This Is Mercury

How do you make history for 75 years (and counting)? One milestone at a time. Here are some of ours. Check back for frequent updates and to learn more about the Mercury legacy.

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Mercury Marine named Wisconsin Manufacturer of the Year

Mercury Marine was named 2013 Wisconsin Manufacturer of the Year by Wisconsin Manufacturers and Commerce (WMC), the second time the company has received the prestigious award in the past seven years.

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Safety first

Making the most impressive marine performance products in the world isn’t enough. Mercury Marine also constantly strives to improve its performance in every facet of its business, and has earned a reputation as one of Wisconsin’s safest manufacturers.

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Split decision

Competition in the outboard market was tough in the early 1970s, and Mercury Marine found itself at a slight disadvantage.

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The sum of its parts

Most boaters know that Mercury is the most popular propulsion-system manufacturer in the world. But probably not many are aware of the size of the company’s marine parts-and- accessories business.

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Lean, mean machine

The managerial concept of Lean Six Sigma was instituted by Toyota to eliminate different types of waste, then was fine-tuned by major corporations such as Motorola and GE to focus on customer satisfaction, and shortly after was adopted by Mercury Marine with the goal of eliminating waste and maintaining critical quality.

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Strength in numbers

It took Mercury Marine 24 years to sell its first million sterndrive units, but only 10 years to reach the second million — quite a testament for a product that was reluctantly brought to market and met with a cool reception by boat dealers, boat builders and the boating public at large.

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“Bottom of the Lake” tops the list

At the end of World War II, Carl Kiekhaefer was running out of options on multiple fronts.

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Mercury's 25th Anniversary saw major expansion

Historical anniversaries are generally commemorated with festivities. But in the case of Mercury Marine’s 25th Anniversary, the event began with a fight on many fronts.

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Iron Fist pulls no punches

When setting out to write “an interesting book about an amazing man,” Jeffrey L. Rodengen had no idea the journey would last six years and result in a piece of cult literature that garnered him a few close friends and more than a few enemies.

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Four-stroke outboards to the fore

With marine-engine environmental regulations looming on the horizon, Mercury Marine broke the low-emissions outboard barrier in 1994 with 9.9hp and 50hp four-stroke models.

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Mercury Propellers: from wax to works of art

No matter how much horsepower a boat engine generates, a quality propeller will turn that power into performance, and Mercury Marine is known for producing the world’s best propellers. Housed in Plant 98 in Fond du Lac, Wis., Mercury Propellers employs craftspeople who create stainless-steel works of art.

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MerCruiser & Corvette pair for performance

Maybe the best way to prove technical innovation and manufacturing prowess is to be selected to power an American icon. Such was the case in 1988 when Mercury Marine was chosen to manufacture the LT-5 engine for the 1990 ZR-1 Corvette.

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JOYSTICK PILOTING: Safe, easy, one-handed control

Maneuvering a boat in tight spaces— especially a big boat with multiple engines — can be daunting for even the most experienced captains. But with joystick piloting from Mercury Marine, these chores become almost effortless and much safer.

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You're fired! Again!

Of the many legends surrounding Mercury Marine and its founder Carl Kiekhaefer, perhaps the greatest was a story that grew from legend to lore, quickly spreading through Fond du Lac and sweeping across the marine industry and beyond.

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The sterndrive conspiracy

MerCruiser was not the world’s first commercially viable sterndrive, but it could have been.

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Backed by BAC

Boat dealerships need to offer a full showroom of products to be successful, and they rely on a special type of financing called “floor planning” to fill their showroom.

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Environmental responsibility from start to finish

Mercury Marine consistently demonstrates its deep concern and respect for a healthy environment by meeting and exceeding the most stringent environmental regulations, while creating durable, reliable products.

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Racing into the Future

Mercury Racing opened the new millennium with a new identity, a new logo and a new mission. As its president, Fred Kiekhaefer moved to erase the company's image as the "sugar daddy of racing" to instead position Mercury Racing as the maker of the most innovative products for recreational performance applications.

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Win on Sunday, sell on Monday

When Team Mercury unloaded its Chrysler 300 touring sedans at Daytona Beach, Fla., at the start of the 1955 NASCAR season, they were greeted by laughter from competitors and fans.

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Mercury meets Brunswick

The 1950s were growth years for Mercury Marine, and its founder, Carl Kiekhaefer, allegedly received dozens of merger and acquisition offers from larger companies.

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Mercury and the military

Mercury's affiliation with the U.S. military - like many of its earliest projects was circumstantial.

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Lake X marks the spot

E. Carl Kiekhaefer, president of Kiekhaefer Marine (which would become Mercury Marine in 1971), took to the skies of central Florida in 1957 in a small, single-engine plane in search of a site away from prying eyes - and complaining neighbors - where he could secretly test his marine engines day and night.

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Mercury's Roots

In 1939, E. Carl Kiekhaefer purchased a defunct engine manufacturing plant in Cedarburg, Wis., not far from the Kiekhaefer family farm.

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Mercury Moments

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Seventy-five years make for a lot of great times on the water. We'd love to hear about yours. Send us a favorite story, picture, or video and we'll post it. Because Mercury moments deserve to be shared.

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The Mercury Legacy

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"It's a miracle what can be built from a dream with nothing but two hands, an honest heart and ambition."
- E. "Carl" Kiekhaefer

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