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The Inevitable Emergence of the Mercury Monopoly

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The Inevitable Emergence of the Mercury Monopoly

Old 02-13-2021, 04:34 AM
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Default The Inevitable Emergence of the Mercury Monopoly

It's great to see an American manufacturer become so dominant in an industry as Mercury has in the past few years.

The explanation for its success, as I see it, is the outboard product is mission critical to it's parent company Brunswick's survival. It's 100% focused on marine products.

In contrast, Mercury's Japanese competitors are huge conglomerates. Their outboard divisions make very small contributions to their bottom lines. Their motorcycle divisions are a distraction.

With Yamaha's market share facing and ever steeper downward spiral, it's conceivable Yamaha could make a strategic decision to pull the plug to focus on it's core products. Isn't Honda already moving in this direction?

Will Yamaha and Suzuki rollout new products in the next few years to turn the tide? Or is this the beginning of a monopoly like we've never seen before in the marine industry?

Will we, as consumers, benefit from this dominance or will we literally pay the price?

I have to wonder if it's time to start routing for the underdog.

What say you?

Last edited by tboylan; 02-13-2021 at 06:50 AM.

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02-13-2021, 06:23 AM
davidwademarine
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Originally Posted by dadriva View Post
Your comments on the US market might have a sliver of relevance for a sliver of the boating populous. However, from a rarely viewed by an American global standpoint let me ask you this; how many merc’s have you seen hanging off the transoms of boats in 3rd world countries? How many in developing countries? How many in developed countries?

*edit - some ASSumptions were made by me in this post but just food for thought. No insults intended.
Here’s a map of the only area of the world that I focus my concerns on. I couldn’t care less about the others. They can fend for themselves.


Old 02-13-2021, 04:49 AM
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I guess I missed something???
Yamaha sells far more 90-300 hp outboards than anyone else, including Mercury - so what is your point?
Old 02-13-2021, 04:51 AM
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I am over Mercury threads
Old 02-13-2021, 04:51 AM
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Don’t under estimate the reverse engineering of Yamaha. Many industries and manufacturers leap frog competitors with innovation.
Old 02-13-2021, 05:10 AM
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Mercury is the talk of the town and has been since they released the V6s and V8s in 2018 and then the 450R in 2019. They figured out that having their product releases when nothing else is going on lets everyone focus all of their attention on them. If their competitors don’t get some new exciting and invigorating products to market soon, they will be left in the dust. They’re in a position of playing catch-up and that doesn’t always work out when the product you’re tying to catch is proven extremely reliable and is very desirable. While they’re still worried about also building pianos, dirt bikes and other non-marine products, Mercury is able to focus solely on marine propulsion and bring new and innovative products to market. With a lot more people in the US having pride in purchasing an American product, they’ve put themselves in a position for success throughout this decade and more.
Old 02-13-2021, 05:40 AM
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Flavor of the week!
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Old 02-13-2021, 05:47 AM
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Although I think Mercury has been pushing the bar up for all manufacturers over the past few years, for the 99% of us out here that will never need, use, afford, etc a 600HP motor, no one is going away anytime soon. IMO, the Japanese companies allows Mercury to stay in business as a competitor, which is good for all their businesses. If they wanted to, Yamaha and Suzuki could cut prices on their motors enough to put Mercury out of business.
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Old 02-13-2021, 05:52 AM
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Originally Posted by ByrdmanFL View Post
If they wanted to, Yamaha and Suzuki could cut prices on their motors enough to put Mercury out of business.
If it were that simple, they would’ve done that decades ago. Their building materials prices are too high for that. Recycled Chinese aluminum costs their suppliers more to produce.
Old 02-13-2021, 06:00 AM
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Originally Posted by offshorebri View Post
Flavor of the week!
Agree, for the average boater in the 90-300 category Yamaha, Merc, Suzuki all have solid, competitive products. Most people don’t care about marginal fuel / holeshot gains that differentiate them.
Old 02-13-2021, 06:04 AM
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Your comments on the US market might have a sliver of relevance for a sliver of the boating populous. However, from a rarely viewed by an American global standpoint let me ask you this; how many merc’s have you seen hanging off the transoms of boats in 3rd world countries? How many in developing countries? How many in developed countries?

*edit - some ASSumptions were made by me in this post but just food for thought. No insults intended.
Old 02-13-2021, 06:18 AM
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Originally Posted by ByrdmanFL View Post
Although I think Mercury has been pushing the bar up for all manufacturers over the past few years, for the 99% of us out here that will never need, use, afford, etc a 600HP motor, no one is going away anytime soon. IMO, the Japanese companies allows Mercury to stay in business as a competitor, which is good for all their businesses. If they wanted to, Yamaha and Suzuki could cut prices on their motors enough to put Mercury out of business.
That’s comical, lol !!!! The only reason zuke dominated the repower market was because they were cheapest option, has been that way for years....
Old 02-13-2021, 06:22 AM
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My observation on the northern gulf coast is that Mercury is gaining considerable market share over Yamaha. I’ve had Yami’s and currently have VDO. I totally understand brand loyalty but technology loyalty makes much more sense. Not to mention my gut feeling to buy American now more than ever.
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Old 02-13-2021, 06:23 AM
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Originally Posted by dadriva View Post
Your comments on the US market might have a sliver of relevance for a sliver of the boating populous. However, from a rarely viewed by an American global standpoint let me ask you this; how many merc’s have you seen hanging off the transoms of boats in 3rd world countries? How many in developing countries? How many in developed countries?

*edit - some ASSumptions were made by me in this post but just food for thought. No insults intended.
Here’s a map of the only area of the world that I focus my concerns on. I couldn’t care less about the others. They can fend for themselves.


Old 02-13-2021, 06:24 AM
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Originally Posted by empty canibal View Post
That’s comical, lol !!!! The only reason zuke dominated the repower market was because they were cheapest option, has been that way for years....
.......dont forget reliable. There is a reason they are taking the other guy’s lunch.
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Old 02-13-2021, 06:33 AM
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Originally Posted by ByrdmanFL View Post
Although I think Mercury has been pushing the bar up for all manufacturers over the past few years, for the 99% of us out here that will never need, use, afford, etc a 600HP motor, no one is going away anytime soon. IMO, the Japanese companies allows Mercury to stay in business as a competitor, which is good for all their businesses. If they wanted to, Yamaha and Suzuki could cut prices on their motors enough to put Mercury out of business.
and if this country had any sense about how keep core businesses running they’d sue the Japanese for dumping. Screw them I’d buy Mercury if I wanted an outboard
Old 02-13-2021, 06:36 AM
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Originally Posted by davidwademarine View Post
Here’s a map of the only area of the world that I focus my concerns on. I couldn’t care less about the others. They can fend for themselves.

not only can they fend for themselves our clueless government better get off its sorry ass and learn how to foster and protect core businesses JUST LIKE JAPAN AND SOUTH KOREA DO. It’s shameful what’s been allowed to happen here.
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Old 02-13-2021, 06:44 AM
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I have not been to any boat shows recently but I hear the ratio of Mercury to Yamaha is higher than ever.
Old 02-13-2021, 06:47 AM
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Originally Posted by tboylan View Post
It's great to see an American manufacturer become so dominant in an industry as Mercury has in the past few years.

The explanation for its success, as I see it, is the outboard product is mission critical to it's parent company Brunswick's survival. It's 100% focused on marine products.

In contrast, Mercury's Japanese competitors are huge conglomerates. Their outboard divisions make very small contributions to their bottom lines. Their motorcycle divisions are a distraction.

With Yamaha's market share facing and ever steeper downward spiral, it's conceivable Yamaha could make a strategic decision to pull the plug to focus on it's core products. Isn't Honda already moving in this direction?

Will Yamaha and Suzuki rollout new products in the next few years to turn the tide? Or is this the beginning of a monopoly like we've never seen before in the marine industry?

Wil we, as consumers, benefit from this dominance or will we literally pay the price?

I have to wonder if it's time to start routing for the underdog.

What say you?
Dominant? How so? They certainly dominate with BW since there is no motor option other than Merc. Do you think that hurts BW sales? Most older used BWs I see have Yamahas hanging on the back. I see more Yamahas hanging on the back of boats (new & used) than any other brand.

Mission critical? Corporate speak for all our eggs are in one basket. If this fails we die. Yamaha and Suzuki actually have the advantage here. They could sell engines at a loss and survive.

Yamaha market share on downward spiral? There was a massive shortage of Yamaha motors available, because they SOLD out, just a couple of years ago. Those sales went to other brands by default not choice.

All manufacturers have been innovating, that is how they stay alive, with new products.

The new Mercury V12 600, very innovative. Time will tell if this is just a POS heavy anchor or benchmark product.

Do we consumers benefit from dominance? Hell no! Consumers benefit from competition, innovation, and choice...and with all this the prices just keep increasing.
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Old 02-13-2021, 06:48 AM
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Originally Posted by davidwademarine View Post
Mercury is the talk of the town and has been since they released the V6s and V8s in 2018 and then the 450R in 2019. They figured out that having their product releases when nothing else is going on lets everyone focus all of their attention on them. If their competitors don’t get some new exciting and invigorating products to market soon, they will be left in the dust. They’re in a position of playing catch-up and that doesn’t always work out when the product you’re tying to catch is proven extremely reliable and is very desirable. While they’re still worried about also building pianos, dirt bikes and other non-marine products, Mercury is able to focus solely on marine propulsion and bring new and innovative products to market. With a lot more people in the US having pride in purchasing an American product, they’ve put themselves in a position for success throughout this decade and more.
You’re assuming that “new and exciting” is the only business model.

”Boring and reliable” sells just fine. Japanese car manufacturers have followed this business model for decades and still dominate the global market. Same for VW (yawn).

Meanwhile the “big 3” US companies keep coming out with new and exciting and higher horsepower products, all while losing market share.

Personally I like high hp products but the “boring and reliable” are what sells.

It’s hard to tell from your post, but which product are you a dealer for?
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Old 02-13-2021, 07:17 AM
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Merc is simply competing harder than the other manufacturers now. Preference for outboard brands varies by region. In the northeast for many, many years, nobody wanted a merc hanging off the back of their boat. They were the brunt of jokes. When direct injection 2 strokes first came on the scene, FICT was a disaster for OMC, and the Opti Bomb was the same for Merc. (Both made these engines much more reliable over time but it was too late) Yamaha took over from that point on and it carried over to 4 strokes.

Now, Merc has taken over as the innovator and the latest gen of lightweight 4 stokes, if they stand the test of time, will make or break them. The 600 v12 is an albatross with few applications only for those with the $. At 75k each, I am wondering if the inboard diesel market picks up again since the prices are now comparable. If you don’t want to cruise at 40 knots in a cc beating your brains out and sitting on beanbags - a nice 32 kt cruise in an inboard boat is way more comfortable in the slop.

Yamaha isn’t going anywhere, but it has to recognize that it’s i4 200 is having its lunch eaten by the Merc 200 v6. The v8 300 Merc v the bulletproof Yamaha 300 still remains a good debate. Suzuki is way behind with innovation but makes a really good product that wins in the price category. Honda just doesn’t care.
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