Mercury sends letter to dealers, builders

FOND DU LAC, Wis. – Mercury Marine reiterated its position yesterday regarding the ongoing engine-dumping investigation of Japanese outboard manufacturers in a five-page letter addressed to Mercury boat builders and dealer partners.

John Hoagland, Mercury’s vice president of OEM Sales and Marketing, and Jack Malone, vice president of Dealer and Retail Sales, stated in the letter that they wanted to answer questions the boat builders or dealers might have. They said they also wanted to remind readers “of the concerns at the core of our actions: restoring and preserving choice and fair competition among all marine engine manufacturers.”

The letter discussed product “dumping,” defining it and explaining why it is harmful, then went on to once again explain why and how Mercury believes Japanese outboard engine manufacturers have dumped engines in the U.S. market.

“At their root, Mercury’s actions are meant to ensure you will have domestic and Japanese competitive choices when you purchase outboard engines today, tomorrow and years from now,” Hoagland and Malone wrote. “There is no smoke, no mirrors and no hidden agendas as some would have you believe; there is only Mercury’s genuine desire to compete effectively and fairly for your business. “

Mercury said it believed the growth of the Japanese outboard market was due to “artificially deflated prices” that have resulted from dumping.

“In 1995, Japanese companies enjoyed approximately 22 percent of the U.S. outboard market. Today, they have approximately 54 points of market share. We believe the growth was due largely to deflated prices,” Hoagland and Malone wrote.

Mercury said it expects the International Trade Commission to make its final ruling on the dumping issues in February, and urged anyone with concerns about the issue to contact Olympia Hand of the ITC’s Office of Investigations.

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