Brunswick shuffles MotoTron's operations


Brunswick Corp. is reorganizing its MotoTron division, separating the marine functions and incorporating them into Mercury Marine’s research and development and focused business unit.

The company also announced some leadership changes at MotoTron, along with the reassignment of 23 MotoTron employees to Mercury’s R&D.  

Jeff Ehlers, president of MotoTron, and Jeff Konopacki, director of mechatronics research and development, resigned their positions last week to pursue other interests. David Olson, formerly president of Baja Marine, has been appointed president of MotoTron.

Olson began his career with Brunswick in 2000 as manager of strategic planning for Mercury Marine, where he was instrumental in developing the original business plan for MotoTron. In his new role he will be responsible for the day-to-day management of the MotoTron non-marine business and will help to manage the transition of the MotoTron marine engineering resources to Mercury.

MotoTron, which develops engine control technologies, will diverge from marine-centric technologies and invest in new technologies for non-marine applications. Mercury created MotoTron in 2000 as a business unit to increase the Mercury engine control business with non-marine customers.

“The rapid change in technology and product mix has and will continue to change the needs and requirements of the Mercury R&D and FBU organizations,” Mercury said in a bulletin sent to employees this week announcing the reorganization.

“Products that did not exist two years ago — Zeus and Axius — are just the beginning of a new era of propulsion system design and vessel development,” the Fond du Lac, Wis.-based engine maker said. “Mercury/Brunswick success as a leader in the marine industry depends on our innovation, execution, and overall excellence in these new products.”

Mercury says the goal is to build a core competency around mechatronics integration (electronics and controls) and to leverage these capabilities in future products.

“This is best done with a centralized and coordinated team that is fully integrated into the Mercury/Brunswick R&D and FBU organizations, increasing the focus and alignment of strategic marine resources,” said the company.

MotoTron will continue to focus on non-marine engine control technologies. Mercury said the rate of technology innovation required for non-marine applications requires additional focus and investment to ensure future growth for MotoTron.

“These efforts can be better focused and managed if MotoTron is uncoupled from the responsibilities of directly supporting the marine business,” according to the Mercury bulletin.

MotoTron has operations in three locations: Oshkosh, Wis.; Fort Collins, Colo.; and Columbus, Ind. Mercury spokesman Steve Fleming told Soundings Trade Only that the employees being reassigned are spread out among these three locations. He said, however, the reassignment will not mean those employees will have to relocate to Fond du Lac.

“They will continue to work where they are,” he said.

— Melanie Winters


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