Suzuki Marine sets sales records

MIAMI, Fla. – Outboard engine manufacturer Suzuki Marine had the best September in company history and is expecting further growth in 2004, said Larry Vandiver, director of sales and marketing, during the International Boatbuilders Exposition & Conference (IBEX) last week in Miami.

The record-breaking fall numbers were the result of investment in the form of promotions and advertising, according to Vandiver.

He said that going into July, he was concerned about dealer inventories. The programs launched as a result have delivered beyond expectations, however, reducing inventories to the point where the company is sold out of some models.

The most significant sales increases have come from the company’s 115- and 140-hp engines, he added.

Further growth expected in 2004

Vandiver said he expects further growth in 2004 as a result of changes in the company’s product line.

For one, Suzuki will be shipping its V6 engines in late November into December. The company has invested $10 million into the development of these engines, according to Vandiver.

The coming year will be the first in which Suzuki will manufacture four-stroke engines exclusively, offering a range from 4- to 250-hp. The extended range of four-strokes will allow the company to target “sections of the market we’ve never had,” explained Vandiver.

In addition, the company has been growing its dealer base, signing 180 new dealers over the past year and a half. This has been accompanied by growth in Suzuki’s OEM business, according to Vandiver.

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— Liz Walz

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