If you're not a resident of Minnesota, your image of the state can come in many forms. If you're from either of the coasts, you may think little more of our state than ten minutes of stuff to fly over on your way to the other coast. If you live in another Midwest state, your image may be one of lakes, resorts and varying levels of wilderness. You may think of Minnesota as the place where you can shop in the Mall of America for clothing with no sales tax. What some folks have passed over is the fact that Minnesota is a major hub of activity for a diverse number of major businesses.
Minnesota is home to nineteen of the companies listed by the Fortune 500, ranking us tenth in number of companies on the list. Beyond the top 500 companies in America, there are many smaller companies that contribute to Minnesota's economic diversity and robustness. In the next several days, we'll take a look at some Minnesota companies, large and not so large, perhaps revealing a few clues as to what makes Minnesota so interesting.
Looking at an alphabetical list, one of the first Minnesota corporations is Arctic Cat. Known on the stock exchange as ACAT, Arctic Cat has produced snowmobiles for over fifty years. They also manufacture and distribute all terrain vehicles worldwide. The company manufactures its own engines for ATV's, and has announced plans to transition to also make its own snowmobile engines in the next couple years. Suzuki has supplied them with snowmobile engines for decades, and the change will mean more Minnesota production in the future, and more control over their product.
Arctic Cat is a relatively small company with a market cap of just under a half billion dollars. It is one of two major manufacturers of snowmobiles and ATV's located in Minnesota. The company has corporate offices in Plymouth, MN, and operations in Thief River Falls and St. Cloud.