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Posted by on Sep 14, 2012 in Jet Boat, Powerboating, US | 7 comments

BRP to Shut Down Sea-Doo Sport Boat Line

Production of Sea-Doo sport boats will be discontinued, according to the Canadian firm, but Bombardier will continue to honor warranties.

The Canadian firm BRP announced today that it will cease production of its Sea-Doo sport boats and exit the sport boat business over the coming months. BRP also manufactures Sea-Doo personal watercraft and Evinrude outboard motors. BRP will continue to market Sea-Doo watercraft.

BRP to shut down Sea-Doo sport boat line

If you want to get a new Sea-Doo, you’d better hurry – Bombardier is shutting down production of these sport boats.

The announcement is being made just a week before the company’s annual dealer meeting, where dealers would be placing orders for next year’s Sea-Doo product.

BRP has been “shopping” its sport boat assets, which include a manufacturing facility in Benton, Ill., for some time, according to sources in the marine industry. Apparently those assets will still be offered for sale.

“We looked for a buyer for our sport boat business, but that effort proved unsuccessful,” said José Boisjoli, BRP president and CEO. “Consequently, we decided not to resume production of the upcoming model year due to seasonal production planning requirements.”

According to a source I spoke to today, the sport boat business has remained profitable for BRP through the economic downturn, which has severely impacted the marine industry, in particular the market for fiberglass sport boats. In fact, the source told me, Sea-Doo boat inventories are very low right now after a very successful selling season. However, the feeling at BRP is that other recreational markets, including the Can-Am ATV division and the growing popularity of the Can-Am Spyder three-wheel motorcycle, represent a better long-term investment of BRP capital. In other words, it could be a long time before sport boat sales rebound to the point of giving BRP a desired return on investment.

BRP entered the boat manufacturing business in 1994 and purchased the assets of Celebrity Boats in 1995, at which time it moved its boat manufacturing operation to Benton, Illinois. Sea-Doo watercraft are manufactured in Canada.

“This is a difficult but necessary decision for BRP,” said Boisjoli. “We worked hard to grow our sport boat business through a serious sales decline that began in 2007. But now, we must focus our research and development resources and capital investments in areas of our business that offer greater growth potential.”

BRP says it will continue to provide parts and honor warranties for its customers.

- Charles Plueddeman

7 Comments

  1. Well, I am not surprised. My wife and I have been saving money for years, and every time we go to purchase a Sea Doo it is still out of our budget because of price increase. Can you say greed?

  2. Very disappointing. After admiring the Sea-doo sports boats for the past 3 years, I am (make that “was”) in the market until I stumbled on this article that production was ending. I do agree with John’s comment above, I was looking for a used Sea-doo sports boat as the retail sticker price at last year’s boat show in Houston was shocking. If BRP was not happy with ROI, perhaps it should have tried to trim the sticker price. Well, I’m only grateful I didn’t buy one last year. I’m sure people who bought a Sea-doo boat new in the past two years are most unhappy. It’s a shame….great reputation…great product….but insufficient ROI, which will now translate into loss of American jobs at the Benton, Illinois facility. Must ROI run everything? If this economy is ever going to rebound, we need to keep the manufacturing facilities we have and try and return to being a manufacturing center. This smacks of another company whose executives are looking for what works best for their take home pay, not what is in the best interest of its customers, employees, much less this country. I’m done with Sea-doo….I’ll never buy a Sea-doo product of any kind.

  3. Oh well, I too was looking to purchase a Sea-Doo craft but that dream is gone up in smoke. Thanks Sea-Doo for looking out for investors more than customers.

  4. Very disappointed. Just started looking after a long family discussion and now I find out the line has been discontinued. Very glad we didn’t purchase in the last few years. “Orphan” vehicles are not the way to go.

  5. This makes no sense saying 2012 was a very successful season to the point that inventories were low and discontinuing the sport boats. F*** this company and f**** their investors.

  6. Have wanted a sea doo jet boat for years and finally am at the point in my life where I can purchase and enjoy. First step today is to google sea doo. Very disappointing and makes me avoid the company in the future

  7. Guys – market conditions drive business decisions. Blame the economy that hit luxury items like boats. They had to increase prices to keep the line and division profitable….to a point. Anyway it is great to hear some are shying away from this terrific brand – nothing else compares to it. If more think the way you do the price will drop and one can get a good used model. I have a 2004 that rocks. A good service center can put it on the computer and tell the number of hours;follow the mfg. recommendations and you will be fine. There are so many out there parts will be available.