Volvo Penta is phasing out production of its Seven Marine outboard engine range – just nine months after moving assembly of them into the former’s facility in Lexington, Tennessee.
Sales and marketing of the 527 to 627 HP gasoline engines will cease from January 2021 with production ending once customer demand is met.
The company said that it will continue to support the current customer base with warranty and parts responsibilities.
Sweden-headquartered Volvo Penta said that as part of an “accelerated transformation journey the company will put its outboard development on hold”. Volvo Penta only acquired Seven Marine in 2017.
President of Volvo Penta, Heléne Mellquist, who was appointed to the post just two months ago, said:“ We want to send a clear message.
“Volvo Penta does foresee that the outboard segment will continue to be relevant for the marine leisure market, but we believe that the indisputable need to drive advancements in sustainable technology must be our main focus.
“This is why, for the time being, the exploration of new technology together with the development of our core business, such as Volvo Penta IPS (Inboard Performance System) and sterndrives, will be the center of our efforts.”
Seven Marine started producing its engines at the 210,000 square foot Lexington facility in February this year. The site houses Volvo Penta’s production of all gasoline engines and drives for worldwide distribution. It also houses a final assembly line for production of industrial off-road engines.
The company said that it was “too early for us to say when it comes to redundancies.”
In addition to Lexington, Seven established an outboard engineering office in Germantown, Wisconsin – the base for Seven Marine founder Rick Davis. Commenting on the future of the Wisconsin base Volvo Penta said:“We don’t know at this stage what the consequences are for the engineering office in Germantown.”
In February Volvo Penta said moving production into the Lexington site “is part of the overall strategy to further develop the company’s outboard offering.”
In a statement to Diesel Progress the company added: “The Seven Marine engines are a relatively small piece of the total production. So, we don’t foresee any major changes to the Lexington factory.
“Volvo Penta will continue to sell Seven Marine engines until the end of 2020. When the production of the sold engines is completed, we will stop the production.”
As part of the Seven Marine announcement Volvo Penta announced that it is “to redirect further resources into accelerating its sustainability development, which is about reaching zero emissions – through fossil-free, renewable fuels, electric, hybrid technology – while continuing to provide innovative solutions to the marine industry.”
It added:“Volvo Penta welcomes this increased focus across the Volvo Group. We will support these objectives by intensifying our ongoing efforts and resources towards continued development of sustainable solutions,”
“This focus includes advancements of innovative solutions such as our unique Volvo Penta IPS and sterndrive ranges.”
Volvo Penta said that as a result of this “transformation journey” the company is putting the outboard development on hold.