Brunswick Corporation announced significant changes to its Bayliner brand on Tuesday, that will see the nameplate focus North American production on bowriders and a new line of new jet boats while moving production and sales of its cruiser products to Brazil.
"The complexion of the global marine marketplace continues to evolve, and so does Brunswick,' explained Dustan E. McCoy, Brunswick's Chairman and CEO. "Our continuing challenge is to adapt our brands, models and technologies to best appeal to today's boating consumers as well as the shifting global marine marketplace.'
As a result of the consolidation, Brunswick's cruiser plant near Knoxville, Tennessee, will cease production by the end of 2012. The plant currently has a full-time workforce of approximately 225.
"Our current plan reflects a change in focus for Bayliner's global product portfolio to emphasize and expand its leadership across a broader set of recreational day boat craft types,' said Andrew E. Graves, President of the Brunswick Boat Group. "In doing so, we continue Bayliner's legacy of successfully anticipating and adapting to the marketplace for more than 50 years. Over the next several months, we will introduce an all new line of bowriders, a new series of deckboats with innovative and modern design, and we will launch the Element, our newest concept in affordable boating. In 2013, Bayliner will enter the jet boat category with a new series of boats. We believe this effort will solidify our position in the market and offer dealers and boaters a wide variety of choices and models.
"Additionally, Bayliner will make its Brazil operations the center for its cruiser business, but will suspend the brand's cruiser sales and production outside of South America,' continued Graves. "We will continue to maintain our leadership position in the North American cruiser segment with our Sea Ray brand.' The move will result in a consolidation of Brunswick's US cruiser production for Sea Ray into its Palm Coast, Florida, and Vonore, Tennessee facilities after the Sea Ray plant in Knoxville is also closed at the end of 2012.
The move will result in a consolidation of Brunswick's US cruiser production for Sea Ray into its Palm Coast, Florida, and Vonore, Tennessee facilities.
"Though the US marine marketplace has improved recently, the recovery has been uneven across the various market segments,' McCoy said. "While sales of smaller boats, such as popular fishing boats and pontoons, have improved, demand for cruisers and larger boats remains weak. We believe this is due to a number of factors, including continuing economic uncertainty as well as a cautious and evolving consumer. The actions announced today are a necessary step in enabling us to reach our near-term operational and financial objectives, while positioning the Company to exploit future market growth in the fiberglass boat segment.'