By Dan Armitage, host of Buckeye Sportsman, Ohio’s longest running outdoor radio show
BRP has announced it will discontinue production of Evinrude outboard engines, ending a century-long run of the iconic outboard boat motors founded in 1907 by Olé Evinrude in Milwaukee.
I own three Evinrudes at present, from a 1960s 3 horsepower model passed along to me by my late Dad to a state-of-the-art 2014 130 hp E-TEC outboard that — even used — cost me more than we spent on my wife’s car (I’m good, Maria doesn’t read OCJ). I figure that over four decades of boating I have owned at least a dozen of Ole’s offspring, and I’m not going to be alone in missing the classic brand with the oddball name.
Here’s the gist of the press release sent to boating media the day of the announcement:
“Our outboard engines business has been greatly impacted by COVID-19, obliging us to discontinue production of our outboard motors immediately,” said José Boisjoli, President and CEO of BRP. “This business segment had already been facing some challenges and the impact from the current context has forced our hand.”
“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,” he added.
Following BRP’s decision to discontinue the popular Evinrude outboards engines, the company signed an agreement with market leader Mercury Marine to support boat packages and continue to supply outboard engines to their boat brands. BRP says they will continue to supply customers and dealer network service parts and will honor manufacturer limited warranties, plus offer select programs to manage inventory. The decisions will impact some 650 employees globally.