In an effort to prepare for future emissions standards, Cummins MerCruiser Diesel (CMD), Charleston, SC has formed a long-term alliance with Volkswagen, Wolfsburg, Germany to co-develop marine engines less than five litres in size. CMD will market the imported engines in Canada and the U.S as well as distribute and service them.
“This was driven by a need to meet emission regulations now and in the future,” explains Clay Gaillard, CMD's Public Relations Manager. “We felt that this agreement with Volkswagen gave us the best opportunity to have a world-class product offering that would meet the emissions regulations for years to come. Bringing a name like Volkswagen into our family makes great sense.
“The supply portion of the agreement is still in the works, but the assumption is that this is a multi-year agreement with multi-year extension options,” explains Gaillard. “Once the supply agreement is signed indicating what we need 'X number of engines over X number of years', then the agreement will become more concrete, likely in the coming months.”
CMD will begin branding and distributing Volkswagen marine engines as of January 1, 2011. It will also assume responsibility for the service and administration of warranty claims of those engines previously sold under the Volkswagen Marine brand name at that time.
Volkswagen will be supplying CMD approximately a dozen types of marine engines ranging from 40 hp to 350 hp, meaning CMD's existing power range grows as of 2011. “This is a good expansion for us because we only go down to 115 hp at this point,” says Gaillard. “This is critical for growth around the globe. In North America we tend to be a little more of a gasoline centric market, whereas in Europe and emerging markets it's very diesel oriented.”
Gaillard says that CMD's principal customer is largely made up of recreational boaters. “The majority of these engines would go into sport cruisers,” he says. “The Sea Rays and Jeanneau boats would be a good example of the type of boats these engines would go into. However, they'll be able to fit a wide variety of vessels, even down into very small horsepower ratings where they would be suitable for sailboats.”