View Full Version : Genmar exits Florida, citing economic conditions

01-08-2008, 03:45 PM
The high cost of doing business in Florida is driving out one of the industry’s biggest players. Genmar Holdings today announced plans to phase out its manufacturing operations in Sarasota in the next six months.

“Unfortunately, negative manufacturing economic conditions in Florida and the state of Florida’s complete lack of interest in attempting to save these jobs has left Genmar with no other choice than to move such operations out of the state of Florida,” said Genmar chairman and CEO Irwin Jacobs in a statement.

He said Genmar, “has diligently attempted to preserve its manufacturing presence in the state of Florida, but it is just too costly compared to the other states where Genmar has existing manufacturing operations.”

Product models larger than 25 feet in length for its various saltwater boat brands will relocate out of Sarasota and transfer to other Genmar plants throughout the United States. The change involves three of the company’s 14 boat brands: Hydra-Sport, Wellcraft and Seaswirl. These three brands manufacture a total of 58 models; 19 of them will be affected by the move.

Today, 67 percent of Hydra-Sports’ models are manufactured in Murfreesboro, Tenn.; 52 percent of Wellcraft’s models are manufactured in Cadillac, Mich.; and 75 percent of Seaswirl’s models are manufactured in Little Falls, Minn.

About 225 employees will be affected by this transition. However, Genmar says its Sarasota employees will earn special incentives during the six-month transitional period. Also, to the extent possible, Genmar’s other plants will offer jobs to several Sarasota employees affected by the shut-down.

Genmar says it will continue to retain “a solid and experienced core group” of boat designers, tool builders and other product development personnel, along with its brand sales, customer service and management in Florida, particularly in light of its proximity to this key boating market.

“While the above decisions and changes have been very difficult to make, the opportunities created for the affected Genmar’s brands and its other facilities are very significant,” said Jacobs.

“We recognize we are entering the beginning of the annual retail boat show selling season and all of our dealers can be assured that supporting them with sales, marketing and product are our first priorities,” Jacobs continued. “The transition referenced above has been carefully planned for a prudent and seamless transition as it relates to our dealers, their customers and our entire organization.”

Genmar, with about 4,000 employees and eight manufacturing centers, builds 14 brands of recreational boats. These include Carver, Champion, Four Winns, Glastron, Hydra-Sports, Larson, Marquis, Ranger, Scarab, Seaswirl, Stratos, Triumph, Wellcraft and Windsor Craft.

http://www.boatloco.com/ME2/Images/px.gif http://www.boatloco.com/Me2/Images/px.gif http://www.boatloco.com/ME2/Images/px.gif