While John Deere is best known for its production of agricultural, construction, forestry, and lawn care equipment, the company has not always been focused solely on these markets. In fact, there was a span throughout most of the 1970s when John Deere produced snowmobiles.
Let’s take a look at some of the key dates and milestones relating to John Deere’s snowmobile history.
John Deere began producing snowmobiles, fueled by the snow-sport boom that began at the turn of the decade. The 400 (339 cc) and 500 (436 cc) were the first two models produced, and the new line also helped introduce the recognizable “Nothing Runs Like a Deere” company slogan. While it’s unclear how many models were sold that year, John Deere dealers were excited to have products to service and sell during the quieter winter months.
The 600, JDX4, and JDX8 snowmobiles were brought to the market. Deere sold more than 12,000 of these machines in 1972.
After the third JDX model (JDX6) was introduced in 1973, Deere then introduced the 295/S in 1974.
The 340 Liquifire, 440 Liquifire, 340 Cyclone, 440 Cyclone, and Liquidator were added to the equipment line, giving customers an even more expansive selection.
This was the year that John Deere introduced smaller snowmobile models, known as the Spitfire series.
John Deere added the 340 Trailfire and 440 Trailfire models to its lineup.
Deere eventually sold its snowmobile business to Polaris, and production stopped in 1982. John Deere snowmobile sales extended through 1984, however.
At one point, Deere had its own snowmobile-racing squad, known as “Enduro Team Deere.” The team was comprised of six snowmobile drivers, eight mechanics, and the company’s newest snowmobile model – the Liquidator. The end of John Deere’s snowmobile production ultimately led to the end of Enduro Team deere.
While John Deere’s production of snowmobiles lasted just over a decade, the line helped pave the way for future company successes. Snowmobile customers demanded annual performance and technological upgrades to the machines, which ultimately carried over into the company’s productions standards. Today, Deere looks to continually make improvements to its equipment in an effort to better meet customer needs.