Mercury Marine had a banner 2018 and now the Wisconsin company has a major award to show for it.

The marine propulsion and technology company was named Wisconsin Manufacturer of the Year in Mega category, an award that is presented annually by the Wisconsin Manufacturers and Commerce. This is the third time Mercury Marine has won the award, collecting trophies in 2006 and 2014.

John Pfeifer
Mercury Marine President John Pfeifer celebrates Wisconsin Manufacturer of the Year.

“This award is for the more than 6,000 employees at Mercury Marine around the world and the tens of thousands who have been a part of our growth over the past 80 years,” said John Pfeifer, Mercury Marine president, in a press release. “Their tireless work and passion for the company has allowed us to continue to set the pace for innovation for the entire marine industry.”

The award is a big deal considering that Wisconsin is home to major manufacturers including Harley-Davidson, Kohler, Oshkosh Corp. and Ashley Furniture Industries. Mercury Marine, based in Fond du Lac, surpassed $3 billion in sales in 2018 for the first time in company history. Pfeifer shared some of the highlights:

–Accomplished the largest new-product rollout in company history, including the introduction of 19 new outboard engines.
–Broke ground and completed a 20,000 square-foot research facility.
–Acquired Wisconsin-based Power Products, a major manufacturer of parts and accessories.
–Expanded Mercury’s workforce by 12 percent to support increased production.

Mercury Marine Award
Mercury Marine’s John Pfeifer accepts the Wisconsin Manufacturer of the Year award.

“Although Mercury has unveiled many new innovations and has amassed many successes through the years, 2018 stands out as a particularly remarkable year of achievements that will help to shape the future of both Mercury Marine and the entire boating industry,” Pfeifer said.

This year the company is celebrating its 80th anniversary. Founded by engineer Carl Kiekhaefer in 1939, the company expanded into Fond du Lac in 1946 and has remained there since. An economic study done by the Fond du Lac Economic Development Corp., estimates that Mercury has a $4 billion impact annually on the local Wisconsin economy.

The manufacturer of the Year awards are presented annually by the Wisconsin Manufacturers and Commerce to Wisconsin companies that produce products and employment opportunities in their local communities.