Suzuki Marine USA, Inc. announced the completion of its Suzuki Marine Technical Center located at 1 Suzuki Way in Panama City, Fla. The 20-acre waterfront property includes a 9,037-sq. ft. main building with office space, conference rooms, technical/service bays, inside boat storage and other important equipment. Other amenities of the property include additional buildings, a private launch ramp with docks, and a 300-foot protective seawall.
A Grand Opening event held at the site brought Suzuki staff from its Tampa, Fla. corporate headquarters, select dealers and boatbuilding partners, local dignitaries, Suzuki Motor Corporation VIPs, and members of the boating press. Among those in attendance were Mr. Shuichi Mishima, Executive General Manager of Marine Operations for Suzuki Motor Corporation in Japan; State of Florida Chief Financial Officer Jimmy Patronis; and City of Panama City Mayor Greg Brudnicki.
“I want to thank Mayor Brudnicki, Bay Economic Development Alliance Chairman Ben Lee, Bay County Commissioner Tommy Hamm, and the many forward-thinking leaders who worked closely with us to bring this project to fruition,” said George “Gus” Blakely, Suzuki Marine Executive Vice President Sales & Service. “Thanks to hard work and cooperation between Suzuki Marine and government agencies, Panama City will henceforth be known as a leading source of marine industry innovation and an epicenter of new outboard motor development. We recognized early on that this was the ideal location for us to achieve our goals — and while it wasn’t easy — the final result has proved us right. We are thrilled to be here, excited about the future and committed to being the type of corporate citizen that Panama City and the entire state of Florida can be proud of.”
“Now that our Technical Center is complete and we have added several important staff members and endurance drivers, we can begin to fulfill our ultimate goal to the boating industry, Suzuki dealers and the boating public,” said Blakely.
“We will be working not only with boat builders and our 1,200 dealers across America, but also with the Suzuki factory to create and refine the outboards of the future. Although we’re based in Florida — the boating capitol of the U.S. — we are also a Suzuki Technical Center for the world,” added Blakely.