When Outboard Marine Corporation (OMC) filed for bankruptcy in December 2000, it left many people wondering where they would be able to get OMC parts. Fortunately, a number of suppliers have stepped in to fill the void and you can now get replacement OMC parts and some suppliers provide detailed OMC service videos as well.
What happened to OMC?
Outboard Marine Corporation was a multibillion corporation that was the manufacturer of the Evinrude, Johnson and Gale outboard motors and that also owned several boat manufacturers, including Javelin, Lowe Boats and Chris Craft.
The company was formed in 1929 when the Elto Outdoor Motor Company merged with Lockwood-Ash Motor Company, but the company didn’t start using the name OMC until 1956.
Based in Waukegan, Illinois, OMC became the biggest manufacturer of outboard motors in the world and they were the second largest manufacturer of powerboats. Particularly famous for its brand names of Johnson and Evinrude outboard motors and Chris-Craft and Grumman Powerboats, OMC began to struggle in the late 1980s, partly as a result of fierce competition from their arch-rival Brunswick Corporation.
It was a series of events, however, beginning in the late 1970s, which eventually culminated in the demise of OMC.
The first thing to hit OMC was questions being raised with regards to the impact that the company was having on the environment. This first began with accusation in 1976 that the company polluted Waukegan Harbor, which led to OMC being forced to fund a trust responsible for the cleaning up of the lake. Problems for OMC then began to mount in 1980 when sales plummeted after the Department of Energy, in response to fuel shortages, proposed that boating would be banned on weekends.
In the late 1980s, the boat market reached its peak and then took a rapid nosedive. OMC continued to purchase boat companies in an attempt to maintain demand of its outboard engines and it continued to launch new models, such as Evinrude Spitfire and the Johnson Silver-Star series, but the company continued to lose money.
Ultimately, with the company in financial turmoil, facing stiff competition in Europe from Japanese competitors, and having to release new models in order to comply with new, tougher, EPA guidelines, OMC began to make a series of layoffs and plant closures that spelled the beginning of the end for the company.
OMC filed for bankruptcy in December 2000, and the Johnson and Evinrude brands were bought by Bombardier Recreational Products. The boat division of OMC was purchased by Genmar Holdings of Minnesota.
Where to get help repairing and maintain OMC motors
When OMC closed, there were concerns about how boat owners would be able to continue to maintain and repair their OMC outboard motors, where they would get OMC repair parts from, and how they would be able to source OMC Service Videos and guides. However, with so many OMC motors in circulation, it wasn’t long before independent suppliers and boating enthusiasts started to put their own OMC service and repair videos online and OMC parts became available. It is those suppliers that are now the best place to source OMC aftermarket Sterndrive repair parts and videos.