Jacobs urges industry to speak out against Brunswick/Mercury

MINNEAPOLIS – Genmar Holdings, Inc. Chairman and CEO Irwin L. Jacobs released his third letter in less than a month yesterday afternoon, attacking Brunswick and Mercury for initiating an anti-dumping investigation against Japanese outboard engine manufacturers.

Jacobs’ latest letter – addressed once again to all Genmar dealers and U.S. boat manufacturers – calls on the industry to contact the International Trade Commission’s Office of Investigations and voice its opposition to what Jacobs characterizes as an attempt by Brunswick and Mercury to force up the price of outboard engines in the United States.

“I can’t emphasize enough how important it is for you to take the time to either call or write directly to the ITC expressing your concerns over how Brunswick and Mercury are attempting to use the U.S. Government to fill their pockets with your customers and your money,” Jacobs writes. “I don’t believe anyone can deny that what Brunswick and Mercury are attempting to do in raising the prices of outboard engines will have a very negative, if not devastating, effect on boat sales and our industry.

“I believe supporting Brunswick and Mercury today is no different than feeding the hand that bites you.”

Jacobs went on to say that Brunswick and Mercury are supporting an approximately 22-percent increase in duty on all outboard engines imported from Japan so that Mercury can, in turn, raise the prices of the outboard engines it sells by a like amount.

“Frankly, with the high prices of outboard engines today, I can’t imagine how much damage an additional price increase of 22-percent will do to our industry,” Jacobs writes.

Jacobs tells his readers to consider using Evinrude and Yamaha engines as alternatives to Mercury outboards and also says Volvo Penta is a “great alternative” to Mercury sterndrive I.O.’s.

“Finally, I ask every person and company in our industry, dealers and manufacturers alike, to seriously consider doing more business with those companies such as Evinrude, Yamaha and Volvo Penta because without them, I believe Brunswick & Mercury would take complete advantage of the situation given the opportunity to do so,” Jacobs writes.

Mercury said it would have no comment at this time when contacted this morning by Boating Industry for a response to Jacobs’ latest letter.

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