Engine panel tackles dumping issues

LAS VEGAS – Both the audience and those participating in the Marine Retailers Association of America’s Industry Leaders Engine Panel appeared to agree that the dumping issue is complex.

Sitting on the panel, which took place yesterday during the MRAA Convention in Las Vegas, were representatives from BRP, Mercury Marine, Yamaha and Volvo Penta.

To no one’s surprise, Mercury’s Pat Mackey and Yamaha’s Phil Dyskow presented vastly different opinions on dumping, but neither strayed from their traditional arguments.

“Dumping laws are there to ensure that people don’t behave in an unfair manner,” said Mackey. “The government has determined at this point in time that the playing field is not level.”

“Dumping is illegal if it can be determined that it has harmed the domestic market,” countered Dyskow. “Nothing has yet been determined.”

Lacking from all of the participants’ comments, however, were any indications of what the potential impact might be on the industry, a fact which disappointed the audience.

While some manufacturers have temporarily raised prices in case it is determined the domestic market has been injured, the one impact all can agree on was expressed by Volvo Penta’s Paul Dirkson.

“It is a distraction in the industry,” he said. “I’m anxious to see it resolved quickly.”

BRP’s Roch Lambert said the outcome may have a “very significant impact on the industry,” but the closest the panelists got to addressing what those impacts might be was a comment from Dyskow.

“It will not put Mercury or Yamaha out of business one way or the other,” he said.

Other issues addressed during the panel discussion were consolidation, dealer training, product quality, fundraising for the Grow Boating campaign, the advancement of technology and government regulation.

– Liz Walz

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