Citing the impact of COVID-19 on the outboard engine segment of its business, BRP announced this week it will be re-orienting its marine business by focusing on the growth of its boat brands with new technology and innovative marine products. Part of that process will involve discontinuing production of Evinrude E-TEC and E-TEC G2 outboard engines. The BRP facility in Sturtevant, Wis., will be repurposed for new projects.
BRP formulated a “Buy, Build, Transform” strategy in the marine category in 2018 with the acquisition of Alumacraft and Manitou boat companies in the U.S., followed by the acquisition of Australian boat manufacturer Telwater in 2019. Alumacraft operations will be consolidated from two sites to one with all operations moving to St. Peter, Minn. The plant in Arkadelphia, Ark., will be permanently closed. This move is intended to enhance productivity and efficiency and to allows BRP to respond with even more agility to demand.
“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,” José Boisjoli, President and CEO of BRP, said in a press release announcing the moves. “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.”
These decisions will impact 650 employees globally.
In the wake of the move to discontinue its outboard engine business, BRP entered into an agreement with competitor and market leader Mercury Marine to support boat packages and continue to supply outboard engines to our boat brands.
BRP said it intends to continue to supply customers and its dealer network service parts and will honor its manufacturer limited warranties, plus offer select programs to manage inventory.
With this announcement, BRP intends to expand its presence in the pontoon and aluminum fishing markets through technologically advanced solutions. It plans to leverage its track record of ingenuity through its R&D resources to enhance the boating experience with unique new marine products, such as the next generation of engine technology with Project Ghost and the next generation of pontoons with Project M, code names for new products it expects to transform the industry.