Marquis Yachts has received a US $1.5-million loan from the state of Wisconsin. The loan will help Marquis create 315 jobs at the company's Pulaski, WI plant.
“It's general working capital and it's to support the people by bringing jobs back,” says Irwin Jacobs, Chairman of J&D Acquisitions, which acquired Marquis Yachts from the estate of bankrupt Genmar Holdings Inc. “We're doing new tooling and making new models but we're also spending more money than [the $1.5 million].”
According to Jacobs, The loan is forgivable if the company is able sustain a job quota over a 10-year period. The Pulaski plant currently employs 275 workers and needs to employee 315 in order to satisfy the loan commitment over the next 10 years. Former employees of the plant will fill most of those jobs.
“This plant was down for seven months and has started back up from scratch,” says Jacobs. “We were up to 950 people before the economic tsunami of business came last year, and while we're not expecting to get back to that number at the moment, we are anticipating being higher than where we are now. So the loan is very helpful and very important to us.”
Jacobs says he wants the plant to achieve a production rate of 1.5 yachts per week. Currently the plant is producing two to 2.5 units a month. “We should be up to three units a month by next July and hopefully within the next 60 to 90 days up to four a month,” he explains.
Jacobs says the plant has 16 yachts in production so far this month, but wants to get to a cycle of 22 or 23 yachts in full-time production in order to meet demand. He hopes that demand will also grow in Canada, which he says has been an important market for his company's various boat brands. “Canada has been a good market for us and continues to be,” says Jacobs. “I think Canada is the most stable country of all the countries out there. Although the economy in Canada is not quite booming, it is relatively compared to many other parts of the world. Canada is a high priority for us and has been very good to us for our Larson, FinCraft, Seaswirl and Triumph lines.”