Crownline Resuming Production Late September

Crownline Boats, West Frankfort, IL, has announced it will resume boat production for the last week of September.

“That gives us time to realign the plant, reconnect with the suppliers and get the needed raw materials,” said Kevin Riem, vice president and general manager of Crownline Boats. “We also need to secure the initial orders for production, the purchase orders and the production mix. We're targeting September 28 for our return to production.”

The decision to resume production follows the recent acquisition of Crownline Boats by Tony Zielinski, owner of Leisure Properties LLC and Dave Wilson, owner of Misty Harbor and Ultracraft.

“We'll be reinitiating our new product team, which will consist of anywhere from 10 to 16 employees,” said Riem. “That won't be operational until sometime near mid October. So our goal is to have three to four new boats for the 2011 model year, and we are already communicating this to our dealers. We brought 20-plus new models to the market over the last four to five years, so we still have a very fresh product line. For us to miss one year on new introductions is still a much more favourable position than that of many of our competitors. However, our commitment to new product and driving incremental opportunities in the market is still part of our company's philosophy.”

According to Riem, new models for the 2011 will be announced at the company's dealer meeting scheduled for September 2010.

It was also announced that some Crownline employees would be returning to the company under its new ownership. According to Riem, it's Crownline's “goal to have 100 to 120 employees back before the end of September.”

“Our philosophy is to go back to the basics in the way we've done business in the past and that's to focus on building quality boats, taking care of our customers and our employees,” explained Riem. “We want to thank our dealers for standing by us during this difficult time, their loyalty and their business to Crownline. It has been a tough year. It has been tough for them to not have factory support for the last six to nine months. The bottom line is this company is going to do all it can to step it up and make it right and reward these people for being loyal to us.”