Working at a large Husky dealer, I'm privy to a lot of information about the companies we represent and I thought I would share some of the inside baseball talk about Husqvarna. The information I have comes second hand, from a coworker which attended a regional meeting regarding Husky's lineup and future changes. This information is second hand, so it may not be one hundred percent accurate, though I try, and right up front I will say I'm rather unhappy with their current direction and some of the decisions being made, so this will probably be tainted a bit with my own views. Philosophy: Husky has been, and will continue to pursue a strategy of catering more and more to the big box stores (Home Depot, Lowes, Tractor Supply, etc.) They will still do a lot of business with local dealers, but they are more focusing at the bigger market at this point in time. To do this, they are making several important changes in their equipment line. Everything they make now (saws, tractors, snowblowers) will fall into either their standard line, or more of an "economy" line made with less expensive (read: cheap) parts. When warranty work is required, customers will still need to seek the help of a local dealer. Chainsaws: This is probably the most frustrating portion of what I learned. I feel they are making several important, and poor changes to their saw lineup. Husqvarna's best selling saw, the 455 Rancher is no more. It's being dropped from the line as of next model year. The "Rancher" designation will then be passed to the 460, which bears no mechanical relationship at all to the 455's. The 400, 445, and 450 saws, which folks will remember replaced the 300, 345, and 350 saws for emissions and reliability reasons, are based on the build of the 455, so the saw isn't completely lost. Why they would just drop their best selling saw is beyond me. They are also using bits and pieces from the 455 in their new box store model, the 255. All new saws bought in Lowes, Home Depot, and Tractor Supply will be of the 200 series line. As said above, this is the 255, and also the 235. They took some technology from the 455 Rancher, cheapened it out (Husky rep's words), and renamed it. The 235 is a newer model which is now their new low end saw, comparable to a Stihl MS 170. If you haven't seen this saw yet, instead of having a tooth every other link like a normal saw, it has a tooth every 3 links. Husky advertises this as taking less time to sharpen, but it gives the saw much less bite, and the chain will dull quicker too. Duh. During the demo portion of the meeting, the rep tried cutting a six inch log with a 235. I was told the saw bogged out and died during the cut. The rep said even an MS 170 would do that. Well, we routinely test MS 170's on a 10 inch log before we send them home, and they seem to do it OK. Who knows. I personally love the 372XP. It's a saw I would recommend to a pro in a heartbeat. Well, the head cheese at Husky in charge of things like this wants that saw out of the lineup by the end of the year. Goodbye - far too dirty for emissions. The 372XP was the saw that disappeared for a while but was brought back because of the outcry by professional saw users. They are rolling out their new and improved 576XP. The 576 is replacing both the 372 and the 575XP. It's based on the 575, but with many many changes because of the terrible reliability issues of the 575. For a while, the 575's were known as burn up machines. After even a couple months of average professional use (which is hard, I will agree) they would come in for a run issue. A peak in the plug hold revealed the ugly truth, the saw had burned itself up. This was an early issue with the 575 and I'm told it's been resolved on later units. We shall see. Snowblowers: As with everything else, there is a box store line, and a dealer line. The box store units are much more flimsily built - I remind you, this is as the Husky rep said. An example they had there was one auger half from each line. They were identical in dimensions, length and diameter that is, but the box store auger weighed a whole THREE POUNDS LESS than the dealer auger. That's a very significant amount of steel lacking from a very important part of a snowblower. They will have different engines etc etc etc. Tractors: Same as above, they will have the dealer line, and a distinctly different box store line. You guessed it, Lowes, HD, and TS units will be made much more cheaply.