter and they're not going anywhere any time soon.

The most popular snowmobile offered by Arctic Cat lies in its M series, a perfect option for mountain riding. This set the brand apart from other competitors who couldn't hope to navigate the hills of the Midwest. Many Arctic Cat accessories are also available to make your ride even better.

Are you interested in purchasing an Arctic Cat or Arctic Cat accessories? Rely on the expertise and quality products of Lakeside Motor Sports. Whether you need the best Arctic Cat dealer in Michigan or you want to explore our selection of used boats for sale, we have everything you need to enjoy Michigan all year round. Stop into our showroom today or check out our inventory online. We hope to see you soon!

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