Yamaha questions Brunswick’s purchase

KENNESAW, Ga. — Yamaha Motor Corp., U.S.A. reacted to Brunswick Corp.’s purchase of the Sea Pro, Palmetto and Sea Boss boat brands this morning saying the move casts doubt on Brunswick’s claims of injury from Japanese engine manufacturers as the ongoing International Trade Commission investigation into engine dumping nears its conclusion.

“Brunswick’s announcement that it has spent approximately $51 million to purchase Sea Pro, Palmetto and Sea Boss and expand its boat lines flies in the face of its injury claims pending before the ITC,” said Phil Dyskow, president of the Marine Group of Yamaha Motor Corp., U.S.A. said this morning in a press release. “In the past year alone Brunswick has spent over $240 million to purchase boat companies rather than invest in producing motors that the market wants.”

Dyskow said Brunwick’s move was “an outright contradiction of Brunswick’s December 14, 2004 statement to the ITC that it is losing money on the sales of its outboard motors and needs to raise its outboard motor prices in order to make a profit.

“In fact it appears that Brunswick wishes to raise prices on outboard motors so that it can raise capital to purchase additional boat companies. We feel that this should cause significant concern to independent boat builders, which may be purchasing engines from a company that is also their competitor in the boat business.

“We hope that the boating public and the ITC understand that Brunswick’s choice to continue to buy boat companies rather than investing in outboard engine technology is the cause of problems that it is having in the outboard engine market, not imports. Ultimately, no matter how many boat companies Brunswick controls, its success in the outboard engine market will depend upon its ability to supply the engines that the market demands.”

The ITC will rule at the end of January on the question of whether Brunswick has been harmed by Japanese engine dumping practices in the United States.

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