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August 01, 2013

Honda Agrees to Supply Outboards to Tohatsu

Honda will private-label eight four-stroke outboards ranging from 60 to 250 hp for Tohatsu.

In an agreement announced July 31, 2013, Honda Motor Co. is set to private-label eight models of its four-stroke outboards for Tohatsu Corporation, beginning in November 2013.

In the first year of the agreement, the private-label outboards from Honda will include 60, 75, 90, 115, 150, 200, 225 and 250 hp models, all of which are also in the current Honda line. Tohatsu's U.S. distributor is headquartered in Texas.

The Tohatsu models -- painted blue and bearing the Tohatsu logo -- will be available in U.S., as well as 17 other countries, according to an announcement by Tohatsu president Mitsuru Kaneko, who described Honda as "the industry's technological leader."

"We are very proud of our new relationship with Honda," Kaneko wrote in a letter with a Tokyo, Japan, July 31, 2013, dateline to Tohatsu distributors. "By adding these larger four-stroke outboards, Tohatsu will now be able to offer a full range of outboards from 2.5 hp to 250 hp and allow us to expand our worldwide distributor/dealer network." Historically, Tohatsu has had similar agreements with Honda Marine in Japan.

Tohatsu's line of outboards for the U.S. currently stops at 115 hp. Its current 40 to 115 models are direct-injected two-strokes, while the 2.5 to 30 hp outboards are four-strokes.

The U.S. division of Honda Marine, based in Georgia, confirmed the agreement, but had few other comments about the development. "Beginning in 2014, Tohatsu branded Honda outboards will be sold via the Tohatsu dealership network in a number of countries internationally," Honda said in an official written statement. "These outboards will be sold and serviced through the Tohatsu dealership network."