Brunswick to Consolidate Aluminum Boat Production

Brunswick Corporation has announced that it will consolidate a portion of its aluminum boat production within its current manufacturing footprint as part of ongoing efforts to be more agile and responsive to marine market demand.

“For the past several years, we have worked hard to institute more flexibility into our boat-making capabilities,” explained Brunswick Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Dustan E. McCoy. “We have been steadily moving toward 'category'-type production that focuses more on models and segments, rather than the traditional approach of having manufacturing facilities dedicated to a particular brand. Pursuing such a strategy, we have been better able to size capacity to anticipated market demand, utilize our available capacity, improve quality and productivity and significantly lower our fixed costs. As a result, we are more competitive, offering better value and quality products for boaters.”

Over the next several months, Brunswick will transfer production of its Crestliner and Triton aluminum boats, now made in Little Falls, MN, to other plants in New York Mills, MN, Lebanon, MO, and Fort Wayne, IN. As a result, the Little Falls facility will phase down production and close this fall. The change is expected to be transparent to the dealer network.

The Little Falls facility will begin to ramp down production in May, and is expected to complete that process in the fall. During that time, as many as 50 percent of Little Falls' current jobs could be transferred to the New York Mills or Lebanon facilities. The company said that it will work with local community leaders and government organizations to help with the transition of affected employees.

“While consistent with our manufacturing strategy, such decisions are always difficult,” McCoy said. “This decision does not reflect upon the Little Falls workforce or product, but it is the result of our overarching need to develop a more efficient manufacturing footprint that is appropriate to the marine marketplace, which has been under pressure for several years. Since 2007, when the global marine market began to enter into an extended downturn, Brunswick has done much to make our global manufacturing footprint more in line with anticipated demand. This was done to not only mitigate the persistent difficult conditions in the global marine market and economy, but also to ensure that Brunswick can both effectively meet current demand and have sufficient capacity to accommodate increased volume as the opportunity arises.”