Mercury Marine has opened a training and service centre in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, totalling nearly US$300,000 in investment. The company completely renovated the first floor of its base in the city to provide the space and environment for the new Training Centre. “The school is equal to the best Training Centre Mercury offers worldwide, and will operate with a full-time trainer supported by six service engineers,” Bill Gress, president Mercury Marine South America, told IBI.

The new centre has the capacity to provide complete training to 16 students at a time across 20 courses covering all Mercury products offered worldwide from basic maintenance of engines to the most sophisticated technical expertise required to service and repair products. In addition, the school will be used for sales product training for the Mercury and dealer sales staffs.

“This school and our strategy of deployment in the marketplace is the key reason why Mercury is #1 in Brazil. Our customers demand the best and they receive through the best product quality in the market backed up by excellent service support,” says Gress.

Commenting on how the markets in South America have developed in recent years, Gress says: “Argentina is exceeding our expectations and sales are back to normal levels prior to the crisis of 2014. Colombia, Chile and Peru are growing at a pace greater than the market. Brazil, Uruguay and the other countries of South America have decreased significantly from 2014. The growth projections are directly related to economic conditions of each Country and the effect of FX.”

Gress also told IBI that Brazil continues to be the most significant country for Mercury Marine, given the size of the market and product demand. “The key products currently on demand in Brazil are 3.3hp through 150hp, 2 and 4 stroke. Colombia is becoming South America’s largest consumer of Verado engines.

Mercury Marine also recently built a distribution centre in Palhoça, in Santa Catarina, with a 4,000sq m area that can be expanded to 5,300sq m.