BRP, the parent company of Evinrude, announced in a press release today that it will discontinue production of outboard engines, including the Evinrude E-TEC G2 that's currently run by dozens of tour-level anglers. The facility in Sturtevant, Wis. where E-TECs were made will be repurposed for other projects.
“Our outboard engines business has been greatly impacted by COVID-19, obliging us to discontinue production of our outboard motors immediately," said BRP president and CEO José Boisjoli. "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."
Many of the sport's top stars run E-TECs. The list includes Bryan Thrift, Jacob Wheeler, Andy Morgan, Scott Martin, Cody Meyer, Larry Nixon, Denny Brauer, David Fritts, Wesley Strader, Justin Atkins, Clark Wendlandt, Scott Suggs and David Walker, among many others.
"It's definitely going to affect a lot of guys and I think it's just the tip of the iceberg of what we're going to have to deal with going into next season," said Wheeler, who was practicing for this week's Pickwick Lake Central FLW Series and hadn't heard the news until being contacted by BassFan. "It's a tough deal."
BRP has struck an agreement with Mercury to supply outboards for the boat brands it manufactures, which include Manitou and Alumacraft.
The company stated in the press release that it "will continue to supply customers and our dealer network service parts and will honor our manufacturer limited warranties, plus offer select programs to manage inventory. These decisions will impact 650 employees globally."