Classic

I will start with “my opinion”. This is sad news for us romantics. Evinrude is one of those iconic brandnames. And I pray, one day is brought back to life. I owned an Etec 70hp 10 years ish ago and gotta say, it was and is an amazing engine. AMAZING! But, gotta say if I was in the market now, the quiet smooth 4 stroke is a no brainer. And in there lies the issue. I understand the Evinrude engines are very high quality and most likely the best engine on the market? But I have seen great products die because of bad marketing. And to me, that is the case here. Oh, not the ads, they are well executed. But the soul of Evinrude is lost. Sorry.

Playmate!

There is no way in hell, even if I buy the quality thing, I want that design as bold as it is, on the back of my timeless whaler for example. The design is way to defined. Which invites a narrow audience. The market is Pontoon boats and Center consoles. For families. Also pushing innovation, when the rest of the market is going to 4 Stroke? Don’t push innovation. Push tradition, reliability, timeless, solid, proven, and let the innovation be how it works. Does Apple sell innovation? No, they sell technology for the rest of us. In this current market, where boat sales are through the roof, outboards on everything, and an outboard brand dies?

3 300hp outboards. 3! And all painted white to disappear. And the owners expense. To be clean. thats the trend.

WHAT? Demand is there? I am sure there are countless reasons that are being blamed, but in the end, marketing at the corporate level, is to blame in my book. Sorry again.

The very rare Evinrude Lark, all hand made! Insane. Cool.. But don’t see alot of these. Cant make a living on one of a kinds.

We have seen large holding companies ruin brands countless times. Three letters AMF.. Do I need to go on? They scoop up brands because on paper they look great, but have zero comprehension of the emotion that drives the brand. It’s meeting after meetings, in bureaucratic environments that are disconnected form emotion. Focus groups yada yada.. I have seen this for 40 years in marketing and it makes me sick. WHAT A WASTE OF PASSION. UGH.

Evinrude has a huge following

The Evinrude brand, we all grew up with it, all the marketing was family and fishing and a little edgy bold design. When you acquire a brand like this, you acquire it’s history, and most importantly it’s tone. TONE! EMOTION. That’s what you are buying, not just dealer networks and the rational part. You are buying a relationship.  I could go on and on, but it pisses me off to see such Brand waste. All that effort of years, gone!

I chose this engine because of it’s history, the innovation was second. But didn’t feel innovative, it felt traditional. 

 

And even more painful is all the people that work for this brand proudly. Work their asses off and with passion. This is from the top, not the volume of good smart people. Hopefully there is someone high up, thinking about how to re energize the brand in a good way. It’s just waste of mind share!

Bold design for the day, but that was then.

Well thats my “opinion” Just that, I am sure I am missing something. Oh really sure. I am just sitting here in my arm chair spewing. But I have seen this for so many times and had to deal with it in a more diplomatic way.

And now a small reminder.

Dad I want one.

1926

Does Troy have an Evinrude

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27 Responses to “Old News But Worthy Of Opinions. Evinrude Shuts Down!”
  1. Syd

    Great motors my oldest running one is a 1931 Fastein 14 hp and runs great. And my daughters 1958 35 hp

  2. Rick

    My first engine was an 1963 Evenrude 3 1/2 hp on a pram. My second was a 1973 Evenrude 40 hp on my 16′ Winner (a very badly made boat). Evenrude was everyman’s outboard.

  3. Greg Lewandowski

    Matt, I am with you 100%. I was upset when I heard about this a couple weeks ago. Ole is turning over in his grave! I can’t speak to marketing, but I have a 14 year old Etec 60 (with 500 hours) on our pontoon boat and it is a great motor. Sad.

  4. Troy in ANE

    Rumor on the street is that Mercury bought Evinrude, but I don’t find any evidence of that on the net.

    • Greg Lewandowski

      Troy, what I read was that Evinrude has an agreement with Merc to supply motors for the boat brands that they own.

  5. Bill

    omc made the evinrude the Johnson, sea king and gale outboards all the same motor with different shrouds. ole evinrude made single cylinder rowboat motors then the elto and who can forget the great motors of the 60s all the twins fast twin big twin etc. of which thousands are still running today. another great American icon gone. sadly just one of many that have gone. Indian motorcycle comes to mind

    • Dave Juergens

      Couldn’t compete with the 4-stroke technology. The market wants the latest and greatest. Perhaps they didn’t know how to market against the competition. The design office of Brook Stevens Associates did the shroud and drive casting design for Evinrude. Milwaukee, WI. OMC at that time.

  6. Mark in Ohio (sometimes da U P )

    I had read this a couple pf weeks ago. Such sad news. I own several Evinrudes of different vintage years. from 2 hp to 75hp. Have had fun with all of them. I personally was never a Mercurey man. I took it hard when they dropped Johnson, but now Evinrude. Boating will never be quite the same.

  7. John

    My favorite, – after my wife, kids, dog, Chris-Craft, lobster and Hamm’s beer

  8. John

    Saw this several weeks ago and spoke to my local Marina – they found out at 5:00 pm and the next morning the world knew. Evinrude is not gone however, BRP is going to try and reinvent propulsion for boats. It’s called project ghost and was first presented to an investor meeting in October

    The Evinrude plant in will be retooled for the new ‘rudes

    Here is what BRP envisions

  9. John

    Kinda like a powerhead turned horizontal and attached to the end of the pontoon. I/O like drive.

    BRP bought Manitou, Alumacraft and an Aussie boat – these will be the first platforms they will introduce the “Ghost”

    Note it reads EVINRUDE on the back

    Not happy about all this

  10. Dave Nau

    It was bad when OMC declared bankruptcy in December, 2000. But then Bombardier bought the outboard motor assets, consolidated, downsized, and fixed the outboard fuel injection, but only for Evinrudes. Rebuilt the dealer network. Johnson stayed with carburetors, but of course were dropped in 2006 due to EPA regulations. Starting around 2012, outboards in general start to take off with the rise of pontoon and center-console boat sales. Thought good, Evinrude will survive the Great Recession. Outboards now selling great, and there are even outboard-powered cruisers. Stern drive sales have fallen dramatically, from well over 200,000/year to a new low of under 10,000 new stern-drive powered boats sold in 2019. If not for tournament ski boats, 2019 inboard boat sales would have been negligible.

    So, in this environment, BRP has Evinrude go belly-up? They may be working on something new, but there are so many advantages to outboards, it will be tough to break into the market with some new sort of propulsion.

    I agree with Matt. It was a marketing problem. Ole and Ralph Evinrude are definitely turning over in their graves. On the other hand, after trying for over 90 years, Carl Kiekhaefer and Mercury Marine finally won, with BRP buying Mercury outboards to bundle with their handful of boat brands.

    In the meantime, Yamaha, Honda, Suzuki, and Tohatsu all continue to sell outboards in the US. Wow, unbelievable. At least BRP promises to continue to make parts available, but it’s all so sad.

  11. Ollon

    Will never forget the day at Alhambra Marine in Massapequa NY when the new 50 Sizzler was installed on my Whaler to replace the old Merc. Electric start and choke and “Selectric” shifting. No more pull start. Just about the best day a 12 year old boy could have.

  12. Miles Kapper

    It is sad on so many levels. Evinrude joining the likes of Kodak, Polaroid, Pan Am and the list goes on. BRP says they are retooling the plant for the next generation of engines and are using this as a reason for not selling the name ‘Evinrude’ but who knows what their thinking really is. The other person turning in her grave besides Carl and Ole’ is Bess. It only took Bess (looking forward to her career as a school teacher) about a week to realized that Ole, the guy she just married, could not make a decision on running a business to save his life. While he was in the back room fine tuning engines she pretty much ran the place negotiating for parts, doing all the marketing and advertising, directing photographers on shoots, the whole nine yards. All deals were made by wire, then phone. She never let on she was a woman signing everything B Evinrude. She came up with what would now be a so politically incorrect advertising slogan, “So light even a woman can carry it”. When Ralph took over from his dad, he subscribed to the famous designer Brooks Stevens who was a firm believer in planned obsolescence. He believed if you changed the cowling every year people would buy more of the newer motors implying things were better under the hood. He came up with the Lark to appeal to people who felt they were better than folks who could only afford the ‘Big Twin’. Exact same engine under the cowling. Brooks designed many of the Evinrudes. 2019 was a good year for Evinrude and many of the dealers were looking forward to 2020. Their eTec two strokes were proven test after test they burned cleaner and emitted less pollution than four strokes. It didn’t matter they were winning the battle, it was only a matter of time before losing the war. You can thank Steve Wynn, the God Father of Las Vegas for planting the seed four strokes will always be better than two strokes but that is a story for another time. RIP Evinrude and thanks for all the memories since age 2.

  13. Miles Kapper

    It is sad on so many levels. Evinrude joining the likes of Kodak, Polaroid, Pan Am and the list goes on. BRP says they are retooling the plant for the next generation of engines and are using this as a reason for not selling the name ‘Evinrude’ but who knows what their thinking really is. The other person turning in her grave besides Carl and Ole’ is Bess. It only took Bess (looking forward to her career as a school teacher) about a week to realized that Ole, the guy she just married, could not make a decision on running a business to save his life. While he was in the back room fine tuning engines she pretty much ran the place negotiating for parts, doing all the marketing and advertising, directing photographers on shoots, the whole nine yards. All deals were made by wire, then letter. She never let on she was a woman signing everything B Evinrude. She came up with what would now be a so politically incorrect advertising slogan, “So light even a woman can carry it”. When Ralph took over from his dad, he subscribed to the famous designer Brooks Stevens who was a firm believer in planned obsolescence. He believed if you changed the cowling every year people would buy more of the newer motors implying things were better under the hood. He came up with the Lark to appeal to people who felt they were better than folks who could only afford the ‘Big Twin’. Exact same engine under the cowling. Brooks designed many of the Evinrudes. 2019 was a good year for Evinrude and many of the dealers were looking forward to 2020. Their eTec two strokes were proven test after test they burned cleaner and emitted less pollution than four strokes. It didn’t matter they were winning the battle, it was only a matter of time before losing the war. You can thank Steve Wynn, the God Father of Las Vegas for planting the seed four strokes will always be better than two strokes but that is a story for another time. RIP Evinrude and thanks for all the memories since age 2.

  14. Chug-A-Lug

    I’ve had Evinrudes for years.My only beef is that I own a low profile 15hp that I can’t figure out the year.The serial # was printed out on a sticker(that wore off)instead of a stamped plate.Even the # on the frost plug is no use.I’d like to get tune-up parts.

  15. Ghosts of Ole and Ralph

    Keep the old ones running, that will keep the name and the spirit alive

  16. Boatyard

    We are an Evinrude dealer and have a strong following with our customer base for their products. Our mechanics are Master Certified; not an easy to obtain diploma either.
    After so many years of loyalty to a brand, it felt like a gut check out of nowhere.
    Our new rental fleet was due in shortly with new G2 150hp with fly-by-wire tech and we were all set.
    The two-strokes are quiet, fuel efficient and clean running too.
    We’ll continue to repair and service as long as we can purchase repair parts. That’s what good customer service is all about.
    Good news after eighty-plus years in business, we have a ton of parts dating back to the ‘50’s for Evinrude/Johnson. Bob Shapton in MI is another great source too.
    In the end, loyalty is a hard thing. You need to develop and constantly nourish it through years of dedication, innovation and customer buy-in. Never let the consumer down and always back your products with available spare parts and easily accessed repair techs.
    Sadly, private-equity most often could screw up a one car funeral………because emotion for a brand is missing.

  17. Ned Protexter

    Bill, Indian Motorcycles are still being built by Polaris right here in Spirit Lake Iowa. Come do a plant tour and our show on Saturday July 25th