Viking Yachts hopes furloughs are temporary

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Viking Yachts, of New Gretna, N.J., furloughed 175 workers, but hopes to bring them back after the Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show, which opens Oct. 28.

“We’ll see how Lauderdale goes,” Viking spokesman Peter Frederiksen told Soundings Trade Only this morning.

“Basically, for us, our buying season is Lauderdale to [the] Palm Beach [boat show]. The summer is never a big boat-buying season because everybody is out there using their boats,” he said. “We’re bringing two new boats to Fort Lauderdale and two new more new boats to Miami, and then we have another new boat that we’re planning on introducing in Fort Lauderdale next year.”

“We’re ready and waiting to see what the market does,” Frederiksen added.

In Fort Lauderdale, Viking is introducing a new 70-foot convertible and a new 42-foot convertible, which is the company’s first pod-driven boat. For Miami, Viking is showcasing a new open 42 and the new 70 enclosed bridge.

Viking has 650 to 700 employees.

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Comments

3 comments on “Viking Yachts hopes furloughs are temporary

  1. Jeffrey Smith

    Viking continues to be the leader in an industry that contiues to consolidate, but with dealers unable to get wholesale financing, and with consumers unable to absorb the amount of new product, one wonders if Viking may have bit off more than they can chew. The extreme case would be Aussie’s Riviera who came with 4-5 new models every year for four years without concerning themselves with the state of the industry.  Conversely, not enough innovation and capital investment leaves you with a company like Bertram Yacht.  There is a fine line to toe and you have to appreciate Viking’s courage; God knows they have been through this before, but the skeptic in me says will their investment in R&D return the results that they deserve? And will the consumer react positively with their new products and purchase? And more importantly, will their dealers with the support of companies like GE Capital (who else is left!) step up and order Viking’s new products for stock?
    Lastly, has the Fort Lauderdale Boat Show become the “end all” for all involved? Betting the future of your company on one boat show is a flawed approach to running a business.  What happens if it rains everyday, or another hurricane blows through?  Viking has taken a proactive, and preemptive approach to addressing these concerns. They are hoping for the best, but prepared for the worst.  All you boat builders should take a lesson from this great builder of New Gretna, NJ – the Healy Brothers are successful for a reason – they genuinely care about their community, their employees, and their dealers. I wish them well during Fort Lauderdale, but I know that if it’s not a good show, they’ll be ready for Miami in February, and hopefully by then their furloughed 175 workers will be back building boats.
     

  2. imqueen

    The Healey Brothers have ridden the wave of a positive economy in the past.
    This economic crisis will take years to cleanup.
    They’d be wise to cut their losses and run like hell.
    As for caring for their employees. Well that’s not the inside story. It’s all about the bottom line, bottom line bottom line bottom line bottom line.

  3. canvasdesign

    I wish Viking well; I worked in the warranty claims department for a little over nine years at Viking in New Gretna, and was left go in the beginning of the whole economic mess in 2008. The Healey’s are all good people Bill, Bob and Pat and I wish them the best at the Miami show this coming season if anyone can turn things around with new innovation it will be the Healey’s. Anyone can build a yacht Viking has and is still the trend setter for this industry.
    Former Warranty Claims Administrator for Viking Yacht Co.
    Dave Barber

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