Suzuki Motor of America announces tech center

The Japanese outboard manufacturer is developing a 20-acre waterfront property in Panama City, Fla.
Publish date:

Suzuki Motor of America revealed plans for a Suzuki Marine Technical Center USA in Panama City, Fla. on an existing 20-acre waterfront site. The Japanese manufacturer is currently working on renovating the property and could not speculate on an official launch date.

“We are planning a state-of-the-art Suzuki Marine Technical Center that will help us to develop, test and refine the best possible Suzuki outboard products for today and tomorrow. Our goal is to improve people’s lives on the water and ensure everyday mobility for as many people as possible,” said Suzuki Motor of America president Max Yamamoto in a statement.

The location — formerly a research facility for Florida State University — was heavily damaged in 2018 by Hurricane Michael. The company collaborated with city, state and federal agencies to first acquire, then plan, the site’s renovation.

The property includes a launch ramp, a sizeable basin that can be utilized to run and test engines as well as a protected harbor. Suzuki is currently replacing docks lost in the hurricane, repairing the seawall and shoring up the basin as well as retrofitting existing structures on the property.

“Suzuki will be an excellent addition to the business community in Panama City,” said Panama City Mayor Greg Brudnicki. “As our community recovers and improves after Hurricane Michael, we are delighted to welcome global companies like Suzuki into our community.”

The engine manufacturer expects to ramp up the head count at the facility as the operation grows and to collaborate with stateside boat builders in order to refine its line of outboards from 2.5 up to 350 hp. They have also said the property would be used for new product launches and training.

“We are proud to have Suzuki Motor of America developing this new facility in Panama City – and not only from a business perspective,” said Ben Lee, Bay Economic Development Alliance Chairman. “We already knew Suzuki as a respected, worldwide brand, but as we worked with them in selecting a site, we learned that Suzuki is also a company with a deep respect for the marine and coastal environment.”

Suzuki’s president feels it is critical to move forward with the project in regards to the current challenges the industry is facing amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

“This comes at a time when the boating industry is facing unparalleled challenges due to the coronavirus outbreak,” said Yamamoto. “We are confident that our world and our industry will get through this crisis, which is why we are moving forward with this plan for the future.”


ABYC Foundation Seeks Nominations for Educator Award

The award recognizes “an outstanding instructor who is shaping future marine service technicians.”

P.R. Firm Rushton Gregory Signs ePropulsion

The Chinese manufacturer of electric propulsion products introduced a standardized lineup earlier this year.

Dometic Updates Pro-Trim System

The new design allows boaters to trim the outboard and adjust the jack plate without removing their hands from the wheel.

Brunswick Partners with Carnegie Robotics

Through the alliance, Brunswick aims to enhance its autonomous technology offerings.

Nicole Vasilaros to Depart NMMA

The group credits the senior vice president of government and legal affairs for “countless contributions to the protection and expansion of the recreational boating industry.”

Site Unseen

A website is often the first interaction a customer will have with a dealership, but it must provide more than an online brochure or they will click elsewhere.

C.G. Amends Documentation Rules

Federally documenting a boat now must be done every five years, rather than annually.

The 2021 Top 10 Most Innovative Marine Companies Awards

The marine industry consistently honors products and people. The industry, however, has not recognized forward-thinking companies that are moving the industry in new directions. Soundings Trade Only’s mission is to reflect, inform and inspire.