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PierBridge

What does this mean for E-Tec/Fishing Pros/consumers..?

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Per an article in the Milwaukee Paper on 4-5-2005 the parent company of Evinrude and E-TEC engines announced it will no longer sell motors to Lund, Crestliner and Lowe brands which are owned by Mercury Marine, Inc. After June 30th no orders from the afore-mentioned will be accepted.

The Evinrude decision was a plan to support independent boat builders rather the brands that Mercury owns and per Evinrude, the independents are our best customers. In addition, the Evinrude folks said in January it would not sell outboards to three other brands owned by Mercury/Brunswick. Per Evinrude, the massive boat purchases by Brunswick from Irwin Jacobs have destroyed competition in the industry and it is their decision to support the independent boat manufacturers.

Your opinions, comments and insight would be appreciated.

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A friend of mine heard at the Sportshow, that certain Crestliner/Evinrude pro's were informed the first night of the show, that Evinrude will not be shipping them motors if they are going to be hung on Crestliners! There were some Pros that had to run around and borrow rigs so they could fish Bull Shoals. Lund/Evinrude pro, Mark Courts had to fish in Lund/Merc rig as a result of this too. Sounds like they are being forced to choose between the motor sponsor, or the boat sponsor.

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Early E-Tech motors have already had some reliability problems and that has delayed shipment of many of the orders. The evinrude motor reputations have been trashed due to the older OMC fichts blowing up between 1997-2002. I think it's a very bold move for them. I think it's great that they stood up to the independents. A boat may still be rigged at the dealer which will probably just increase the cost if you go with the combination. If a pro has 2 separate sponsors they can have a crate motor shipped to the dealer. Honestly I think bombardier will only hurt themselves in the long run.

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I haven't bought the new e-tech yet but from what I understand the new motor COULD be so superior to the Merc 4 strokes that the manufacturer is trying a major power play. The decision is very interesting, I believe they are making an attempt to grab the major market share in one bold move. The results can't be predicted, but it sure will be fun to watch the market battle. I predict some serious price discounting to show up soon.

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I think this was a great move for them, they really have nothing to lose by doing this.

The Jacobs' line of boats are now all going to come from the plant pre-rigged for Merc's, so who is seriously going to pay labor cost to undo that prerigging then pay for rigging of an Evinrude/Johnson?? By doing this Bomb-b really isn't risking losing a lot of sales, but they stand a chance to gain loyalty from independent boat buyers and manufacturers. Great move, especially since Yamaha already owns several boat lines and Suzuki is a non-player, no one else can claim the "independent" title.

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This is no surprise, just posturing by manufacturers. Lund/Crestliner had said they would only put Merc's on their boats, so what Evenrude did was only to save face.

I spoke to a boat mft rep down at the sports show. You could get a Yamaha/Honda/Suzuki etc motor on a Lund, but it will be a hassle.

First you have to find a dealer that will risk upsetting the Lund/Mercury cartel and get you a different brand, if they even sell them anymore. What use will it be to a exclusive Lund dealer and sell a Yamaha, Honda?

Then you will have to sell the Mercury to someone. With the incentives on motors, a loose motor will have diminished value. You could take a hit on the trade in on the Mercury. Weak market on loose motors.

I think all manufacturers will lose on this. Yamaha will lose a lot of motor sales. Honda too. And I think Lund and Crestliner will have a hard time selling boats without the motor choice. And each boat manufacturer will align with a boat company. I know I plan to keep my boat until this is all resolved.

What will happen? Money will talk or the courts will. Someone, a boat dealer, a consumer, Attorney General Hatch will file a lawsuit claiming a monopolistic tying arrangement and sue Mercury's parent for HUGE bucks. And I think they have a good chance to win.

I think the only way to succeed in the boat/motor industry is to stay clear of this mess. Let Mercury take Lund and Crestliner down. The new owner paid big bucks for Lund/Crestliner and when they perform poorly, the stockholders will demand changes.

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The bad part about this is the raw deal the consumer gets. Now we will be forced to make on a package rather than an indivual boat and motor.. What if I like Lunds, but hate mercs??

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Anyone have any idea what independents evinrude is referring to? I can't imagine that they're doing this completely of free will, there's just too much money in the big name, corporate-owned hulls. That's a good point about merc dragging themselves down though, it seems they are trying to apply a stranglehold, but may end up choking themselves out in the end. I wouldn't mind seeing honda make a play for market share if that were to happen. I imagine if something serious happens to merc as a result of this, it would allow for a great deal more choice in the engines being stuck on the sterns of new lunds/crestliners. Guess we'll just have to wait and see what happens...

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