After 70 years, is Mercury leaving home?

Mercury Marine was founded in 1939 in Cedarburg, Wis. Is it time to leave the state where it all began?

mike_mugnewBy Mike Davin, Online Editor, Boating Industry Mercury Marine was founded in 1939 as the Kiekhaefer Corporation of Cedarburg, Wis. Now, after a vote by workers in Fond du Lac to reject Mercury’s latest contract offer, the company just took a big step toward leaving Wisconsin, where it has been an institution for seven decades.

Mercury’s headquarters will remain located in the state through at least 2012, when its contract for the Fond du Lac facility expires. However, officials have said the location of Mercury’s manufacturing facilities could ultimately determine where the headquarters ends up.

Mercury has been a global brand for a long time, but to some — particularly in Wisconsin — it retained the aura of a small Midwestern outboard shop done good. What do you think of a possible move? Will it hurt the brand’s image to leave the state where it was born, or is nostalgia for the past a quick way to ensure your company has no future?


  1. Sorry, but we did it to ourselves. Lack of product quality killed domestic mfg.along with the unions. If domestic made goods were equal in quality and features we would not be in this pickle. Wake up America!

  2. I don’t think it’s a lack of quality but a down turn in the economy that caught everyone by surprise. The fact is someone, somewhere will always work cheaper. Should the workers have given in and worked for less without pay increases for 3 or more years? Should they stick to principle and reject the offer may. My thought is there maybe alot of unemployed families soon in WI. I really hope upper management is tightening there belts too!

  3. i am canadian, i was a mercury dealer, this action is a classic case of poor upper and middle managements greed. if i had treated my customers the way mercury marine treated me i wouldn’t have any customers. we have a great saying up here and it goes like this “power with grey and you will run all day, power with black and you won’t get back. i am certainly not sorry for any of you because what goes around comes around and it is coming and not soon enough

  4. Mercury as a corperation has made the revelation that if the union wants to be in the wheel house, they will want the keys to the business next. There are plenty of cities out there ready, willing and able to support the move of any corperation that has its eye on moving. My city Jacksonville Fl would love to see such a corperation come to this port city which is logistically perfect for distribution both domestically and internationally. Did i mention the fishing is great here?

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