BRP’s Boisjoli reviews first year as independent

Minneapolis, Minn. – On the eve of Bombardier Recreational Products’ first anniversary as a stand alone company, editors and executives of Boating Industry’s parent company Ehlert Publishing Group sat down for an on-the-record conversation with BRP president and CEO Jose Boisjoli.

The meeting covered the progress and state of all of the company’s individual divisions since becoming an independent company. And while Boisjoli says the company has historically been managed as silos, it will now be managed more as a whole company. With people and processes in place, and a new marketing campaign for Evinrude’s E-Tec line becoming more and more visible, Boisjoli says he believes in the “incredible product and package.”

Find an overview of the outboard business below. Monthly and annual subscribers to can also view an entire company overview by clicking here.

Jose Boisjoli: When we acquired OMC in 2001, OMC was in development of its second-generation of an EFI engine. It was an unbelievable technology. When we acquired OMC it was half way done and we were not sure of the result, but it turned out extremely well.

We have all the advantages of a four-stroke with the advantages of a two-stroke. (We offer) fuel economy, quiet sound, a better and smaller package, weight, which is significantly lower than a four-stroke, and the emissions. Today, we are cleaner than most four-strokes.

In parallel, we did continue to develop E-Tec. We launched our first four E-Tec engines in the spring of 2003. We have been delivering E-Tec engines in the 40-, 50-, 60- and 90-horsepower categories for a year now. Last summer, we introduced three other additional models, the 200, 225 and 250. Obviously our goal is to have a full range of E-Tec engines.

Our competitors are focusing on four-strokes, and we believe two-strokes are here to stay. Two-strokes (that are) clean have a lot of advantages compared to four-strokes. We are convinced that we can have a good business with a two-stroke engine in the outboard business because of the E-Tec technology.

Matt Gruhn, Editor-in-Chief, Boating Industry magazine: Consumers are hearing more about the four-stroke engine and are wondering if they will be forced to switch to four-strokes. How are you getting out the E-Tec message?

Jose Boisjoli: We’ve been selling E-Tec engines for more than a year now and four-strokes for longer than that. We have done a lot of focus groups (to determine) what customers are looking at. Basically, we’ll target the customer who is looking for performance and the customer who is looking for a high-tech engine.

We will have a complete marketing program that will be launched at the beginning of 2005. (The tone of our marketing campaign will be the benefits of the E-Tec two-stroke engine line vs. other competitive four-stroke models. Smaller numbers are greater than bigger, older numbers.)

We believe with the E-Tec technology we have an incredible product and package. We could not be very aggressive promoting it up until now because we only had four models last year. Now we have seven models and, going forward, we will have a full range of models.

John Prusak, Snowmobile Group Publisher: Does E-Tec have an application to snow, PWC and ATVs? Are we likely to see a spread of this technology to other markets?

Jose Boisjoli: Where there is advantage to have a two-stroke, we could use that technology everywhere. In snowmobile, I believe there is a market for four-stroke, but there is a bigger market for two-strokes. We are doing a very good job with SDI (semi-direct injection). With SDI, we are passing all the emissions (standards). Four-stroke are good for certain applications, and two-strokes are good for other applications. Where it makes sense to use a two-stroke, this is an asset for us, there’s no doubt about it.

Prusak: Are there any limitations to using this; is other development needed?

Jose Boisjoli: No, we could do it tomorrow.

Gruhn: With that same line of thinking, is there a chance you could use the (watercraft) 4-Tec technology in outboards?

Jose Boisjoli: We could do it. You need to realize that we are in a unique situation with Rotax. The team at OMC outboards has developed that technology with E-Tec, and we will never do that again. OMC spent millions of dollars to do it. We have it and because we believe in two-strokes in our industry, we’ll make sure we continue to evolve the technology, but to redesign the technology from scratch is a huge task.

There was a lot of uncertainty when we acquired OMC in 2001, but we have made a lot of progress in the last three years. Now we have a more complete lineup with a new technology and we feel very strong about our strategy.

Related Articles

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back to top button