Volvo Penta announced that is has signed an agreement to become the majority owner of Seven Marine, an outboard manufacturer based in Milwaukee, Wis.
“Together with Seven Marine, we are on the journey to expand the scope of supply with our customers and invest in the creation of a platform to shape the future of the outboard industry,” said Volvo Penta President Björn Ingemanson in a call announcing the news. “This deal will broaden Volvo Penta’s technology platform, offering a modular, cutting-edge solution, regardless of the energy source, to deliver the desired power into the water.”
With this agreement, Volvo Penta is entering the outboard segment. The agreement is scheduled to close within the next week.
“Seeing the growth of the outboard [segment], especially in the U.S. market but also in Europe, and being a leader in the marine segment, it is an interesting segment where we of course see that we will offer our customers a wider range of product by also having outboards in our lineup,” said Ingemanson.
“It really complements the range that we have today. We have the widest range in the industry and a missing component in our range has been the outboard [segment]. But we want to do it in an innovative way and to bring customers a new experience,” added Ron Huibers, president of Volvo Penta of the Americas “This is going to be something to accelerate our leadership.”
Seven Marine was founded in 2010 and produces outboard models running at 557 and 627 hp. The company will be able to further develop its outboard technology to satisfy a wider range of needs for its customer base. Ingemanson said the strategic collaboration will “strengthen our combined footprint in the marine market.”
“Seven Marine is the leader in the high-powered outboard for exclusive, performance-driven customers. We feel they have the strongest competency in the industry. Their approach to exploring new techniques and design architecture is the key driver behind our decision to become the majority owner of Seven Marine," said Ingemanson
Volvo Penta and Seven Marine have been in discussions for years, building a relationship and eventually coming together with this agreement. Seven Marine previously has distributed its product directly as an OEM and through boats shows, but will now have access to Volvo Penta’s dealer network and services.
“This is a great development for us,” says Rick Davis, president and CEO, at Seven Marine. “As a young company we have pushed ourselves forward to revolutionize the outboard experience in a short period of time. And in partnering with Volvo Penta, we will have a solid backing to continue improving the customer experience through the pursuit of technological and innovation advancement.”
Seven Marine will continue to operate as a standalone entity, retaining its brand, product line and organization. Manufacturing will continue at the company’s Germantown, Wis. facility. Huibers will become the chairman of the company.
“This is an exciting step for Volvo Penta,” said Huibers. “We are combining the strength of two highly innovative companies to deliver an unbeatable engine range for the gasoline segment. We will not only come to market with an extremely attractive outboard solution, but we will deliver the benefits of our world-class service network to a broader range of customers.
“We share a common vision for the future. We really see this as the outboard propulsion platform for us then to build on, whatever that power source may be," he added.
The agreement enables Seven Marine to scale its technology to new platforms for the outboard market. Volvo Penta and Seven Marine did not comment on any specifics for new product launches or specifics on what those products will look like, but left opportunities for both companies open. Volvo Penta did say that it expects to see Seven Marine outboards on the boats of Volvo Penta’s OEM clients this season.