Yamaha Marine Group, the Cypress-based outboard motor marketing unit of Japan's Yamaha Motor Corp., has signed the biggest supply deal in its 16 years in the U.S.
The pact with Genmar Holdings Inc. of Minneapolis calls for Yamaha Marine to build and supply a range of outboard motors to eight powerboat companies owned by Genmar.
Yamaha wouldn't discuss potential sales or earnings from the deal, which adds Yamaha motors to a short list of outboards that customers can order from the Genmar-owned companies.
But the potential is huge.
Americans spent $12 billion on powerboats, motors and accessories last year, and several of the Genmar companies are powerhouses in the industry.
The eight boat makers that will offer Yamaha outboards are Wellcraft and Aquasport Boats of Sarasota, Fla.; Glastron, Larson and Crestliner, all of Little Falls, Minn.; Ranger Boats of Flippin, Ark.; Nova Boats of Junction City, Kan.; and Lund Boats of New York Mills, Minn.
The companies make recreational runabouts, freshwater and saltwater fishing boats and pontoon boats.
Yamaha Marine sells outboards for more than 70 brands of powerboats. The company also makes and markets boats of its own under the Cobia, Century, Skeeter and G3 brands.
The company was established in Japan in 1965, began selling outboards in the United States in 1975 through another company, and opened its own U.S. unit in 1975.