Evinrude Rumors

A conversation among Whalers
jimh
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Evinrude Rumors

Postby jimh » Sat May 08, 2021 1:19 pm

Perhaps related to the recent surge in demand for boats and outboard engines in general, there is some talk of BRP returning to the manufacturing of outboard engines, and with a new twist.

The legacy E-TEC engines (often called "G1" but never actually branded with that designator) would be re-launched under the JOHNSON branding.

The newer E-TEC G2 engines would be re-launched under the EVINRUDE branding.

An existing Evinrude dealer would be able to sell both Johnson and Evinrude branded E-TEC engines.

This rumor sounds quite wild, but stranger things than this have happened.

Masbama
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Re: Evinrude Rumors

Postby Masbama » Sat May 08, 2021 4:05 pm

I hope that’s true.

I thought [BRP] were going re-tool their manufacturing facility.

Also, [a BRP outboard engine] might have to come in at a low-ball price to get folks that are hesitant to buy.

jimh
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Re: Evinrude Rumors

Postby jimh » Sat May 08, 2021 4:58 pm

The re-tooling was for "Project Ghost". Maybe Project Ghost turns out to be making Johnson outboard engines.

It is just a rumor, but my source is usually well-informed.

Oldslowandugly
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Re: Evinrude Rumors

Postby Oldslowandugly » Sat May 08, 2021 5:46 pm

If BRP held on to the ETEC tooling then it is conceivable. To re-start from scratch would be a monumental task.

Mambo Minnow
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Re: Evinrude Rumors

Postby Mambo Minnow » Sat May 08, 2021 8:14 pm

Where is the objective quantifiable evidence for such wild speculation?

jimh
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Re: Evinrude Rumors

Postby jimh » Sun May 09, 2021 9:43 am

Wild speculation requires no evidence. I just heard the rumor. Feel free to ignore the rumor.

Mambo Minnow
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Re: Evinrude Rumors

Postby Mambo Minnow » Sun May 09, 2021 2:42 pm

Fred Kiekafer expertly analyzes why the return of Evinrude is highly unlikely. Covid or not, BRP can’t overcome government regulation skewed against two stroke technology.

https://www.speedonthewater.com/what-re ... nrude/amp/

jimh
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Re: Evinrude Rumors

Postby jimh » Mon May 10, 2021 7:44 am

Mambo Minnow wrote:Fred Kiekafer expertly analyzes why the return of Evinrude is highly unlikely.


Based on that fellow's last name (which correctly spelled is Fred Kiekhaefer), I infer some preternatural bias against Evinrude.

Mercury had far more difficulty complying with EPA regulations than BRP did. Mercury's supercharged VERADO was hardly a solution to EPA compliance, and the demise of the use of supercharging in the current line of Mercury outboard engines is certainly evidence that they took a wrong turn in 2004 when they went with supercharging. Supercharging was fuel-inefficient and not very EPA compliant, and that is why you don't see any supercharging in all the new FOURSTROKE engines from Mercury. I think they are down to one or two supercharged VERADO in-line six-cylinder engines designated as race models. Their licensing of the Orbital Combustion Process for OptiMax has also gone away. The OptiMax was such a poor solution that Boston Whaler refused to sell them.

The Kiekhaefer fellow seems to ignore that BRP E-TEC engines were the cleanest, most EPA compliant outboards--and really most environmentally friendly as there was no dirty lubricating oil to dispose of. I don't find his analysis fits your description of "expert."

jimh
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Re: Evinrude Rumors

Postby jimh » Mon May 10, 2021 7:58 am

The topic "what really killed the E-TEC" is a fertile field for discussion, but the real answer is to be found in the bottom line, the profit being generated. If hundreds of millions in plant and facilities, and hundreds of employees are not generating return on investment, and the market trend is downward, and there is a spectre of a global pandemic and economic downturn, a dispassionate board of directors might pull the plug.

Exactly who knew or who predicted in April 2020 that sales of recreational boats and outboard engines would have unprecedented demand. I don't think anyone saw this boating boom coming in Spring 2020.

dtmackey
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Re: Evinrude Rumors

Postby dtmackey » Mon May 10, 2021 9:22 am

Mambo Minnow wrote:Fred Kiekafer expertly analyzes why the return of Evinrude is highly unlikely. Covid or not, BRP can’t overcome government regulation skewed against two stroke technology.


E-TEC is only dead in the marine setting and lives on in the snowmobile market where the focus on emission standards is also an ever increasing hurdle. In fact, the E-TEC engine is the sales leader in the snowmobile market where SkiDoo (owned by BRP) is the market share leader with a near 50% market share, with the other 3 brands sharing the other 50% market share. Of this, the Etec 600 and 850 motors represent the lions share of the SkiDoo sales, so to say Evinrude was mothballed due to emissions is shortsighted. To quote George Broughton from a 2018 article I shared on CW regarding E-TEC in the snowmobile market, "The goodness isn’t all wrung out of the grapes just yet." This was after the G2 snowmobile engines were released and the vision with E-TEC technology is in the development pipeline going forward due to its ability to meet the stringent emissions standards.

With Evinrude, my feeling is the demise of direc-injection (DI) two-stroke engines started in the late 1990s with Ficht technology that was adapted and rushed to market only to have an enormous impact on the perception of DI two-stroke technology. This continued into 2000 until the launch of the 2003-2004 Evinrude models under BRP where "Ficht" was intentionally removed from the product line. Evinrude then went on to redesign the engines, branded as E-TEC, but the tides were against Evinrude as Mercury, Suzuki, Yamaha, and Honda were offering competitive four-stroke engines that were quieter, and people flocked to this technology as being the future of outboards.

My feeling is if BPR reenters the outboard market with E-TEC technology it would not end well for them. The loyal dealers were burned twice, once with the bankruptcy of Evinrude (OMC) and then with Evinrude (BRP) pulling the rug out from under them and shuttering the Evinrude brand. Dealers were faced with live-or-die decisions to take on a replacement brand and invest heavily in training, tools, inventory and more to re-establish themselves as an outboard dealership and I highly doubt many of them would want to re-engage with Evinrude after such treatment.

It's a shame since the E-TEC G2 offering is a wonderful engine, but unless BRP are going to undercut the market leaders to make it an attractive value over the entrenched four-stroke offerings, BRP wouldn't stand a chance. I just don't see any upside after the missteps already made.

D-

Duckmanreno
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Re: Evinrude Rumors

Postby Duckmanreno » Mon May 10, 2021 12:10 pm

The E-TEC engines seemed to be priced on the high side. I was never able to find what i considered a good price for an E-TEC within a reasonable distance from my house.

The perception that you have to get a four-stroke engine to go on Lake Tahoe or some of the other lakes in California also hurt Evinrude.

Just my opinion

jimh
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Re: Evinrude Rumors

Postby jimh » Tue May 11, 2021 9:52 am

Return to some limited production of just certain models seems possible. For example, the original three-cylinder E-TEC 90-HP and the 2.7-liter V6 150-HP for the legacy E-TEC, and the most recent E-TEC G2 115-HP and 140-HP models seem like possible renewed models. Those engines are attractive due to their lighter weight compared to competitors’ engines.

DT’ reminds us all that the E-TEC engines live on in other power sport products. In the SKI-DOO sleds they produce amazing power output per liter displacement.

jimh
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Re: Evinrude Rumors

Postby jimh » Tue May 11, 2021 10:26 am

Duckmanreno wrote:The perception that you have to get a four-stroke engine to go on Lake Tahoe or some of the other lakes in California also hurt Evinrude.


Yet the FACT that Mercury could not sell VERADO engines in California due to non-compliance with emissions is not considered as "hurting" Mercury?

The real FACT was the E-TEC was more compliant that any four-stroke. But a badly misinformed public has always been a problem, and today there is no better and faster way to misinformation than on-line.

Duckmanreno
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Re: Evinrude Rumors

Postby Duckmanreno » Tue May 11, 2021 12:13 pm

jimh wrote:
Duckmanreno wrote:The perception that you have to get a four-stroke engine to go on Lake Tahoe or some of the other lakes in California also hurt Evinrude.


Yet the FACT that Mercury could not sell VERADO engines in California due to non-compliance with emissions is not considered as "hurting" Mercury?

The real FACT was the E-TEC was more compliant that any four-stroke. But a badly misinformed public has always been a problem, and today there is no better and faster way to misinformation than on-line.

I learn something every day here. I did not realize the VERADO could not be sold in California. I should have known that.
I am aware that the E-TEC was more compliant then the four strokes.

jimh
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Re: Evinrude Rumors

Postby jimh » Tue May 11, 2021 1:08 pm

Duckmanreno wrote:I learn something every day here. I did not realize the VERADO could not be sold in California. I should have known that.


Yes, at one point Mercury had to lower the VERADO to be certified as only a Two-Star Compliant engine. Here is the text of c. 2006 article from IBI Magazine attributed to Michael Verdon, with portions highlighted:

Verado CARB rating change leaves unanswered questions
By IBI Magazine/Michael Verdon

Mercury Marine has recently made technical changes to Verado outboards shipped to US dealers by increasing its fuel efficiency in order to counter the rising price of fuel in the US. It began to ship the more fuel-efficient engines last month. But the increased efficiency, according to Mercury officials, has also meant an increase in hydrocarbon/NOX emissions levels. The higher emission levels has also prompted Mercury to downgrade Verado from the California Air Resources Board (CARB) Three Star designation to the "very low emissions" Two Star....

...The company will be allowed to sell the Two Star Verado in volume until January 1, 2008....


To be clear, after the Three-Star minimum went into effect in c.2009, a new engine rated as Two-Star compliant could still actually be sold in California, but only if the manufacturer was also selling enough engines rated as better than Three-Star compliant to bring their corporate engine sales mix total emission reduction to meet the Three-Star level. So in effect, a Two-Star compliant engine like a VERADO (at that time) could only be sold by Mercury in California to the extent that Mercury could keep their total outboard engine product mix sales in California compliant with the requirements of Three-Star reduction in emissions. All the emission regulations work that same way. There is a BASE level of emissions, and over the course of a long period of phasing in more and more restrictions, the total emission from all the new engines sold by a company would have to remain compliant with the required level of reduction in emissions. That meant that only by selling many engines whose emission output was lower than Three-Star, could Mercury then sell one Two-Star engine. Also, I think the horsepower mix was included, as a 300-HP Two-Star rated engine would put out a lot more of the regulated emission than could be compensated for by one 25-HP Three-Star engine. The practical effect was to put a lid on sales of VERADO engines in California as long as the VERADO remained at the Two-Star certification level.

I don't think Mercury really was very worried about VERADO sales in California. In the early days of VERADO about 99-percent of them were sold within 50-miles of Ft. Lauderdale, Florida, based on sighting reported by a website participant who saw them "everywhere" in that region, while in the Great Lakes it took me about eight years before I saw the first one actually on a boat and underway.

hauptjm
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Re: Evinrude Rumors

Postby hauptjm » Wed May 12, 2021 11:55 am

Since the sub-topic of Lake Tahoe and E-TEC engines came up in this thread, I did a two-second google search and came up with the following regarding how detailed the Lake Tahoe folks are in what's allowed on their lake: https://www.trpa.org/programs/watercraft/

dtmackey
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Re: Evinrude Rumors

Postby dtmackey » Wed May 12, 2021 12:23 pm

hauptjm wrote:Since the sub-topic of Lake Tahoe and E-TEC engines came up in this thread, I did a two-second google search and came up with the following regarding how detailed the Lake Tahoe folks are in what's allowed on their lake: https://www.trpa.org/programs/watercraft/


Straight from the Tahoe Regional Planning Agency.

Outboard Engines:

ALL Four-Stroke Makes and Models such as:
- Honda
- Mercury
- Yamaha
- Johnson
- Suzuki
- Nissan

Direct Fuel-Injected (DFI) Two-Stroke Makes and Models such as:
- Evinrude E-TEC Direct Injection Engines
- Mercury Opti Max Direct Injection
- Yamaha High Pressure Direct Injection

D-

jimh
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Re: Evinrude Rumors

Postby jimh » Wed May 12, 2021 12:28 pm

As demonstrated above, I do not believe there was any reasonable basis for an owner of an E-TEC to believe that the engine would be restricted in its use on Lake Tahoe, other than perhaps listening to dock talk from uninformed other boaters. The E-TEC engine was globally recognized for its outstanding achievement in reduction of emissions, so it would be hard to imagine that the residents of California were completely in the dark on that.

Mambo Minnow
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Re: Evinrude Rumors

Postby Mambo Minnow » Fri May 14, 2021 7:17 pm

Great BRP statistics if you own a snow mobile, but I’m in Florida and this is a boating site.

I never mentioned Mercury, I’ve owned both Mercury’s and Evinrudes for the record.

Bottom line: Both E-Tec and Optimax were doomed due to Goverment environmental regulation.