‘Unprecedented demand’ causes Yamaha to delay engine shipments

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In light of “unprecedented demand,” Yamaha Motor Corp. is asking its counterparts in Japan to focus on reallocating products to the United States so the company can fill orders.

Specifically, Yamaha said that due to “a perfect storm of challenges” it is unable to meet demand for the 2.8-liter, 4.2-liter V6 and 5.3-liter V8 outboards — as well as some Yamaha rigging items — in the time frame the company had originally hoped, in part because its manufacturing operations were in transition.

“It is unprecedented demand, and we simply cannot meet the demands for shipping our product,” Martin Peters, Yamaha Marine Group communications and government relations senior manager, told Trade Only Today. “We are doing our best.”

Yamaha Marine Group president Ben Speciale sent letters to dealers and OEMs acknowledging it was unable to meet its target ship dates and apologizing for delays.

“We are experiencing the perfect storm of challenges for supplying outboards at this higher demand,” said the letter to dealers, which Peters sent to Trade Only. “The marketplace has many years of pent-up demand for larger boats and the outboard motors that power them. As the economy and mood have improved this year, demand for our premium products increased more than we had anticipated.

“This increase in demand has occurred while our manufacturing operations are in transition. The transition was designed to accommodate new products and increased longer-term demand.”

Understanding that its availability to promise dates is “less than stable,” Yamaha is bringing down target ship dates to regain stability. “We will do everything we can to bring the system back up by Dec. 15,” Speciale wrote, adding in bold: “We will continue to ship product during this time.”

The transition in manufacturing operations was designed to accommodate new products, Speciale wrote.

The company declined to be more specific about the type of transition the manufacturing operations were in, saying that some of what it was doing was proprietary.

“There’s tremendous demand in the entire industry right now, particularly for those things that go into larger boats,” Peters said.

Yamaha engines come from Japan, but its propellers — which Trade Only learned were also difficult to procure — are manufactured by Precision Propellers Industries in Indianapolis.

“Since we purchased PPI in 2008, output has doubled,” Speciale told Trade Only in an email. “We have increased output of propellers every year. Output is up 20 percent this year, and we plan to grow it next year.”

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