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BRP plans exit from sportboat business

BRP announced today that it will exit the sportboat business in the coming months, citing the continued global sales decline in the marine industry, particularly the drop in sales of sportboats since the financial crisis.

The move came despite projections that industry sales are projected to be up 10 percent this year from 2011.

“This is a difficult but necessary decision for BRP,” president and CEO José Boisjoli said in a statement. “We worked hard to grow our sportboat 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 entered the boatbuilding business in 1994 and purchased the assets of Celebrity Boats in 1995, at which time it moved its facility to Benton, Ill.

"We looked for a buyer for our sportboat business, but that effort proved unsuccessful," Boisjoli said in the statement. "Consequently we decided not to resume production of the upcoming model year due to seasonal production planning requirements."

All affected employees will receive “a good transition package,” according to the company, and BRP will continue to provide parts and honor warranties for customers.

Bombardier Recreational Products, a privately held company, manufactures Ski-Doo and Lynx snowmobiles, Sea-Doo watercraft and boats, Evinrude and Johnson outboard engines, Can-Am all-terrain and side-by-side vehicles and roadsters and Rotax engines.

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