BRP recently shared their plans to discontinue the iconic Evinrude engine brand, along with other readjustments in their marine market strategies.
BRP recently announced that a shifted focus towards "the growth of its boat brands with new technology and innovative marine products" will re-orient the business going forward. As a result, the company will discontinue production of Evinrude E-TEC and E-TEC G2 outboard engines.
The warehouse facility in Sturtevant, Wisconsin will "be repurposed for new projects to pursue our plan to provide consumers with an unparalleled experience on the water," BRP said.
Since Evinrude production will end, BRP has signed an agreement with Mercury Marine to "support boat packages and continue to supply outboard engines to our boat brands." Mercury will become the outboard engine of choice for Alumacraft, Manitou, and Telwater boat brands, effective immediately.
BRP will continue supplying customers and dealers with service parts and keep manufacturer limited warranties intact.
"Our outboard engines business has been greatly impacted by COVID-19, obliging us to discontinue production of our outboard motors immediately. This business segment had already been facing some challenges and the impact from the current context has forced our hand," said José Boisjoli, President and CEO of BRP, in the official news release. "We will concentrate our efforts on new and innovative technologies and on the development of our boat companies, where we continue to see a lot of potential to transform the on-water experience for consumers."
The boat and watercraft market certainly isn't immune to the effects of the global COVID-19 pandemic, but it seems like reading between the lines (and reviewing past market reports from BRP and other similar companies) would reveal that outboard engine sales weren't what they used to be, or what they were projected to be. An adjusted focus may leave a void in the engine niche, but it shouldn't surprise those who were paying close enough attention.
BRP admitted that "these decisions will impact 650 employees globally."
Efforts shifting towards the boats themselves means BRP "will be positioned to expand its presence in the pontoon and aluminum fishing markets through technologically advanced solutions."
They will reportedly leverage their "track record of ingenuity through our R&D resources to enhance the boating experience with unique new marine products." They hinted at the next generation of engine technology known as "Project Ghost" and the next generation of pontoons they call "Project M," both code names for new products the brand expects to "transform the industry."
In addition, Alumacraft operations will be consolidated from two locations to one. The company's Arkadelphia, Arkansas facility will permanently close, with everything shifting to St. Peter, Minnesota.
BRP products include Ski-Doo snowmobiles, Sea-Doo watercraft, Can-Am on- and off-road vehicles, Quintrex, Stacer and Savage boats.