Honda SA Forms new Alliances
Major engine mogul now exclusive dealer for Chaparral, Robalo
For the second consecutive year, Honda Marine has become the fastest growing outboard engine brand in South Africa. Now, Honda Marine SA has become the exclusive distributor for Chaparral and Robalo Boats in Southern Africa and the West Indian Ocean
Despite tough economic times within the boating market, Honda is still a marine brand on the rise, and one to keep a close eye on.
Powered by the kudos, world-reputation and backing of the Honda name, Honda Marine’s comprehensive range of 4-stroke outboard engines, from 2 to 250HP, has captured the imagination and hearts of the discerning South African boating public.
Ever since the introduction of the GB30 in 1964 (Honda’s first outboard engine), Honda has pioneered the development and production of 4-stroke outboards with a low impact on the environment based on the philosophy of their founder, Soichiro Honda, who said that “Rice grows in water, and fish live in the water, a product that runs over the water should not pollute it.” In addition to the environmental benefits, people also want great performance, outstanding reliability, smoothness of operation and top drawer fuel efficiency, all in an outboard package that offers superior advanced technology and most importantly affordability.
They’ve been looking for all these qualities in an outboard engine for some time now and are quickly realizing that the only power supply destination in which they’ll find them all is in a Honda, hence the rapid growth.
To keep abreast of customer demand, Honda Marine has been steadily growing its dealer network infrastructure and looking for dynamic ways to differentiate itself from the rest of the market.”
Certainly this new partnership with Chaparral and Robalo Boats clearly represents the first of many steps in which Honda is establishing an exclusive trading environment for its dealers where every customer’s individual boating needs can be met. As Clinton Lambert, divisional manager for Honda Marine Southern Africa says, “We are constantly striving to find diverse and exciting ways to satisfy our customers, to support our dealers and to grow the Honda Marine brand. We must cater for all customer requirements from entry-level boats right up to top-end imported boats”. He went on to say that with over 40 years’ experience and a worldwide reputation for manufacturing high quality craft, the exclusive tie-up with Chaparral and Robalo is a major coup for the Honda Marine brand. “There is a definite market for these majestic boats and Honda Marine wants to play a leading role in getting them back onto South African waters.”
The Chaparral business, whose first boat was a 15-ft Tri-Hull and sold for a whopping $675, has now evolved into a comprehensive fleet of 29 boats ranging in length from 18-42 feet. Chaparral experienced some changes in ownership over the years, finally being bought by RPC in 1986 who then in turn bought Robalo from Brunswick in 2001, the spin off from all these acquisitions being the establishment of the Marine Products Corporation – a 1 200 000 square foot facility that now houses both Chaparral and Robalo under one roof, a total area of some 100 acres! Also fuelled by Chaparral founder Buck Pegg’s lifelong passion for blue water fishing, Robalo has constantly been expanding its reach throughout the world by introducing brand-new or completely retooled boats on an annual basis, keeping the highly reputable Robalo name right at the forefront.
Both brands have enjoyed much success with Chaparral leading the way with 13 ‘Boat of the Year’ Awards – the most achieved by any boat builder ever! Certainly Honda Marine SA firmly believes that they’ve partnered with a winning combination and are looking forward to properly launching their involvement at the Johannesburg Boat Show in August, where Chaparral Xtreme 224, SSi 226, and SSX 287 models, together with Robalo R247 and R240 models, will hopefully be on display. The Honda Marine dealer network look forward to seeing you there.
For more information, visit www.honda.co.za or call (011) 847 9400.