Premier Marine Realigns Manufacturing Facilities

Pontoon manufacturer, Premier Marine, has announced that it will immediately begin transferring the production of its Weeres and Palm Beach brands from its plant in New Ulm, Minnesota to its headquarters in Wyoming, Minnesota, where it currently builds Premier Pontoons. The company says there will be no shipment delays to dealers as a result.

"We're excited about the organizational changes happening at Premier,' says Premier President Lori Melbostad. "We'll be able to integrate our production efficiencies to give customers of all three boat brands a better product and better service. Our skilled engineering department and our sales and marketing teams are looking forward to a more cohesive alignment of our brands. We're moving forward and planning ahead for segment growth. We remain dedicated to all three brands and look forward to building our dealer network.'

After the transition, production will continue for both brands at Premier's main manufacturing plant in Wyoming, while specialized fabrication and welding projects will remain at the plant in New Ulm. "We feel that the production will improve efficiencies, therefore improving profitability,' says Connie Weinman, Premier Marine's Sales and Marketing Coordinator. "We are also confident that this change will result in a more consistent quality product for both boat brands.'

Premier Marine says it will benefit from streamlining its efforts into one facility. "Utilizing one engineering, sales, and marketing and purchasing team will be a big benefit to the brands, efforts will not be duplicated at both facilities,' adds Weinman. "Our Wyoming facility is ISO 9001:2008 certified. We are the first pontoon manufacturer to have this certification; we adhere ISO's high standards of manufacturing processes.'

As a result of the move, approximately half the workforce at New Ulm – 40 jobs – have been placed on furlough. The other half remains at New Ulm to fulfill specialized production as well as trucking and transportation.

Premier Marine employs more than 200 workers to design, build and market 19 models of luxury pontoons and holds many patents on manufacturing elements such as furniture hinges, J-ClipTM rail fasteners, and the PTXTM performance package. The 22-year-old, family-owned and – operated company sells its pontoons through boat dealers located throughout Canada and the United States.

Premier Marine reports manufacturing approximately 3,500 units each year and has a network of 215 dealers. Of those, 22 are located in Canada and four are international dealers.

Weeres Industries was formed in Richmond, Minnesota, in 1952 by Ambrose Weeres. Palm Beach Marinecraft was founded in 1957 and acquired by Weeres in 1985. Weeres and Palm Beach were purchased in 2011 by Premier Marine and operated as independent businesses out of the facility in New Ulm.