Reading the news of BRP discontinuing the manufacturing of Evinrude outboards came as a bit of a shock to me. From an industry perspective it is somewhat of a somber event. Evinrude has been an iconic name in the industry for over a century... thats right, over a CENTURY! In 1907, Evinrude Motors was founded in Milwaukee, Wisconsin and they began to develop their first outboard motor. It was a one-cylinder, 1.5 hp model, which became an instant success upon its introduction in 1909.
In 1936 the Evinrude company merged with the Johnson Motor Company to form the Outboard Marine Corporation. The Outboard Marine Corporation declared chapter 11 bankruptcy in 2000 and its assets were subsequently acquired by Bombardier Recreational Products, which continued to build Evinrude branded outboard motors.
On May 27, 2020, BRP announced that they would be retiring the Evinrude brand and would exit the outboard boat motor market. With their decision to discontinue E-TEC and E-TEC G2 engines, BRP has signed an agreement with market leader Mercury Marine to support boat packages and continue to supply outboard engines to their boat brands, the most familiar of which is Alumacraft.
I would venture to say that Evinrude products have probably played some type of role in all of our fishing lives. I remember my grandfather buying a 14 foot Aluminum boat and making it into our first "bass boat". He added a front and rear deck, a drivers console with cable steering, a small livewell and on the back he hung a 25 horsepower Evinrude. We caught hundreds of fish out of that boat.
After years in the fishing industry it never entered my mind that the brand would be retired. Sure, you could argue that from a business perspective it wasn't making money or gaining enough market share, and you would probably be right. However, having been a presence for over a hundred years it's a shocking announcement.
Anytime a name in the industry disappears it is a sad day for those of us that love the sport, but when a brand with the history of Evinrude disappears, it is particularly noteworthy. It shows just how volatile the industry can be. That is why I always say that when you find a brand or product that you believe in or enjoy, you support it to the best of your ability. We, as anglers, are the life blood of brands in the industry and, like with any business, without our support brands will fade away.
If you have not seen the press release regarding BRP and Evinrude you can see it Here.
The following are companies that I work with and not only produce products I believe in, but they support the industry, tournaments and anglers as well. Please consider products from these fine companies the next time you are looking for the type of products that they produce.