Mr. Wizard Looks into OMC's Future

What's Next for OMC?

by Mr. Wizard

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Copyright © 2001 by Polson Enterprises. All rights reserved.

  • Huggins Outboard announces free online test of their picture part reference system used to identify aftermarket
    parts for OMC and other manufactures.

    If your firm is interested in advertising / sponsoring part of this page, please email Mr. Wizard.

  • Please help out Mr. Wizard by emailing breaking news to his attention.
    We have had some requests for this page in other languages.
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    Mr. Wizard is updating this page several times a day.
    Please check back for the latest developments.

    Polson Enterprises Research Services

    Recent News Coverage

      Apr 3: Bombardier press release, Bombardier Recreational Products forms Alliance with Direct Marketing Leader Overton's states Bombardier has joined with Overtons to sell direct. The three pronged program 1. Allows dealers to become web enabled, 2. The new Bombardier direct catalog is a potential vehicle through which dealers can reach their current customer base and possible revive former customers. The first catalogs were sent to U.S. consumers in March and 3. Dealers will benefit from the new Bombardier direct web site, as purchasers will have the OPTION to pickup to pickup goods at their favorite participating dealership.
    Mr. Wizard note: Bet dealers will be really thrilled with this one.

    Mar 30: Today's Bombardier dealer blast fax announced the purchased the Ralph Evinrude Test Center (RETC) in Stuart FL from Genmar Holdings. They say RETC will continue to support our engineers, product developers and marketers in the introduction and refinement of all marine products, including Evinrude FICHT Ram Injection technology. "The RETC will live on as the home of the most capable group of engine and boat handling experts in the world."

    Mar 30: One of our viewers reported, Bombardier purchased the old OMC Hong Kong operation for $20 million.

    Mar 28: PBGC press release on Mar. 15th says OMC is considering moving its underfunded pension plan to private insurers and to eliminate certain benefits.

    Mar 23: Bombardier's blast fax sent to dealers late today announces the recall of all 1999 and 2000 Evinrude 200 and 225 Ficht engines not yet upgraded for potential fuel leak, fire and explosion hazards. Text of recall is below.

    As we prepare to restart outboard production, an issue of significant importance has come to our attention. This issue has to do with the recall of all 1999 and 2000 Evinrude Outboards with Ficht technology in the 200 and 225 horsepower categories that have not been upgraded and were built by OMC. These units may suffer fuel leaks that could potentially result in fire or explosion.

    Supporting the recall of these units is another example of our strong commitment to the dealer network and the customers it serves. Bombardier will absorb the costs associated with this recall. Bombardier has always been and continues to be proactive in promoting the safety of its customers and the boating community in general. We want to maintain the confidence of our dealers in the products they sell and the confidence of their customers. This is a top priority.

    We are currently developing the details regarding the recall process, how to obtain the upgrade kits and compensation rates for making the necessary upgrade. We will be sending this information to you in the very near future. In addition, we will send a letter to all registered owners urging them to discontinue using their product(s) and outlining what they need to do to upgrade their unit(s). Similar letters will be directed to the boating media, in an effort to reach as many people as possible, to alert them to this important safety issue.

    We will also continue to post information on DealerPort and the Web site, as it becomes available. We urge you to utilize these tools form information updates, as this will free up the phone lines and enable us to serve you faster and in a more efficient manner.

    We intend to work diligently with you and your customers to correct his safety related problem and get them back on the water as quickly as possible.

    Roch Lambert
    Vice President and General Manager
    Bombardier Motor Corporation of America

    Mar 26: Boating Industry International article, Bombardier recalls FICHTengines, covers the recent recall and says the Coast Guard will release an advisory statement, perhaps as soon as today.

    Mar 23: Boating Industry International article, Genmar recalls Stratos boats, reports a voluntary recall of Stratos 19SS and 20SS units built in model year 2000. They will be tested and repaired or replaced as necessary by Genmar. They also announce a switch in their earlier warranty position, Stratos/Javelin 2000/2001 models will receive a 5 yr. structural hull, 1 year component parts and 1 year trailer warranty.

    Mar 23: Boating Industry International article, Customers concerned over old FICHT engines, raises the issues discussed on this site earlier. Several are concerned about Ficht fire problems on the older engines and who might be responsible for the liability.

    Mar 21: Boating Industry International article, Bombardier returns 200 to work, reports about 200 have been hired. Still no comment on if will be built in the existing facilities or elsewhere (Canada). The company is still working on its business plan and will make an announcement in ther future, "perhaps within about 2 months". A union representative says they have not received a call back from Bombardier.

    Mar 20: Today's Bombardier blast fax says they are in the middle of recertifying the environmental performance of the engines with the EPA and that is the reason for the delay in responding to orders. They believe the process will be finished in the next two weeks. Each model needs to be recertified. The fax also announces their new web sites that have been up a couple days. and

  • News Coverage Prior to Mar 20th

  • We received a great on-site report from the Bankruptcy Court hearing Feb 8th by an independent sports writer. It details the process used to consider and reject Brunswick's bid.

    Mr. Wizard's Latest Thoughts

    Mar 26: The Ficht recall is inline with my response to one of the fitch fire letters posted on Feb 20th ,
    Mr. Wizard reply: .... "I suspect Bombardier will keep their eye on the fire issue. Although they are not technically liable for past problems, if they try to go forward with the model names and the old units become well know for catching fire, they are smart enough to realize that is not good for future sales and will probably take some sort of action."
    Sounds like my crystal ball worked this time!!

    Mar 23: Genmar seems to not be using their web site as a communication tool during this time. Only has a press release about the purchase. Still does not say anything about the Stratos recall or the Stratos/Javelin warranty. Think they would at least use it when good news like the warranty was allowed along?

    Mar 15: I received a copy of Bombardier's Mar 14 blast fax to the dealers.

    "We are actively developing a detailed plan and will soon be in a position to announce the action plan for the future of this business. ... In the meantime your continued patience is appreciated."
    They posted the same basic content on their web site two days earlier in their March 12 press release:
    "We are now actively developing a detailed business plan and we will soon be in a position to announce our action plan for this business"
    Seems like they might tell their dealers first, even when their is no real news, But wait, looks like they did in their Feb 15 dealer blast fax:
    We will be working on the Business Action Plan in the upcoming weeks to transition these three historic brands into the Bombardier family. We will keep you abreast of the direction in which we will be heading.
    Seems to me, like they must need some help. If I went out bought something for $50 million at an auction and still hadn't figured out what to do with it 5 weeks later, Mrs. Wizard would kick my butt!

    Some Archived Earlier Thoughts from Mr. Wizard.

    Aftermarket Service Parts

      The OMC parts availability problem is now easing because you can identify aftermarket service parts using the web. Huggins Outboard now has a web version of their popular aftermarket parts cross reference. For a limited time, you can visit and try out the PicturePart cross reference. As more and more businesses get full time high speed connections to the web, web based applications such as this will become more and more popular. No installation is required to your local hard drive. The data is always kept up to date by the Huggins Outboard webmaster.

    DEALERS & INDEPENDENT REPAIR FACILITIES! If you need parts for your OMC engines while OMC is not shipping parts, perhaps that part is available on the aftermarket and you don't know who makes it, the aftermarket part numbers, or how much it costs. Huggins can help. Our aftermarket parts cross reference computer program (approximately $100 without images and $500 with images) cross references OMC part numbers to other OEM and aftermarket suppliers and supplies current cost information. This program received the Innovation Award in the Service Shop Category at Boating Week 2000.       Please help support our efforts with this page and tell them Mr. Wizard sent you.

    Robert Huggins
    Huggins Outboard Computer Programs, Inc.
    (919) 787-1836
    Huggins Link

    Job Openings for ex-OMC Employees

    If you are an employer with possible job openings for ex-OMC employees, please drop us a note and we will post them.
    This effort has been so successful we had to move it to the Job Openings for ex-OMC employees Page. Additional employment information is on our OMC Employee FAQ page.

    Please email Mr. Wizard any comments you may have on this page or the OMC situation. We will remove your name and any company affiliation information before we post them. If you request us not to publish you comments, we will honor your request.

    Reader Comments

    Comments below were posted on or after Apr 2.
    Over 500 earlier responses are on our Mr. Wizard OMC Feedback Page.

    Date: Thu, 29 Mar 2001 
    From: C
    Subject: OMC Post-Ch 11
    Now that Genmar and Bombardier have purchased "essentially all" of the OMC
    assets and avoided most of the OMC liabilities, does the remaining shell of
    OMC file for Chapter 7 and dispose of their remaining assets?  Are these
    monies then paid on some pro-rata basis to the poor folks who got stiffed in
    the process??  Maybe some of your readers can shed some info.
    Date: Fri, 30 Mar 2001 From: XX To: "''" Subject: Calhoun update I called an old friend still at the Calhoun plant who is still employed there by the new owners. The first thing was the BMCA greeting. How strange. Our conversation focused on what's happening with the plant and any start up news. They were requested to put a plan together for building 250 60 degree Ficht and 150 Thunder Ficht a day. The timing would be around June this year. Nothing else is in planning for the other familes. The plant continues to ship parts out for P&A. Some raw parts are down to zero stock on hand. The feeling is that some product will be built for a short time then moved. There was also some speculation that Merc. may be very interested in buying the Calhoun plant. Bom is also underway getting state and federal permits. One last bit of news, Bom has purchased the Hong Kong operation for 20 million.
    Date: Sat, 31 Mar 2001 From: CC To: Subject: Chris Craft Hey wiz, Local newspaper says Chris Craft to start up limited production next week. Also that Four Winns is staying in Cadilac after receiving huge $$ tax breaks and incentives to stay. ( long live the ghost of john winn ) By the way, what is vectorworks part in all this? Are they holding the tooling to the roamer? What are they doing for Donzi? How is Donzi fairing from all this? Sign me cc
    Date: Sat, 17 Mar 2001 From: K To: I have a 1999 FICHT 150 H.P. motor. Last year the fuel pump, lower unit went out. Now my motor will not start when its below 40 degrees. The computer is out. . But to fix it Bombardier said that they will not service 1999 FICHT computers. Now another company that has nothing to do with Bombardier will fix my computer for only 572.00 that was to be covered on warranty until July 2001. I own a business and its alot easier to keep an old customer than having to find new ones . Mr. Wizard reply: May sound a little harsh, but your engine was actually warrantied till OMC went bankrupt or July 2001 which ever came first. Bankruptcy came first and you are out in the cold. Plus, Bombardier cant keep you as an old customer. You did not buy it from them. It seems like they could have structured something for the 99s, but they chose not too. Was totally up to them. Time will tell how it plays out. I am sympathetic to your situation and the thousands of others in the same fix. You got burnt. But, you need to remember you were burnt by the old-OMC, not by Bombardier.

    Wed Apr 4

    Date: Tue, 3 Apr 2001
    From: R
    Subject: HEY
    Mr. Wizard, you are a very fair you said, Bombardier never sold
    engines to anyone!!! Why they have to cover 1998 and 1999 products???
    If any of you is upset because Bombardier will not cover warranty on your
    engine, well it is your decision to buy a different brand...Bombardier has
    nothing to do with this situation...thanks to them many families are bringing
    bread to their tables.
    Let Bombardier Work!!!
    Some of You Should Be Grateful That They Are Taking Care of 2000 and 
    2001 the way....they don't have to.
    Date: Wed, 4 Apr 2001 From: XX To: Subject: need info on omc injectors I have read all of the email since you started the episodes. How can i located info on OMC heads with 800 elevation for fire boats which use Hale/OMC power units. we have 5 fireboats and understand that we have to revise the injectors which had sealevel units. Mr. Wizard comment: If someone can help this gentleman, please drop me a note and I will forward the info to him.

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    Voting & Reference

    Vote for Who You Think Will Buy OMC

    If you are a potential buyer or interested party, you might want to get our bookstore to rush you
    a few copies of the OMC and Chris Craft Histories.

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    on our OMC News Page

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