Lambert seeks to clarify BRP reorganization

STURTEVANT, Wis. – Bombardier Recreational Products’ executive vice president Roch Lambert explained his company’s corporate restructuring yesterday in the latest edition of BRP’s “The Real Deal” newsletter.

BRP said Wednesday that it plans to cut 800 jobs and put two U.S. plants that make outboard motor components up for sale. But Lambert stated emphatically in yesterday’s newsletter that the company’s Outboard Engine Division is not for sale.

“First of all, the decision for the restructuring was necessitated by the rise of the Canadian dollar compared to the U.S. dollar, and the continuous increase in commodity prices,” Lambert wrote. “In the past 18 months, the value of the Canadian dollar has had a negative variation in the range of 20 percent. Because we are a Canadian company, a lot of our cost base is in Canadian dollars. Obviously, this has an adverse effect and necessitates an adjustment in the business. It is not a reaction to sales and should not be perceived as an indication that the future of Evinrude and Johnson outboard engines is at risk.

“Quite the opposite is true. Outboard engine sales are good and we anticipate those numbers to continue to rise, driven by the penetration of E-TEC.”

Lambert said the company’s plants in Sturtevant, Wis., Benton, Ill., and Valcourt, Quebec, will remain its three main manufacturing facilities. He also said the company is looking for “strategic partners” to buy its Spruce Pine, N.C. and Delavan, Wis. facilities – which manufacture components for BRP’s outboard engines.

“This is not a fire sale and we will take whatever time is required finding partners that will continue to support our quality for years to come,” Lambert wrote. “The decision to sell these facilities is simply a continuation of the footprint rationalization plan we have had from day one.”

Lambert said the company will eliminate 100 positions in the United States.

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