With mounting concerns of enormous carbon emissions, cars are becoming greener, more electrified, and even enabling self-parking; and significant attention has also been paid to the marine scene in the recent years. Whether it be outboard or inboard, the marine engine had been considered to be reliable, clean, and efficient. However, as the emission regulations get tougher, manufacturers of outboard engines are likely to dive headfirst into new technologies or derive models from automotive and industrial sectors. In addition to offering efficient and low-cost outboard engines through technological innovations, manufacturers are targeted towards additional desired features such as digital positioning systems, automatic trim, and digital throttle. Color also plays an imperative role in enhancing the efficiency of outboards engines; white engines run about 25 degrees cooler than the black engines in harsh environments – a key focus area of the manufacturers.

The growing demand for outboard engines has been given a boost from a recent economic recovery of reactional boating activities, which has generated high demand for new engines as enthusiasts upgrade engines in old boats. Sensing a steady growth in the world of marine leisure and transport, engine manufacturers are focusing on game-changing technologies to improve boaters experience and add real value to the engines. As today’s consumers lead a hectic lifestyle with relatively less time to develop driving skills and compile practical experience on the water, the reliance on automatic controls and features has been growing exponentially, thereby compelling manufacturers to innovate their products. Apart from enhancing portability and offering customized size of the outboards engines, manufacturers are currently incorporating a range of technologies such as direct-injection two-stroke, EFI four-stroke, and carbureted four-stroke to offer good fuel economy, convenience, and even environment friendliness.

Mass Customization Trend Leads to User-Selectable Features

High-tech engineering in line with digital advancements are pushing outboard engines on a trajectory towards greater innovation and market domination, which is further due in part to broader changes in boating landscape and overall marine industry. Increased inclination towards recreational water sports and marine tourism along with consumers’ expectations for their boats to operate like cars has been resulting into significant changes, and outboard engines are no exception. In the era of customization and digitalization, consumers expect, outboard engines in particular, to have user-selectable features which can be easily controlled via Bluetooth or Wi-Fi connection. To that end, the level of electronic sophistication in new outboard engines is expected to grow rapidly, providing more intuitive user experience.

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However, as with any product, enhanced feature-rich technology inevitably adds to the final costs. Therefore, a perfect balance needs to be struck between the cost and features that helps lower the overall cost of ownership. While manufacturers are differentiating their products and services through innovation and pricing, more focus needs to be placed on stringent environmental regulations and fuel economy norms to gain s distinct competitive edge.

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