Yesterday’s post highlighted the inventive nature of outboard motor innovator Ole Evinrude. Today, let’s take a look at a few trials and tribulations the Evinrude company has faced throughout its long and storied history. The company’s first major competitor, Johnson Motors, got its start in a Terre Haute, Ind., garage. Johnson focused its attention on planes and boats, releasing the world’s first heavy outboard engine in 1926. The stock market crash hit Johnson especially hard, and Evinrude managed to buy up controlling shares of the company. The Outboard Marine and Manufacturing Corporation, or OMC, was born.
Business boomed during most of the rest of the 20th century, but things took a turn for the worse in 2000. With flagging sales and an inability to cope with increasingly strict environmental standards, OMC announced bankruptcy. That’s where Bombardier Recreational Products came in. The Canadian company purchased the Evinrude and Johnson brands and strove to uphold their proud tradition. The company has continued to produce high-quality Evinrude XD100 oil among many other products for boating enthusiasts.