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Industry veteran Nochar joins Polaris

New ride: After leading the pack at Harley-Davidson for five-and-a-half years, Peter Nochar has resurfaced at Polaris Industries as sales and network director for Victory and Indian motorcycles.

Former top VW, Kia executive joins Victory, Indian motorcycles after Harley ride

18 Sep 2014

HIGHLY experienced automotive industry executive Peter Nochar has joined Polaris Industries as sales and network director for the company’s Victory and Indian motorcycle division in Australia and New Zealand.

Mr Nochar most recently served as managing director of Harley-Davidson Australia and New Zealand, having moved into the motorcycle sector in 2008 after more than 25 years in senior management positions at car companies in Australia and overseas.

These included a short stint as chief operating officer for Kia Motors Australia from late 2007 to mid-2008, which followed two years as an industry consultant (working with BMW Group Australia, among others), four years as managing director of Volkswagen Group Australia (2001-05) and the previous three years as president of Volkswagen Group Japan.

In a statement, Polaris Australia/NZ managing director Peter Alexander described Mr Nochar’s appointment as a “pivotal moment” for the company’s motorcycle division as it expands its operations and seeks to “raise the benchmark and sales in the cruiser and touring bike categories”.

His appointment is Polaris’ second high-profile signing this year, with Perry Morrison taking on the newly created role of executive director of government relations in April after more than 16 years as head of Suzuki’s motorcycle division and, before that, many years of service with Honda MPE in Australia.

“To have Peter want to join our business not long after Perry Morrison speaks volumes and shows confidence in the Polaris brand and strategy,” Mr Alexander said.

“Peter’s appointment brings peerless experience, vision and potential at a perfect moment for our local motorcycle business. We have aggressive growth ambitions and with Peter aboard we can realise them far sooner.”

During the 1980s, Mr Nochar worked for BMW in the UK as national sales manager before buying his own BMW dealership in Winchester, England, in 1990, which he managed for five years before a merger with a neighbouring dealer led to him selling up and rejoining BMW as operations director in Japan.

Two-and-a-half years later, the opportunity arose for him to become head of the Volkswagen Group in Japan, while his subsequent move to Australia at the beginning of 2001 came as VW took control of distribution from Inchcape Motors and established its own factory operation here.

Polaris says Mr Nochar was a perfect candidate given his “proven track record” across key areas such as sales, customer satisfaction, team leadership and dealer engagement.

“I am very excited to be joining the motorcycle team and hope I can make a worthy contribution,” he said.

“I am sure there is huge potential for both the Victory and Indian brands and I look forward to contributing to their success and having fun along the way.” Now at the head of Harley-Davidson Australia/New Zealand is Nigel Keogh, who has returned Down Under after several years with the brand overseas, most recently as regional director of product, planning and operations for Harley-Davidson Latin America.

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