Brunswick signals shift with Bayliner strategy

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Bayliner Boats will stop building and selling cruisers in the United States as part of an effort to keep pace with fluctuating global trends and consumer demand, according to Brunswick.

Bayliner will instead pursue new categories in the United States and Europe, including a new jetboat line and an “affordable boating” line called “Element,” according to Brunswick.

The brand plans to enter the jetboat segment in 2013, Brunswick Corp. spokesman Daniel Kubera told Soundings Trade Only.

There were no further details regarding Element, touted as Bayliner’s newest concept in affordable boating.

Bayliner cruisers will be produced only in Brunswick’s newly constructed Brazil plant by the end of 2012 and will be exclusively sold in that region. Bayliner’s cruiser line consists of six models from 24 to 33 feet.

“Brazil and its expanding boat market offer us attractive opportunities for growth,” Kubera told Trade Only. “Additionally, Bayliner is establishing a strong presence [there] for its models in several categories, including cruisers.”

The move comes as Statistical Surveys Inc., a Michigan company that tracks boat sales, released its most recent data showing that August sales of fiberglass cruisers in the 31- to 40-foot segment declined 28.8 percent year over year and tracked a 6.7 percent dip for the year.

The Knoxville, Tenn., plant at which Bayliner and Sea Ray cruisers have been built will be closed within the next month and a half, before 2013, where 225 full-time workers are employed.

“Will all those people lose a job? We don’t know at this point,” Kubera said. “Some of the production is going to go down the road to Vonore, Tenn., and Palm Coast, Fla., so there’s a possibility that some would have the opportunity to transfer to one of the other facilities if they were so inclined.”

There are two models, Sea Ray’s 330 Sundancer and 370 Sundancer, that were being produced in Knoxville and will be transferred to Palm Coast, Fla., Kubera said.

Four additional models — 240, 260, 280 and 310 Sundancers — that also were being produced at the Knoxville plant will now be produced in Vonore, Kubera said.

When asked about Bayliner dealer feedback regarding the news, Kubera said dealers got the news along with everyone else. “With major developments in the company, we inform public and dealers at the same time,” he said.

Read more about the Brunswick Boat Group’s repositioning in the November issue of Soundings Trade Only.

— Reagan Haynes


15 comments on “Brunswick signals shift with Bayliner strategy

  1. CaptEric

    So, basically what Bruswick is doing is putting another nail in most dealer’s coffins who have survived for nearly 4 years on limited sales and a market in continuous flux. What’s Brunswick’s gameplan now- the cruiser market will recover- by dealers can’t survive selling bowriders only- at least not the large ones who built theit businesses around a Bruswick based model.

    And Dan Kubera is an arrogant fill in the blanks- to make the following comment- “Kubera said dealers got the news along with everyone else. “With major developments in the company, we inform public and dealers at the same time,” he said.” As some dealers will forced to close or again begin the process of researching product lines to fill in the hole caused by this.

    I worked for almost 7 years at a dealership in the NE selling and servicing Bayliner, Maxum, Trophy and Bayliner Yachts- after Bruswick pulled the yachts from all the dealers and gave them to SR dealers as rebadged Meridian’s that was the first financial blow. Then killing off Maxum was another, imagine if they were still a dealer today, struggling to make margins and stay competitive and then be dealt another ecomonic blow like this-

    Now I know why one my former employers said he’d “never sell Brunswick product” because of stuff like this.

  2. ex Bayliner

    So, sales are down because these are the same cruisers that have been sold for the last 4 years (at least) It used to be that Bayliner sold a lot of cruisers, sad to see it mismanaged so badly by all the talking heads at Brunswick!
    I also see they are taking another write down for the value of Cabo and Hatteras, I don’t see how Dusty McCoy manages to survive, he was the one who bought all the boat companies, now he is either selling them (Albemarle) closed them (Sea Pro) or written the value down! All the time whilst starving the other companies of cash for new products! Not exactly a plan for the! future

  3. Boatman

    It is a shame to eliminate jobs in the US and open production in other countries. The image of the brand will be diminished and create future problems. At a time when made in the USA means something this kind of shift hurts the corporate image as well.

    It is too bad the Mercury division would not be allowed to build the motors for the jet boats. Just the face that the costs themselves would benefit outboard pricing for the domestic market.

    It has been said that Marine Max helped decide about outboards on larger models, in the future. They also are the ones who misjudged the markets and over projected sales in the past.

    It is understood that certain adjustments have to be made during slow times, but this is referred as consolidation and revamping, and does not have to be cutting, and sending work out of the country. The top management is NOT listening to their customers, or to the dealers. ONE customer, regardless does not make up the entire industry. They are only one opinion represented. It is the tail swinging the dog. It only confirms that Upper manage does not really understand the marine industry.

  4. Denise Tetrault

    It sure is sad to have more people lose jobs. I do think Brunswick should inform dealers before the public but sometimes communication is overrated.

  5. philosophical

    This is Brunswick’s version of economic patriotism. These corporations are not American, they have no nationality. The tax code must be revised so that they pay for the social and physical infrastructure in the which the executives and shareholders live and so that they contribute to the unemployment costs of the American workers they impoverish.

  6. Boating inc

    Bayliner building boats in Mexico and Brazil, engines and parts in Mexico and China. Boat dealers are still supporting them. At some point, for the health of our industry and nation, we have to start supporting the domestic boat manufacturers. I remember when Bayliners where res white and blue. They are a far cry from that today.
    I’ve never heard anyone touting the quality of a Mexican made product….

  7. bpante

    Brazil protects their peoples jobs. If you want to sell boats there you have to build them there, or pay a very high inport tax.

  8. TOM R

    To me this proves what i have been stating since Bayliner was aquired by Brunswick. they are out to have “flagship” brands. They will continue to manage Bayliner out of existence. They have almost got it done. As another post stated they started with Meridian, now the cruisers. The rest isn’t far behind. this industry desparately needs a “Bayliner” type company like Bayliner was in the 80’s. Affordable, cheap, mediocre quality, but that company put tons of people on the water.
    Decisions like this would make it hard to be a dedicated Bayliner dealer. If you are on e you better start looking for another boat line.

  9. redatnight

    Brunswick is becoming nothing more than a marketing machine. I feel they are becoming more and more of an evil monster. It would appear all they care about is Sea Ray and Boston Whaler. Both of those brands are known for their quality and anymore, I don’t know that there is anything super special about either. Sad day for Bayliner.

  10. movie

    US taxes and the EPA just take the operating costs over the edge. These other governments really want to produce and do business.

    Possibly Brunswick has been using the Detroit model of how to manage a national industry.

  11. Motogordo

    Oct. 14, 2012
    I am very sorry to hear this. I have been dealing with Dredge Harbor Marina for many years now. They are one of the largest Bayliiner dealers around here.(South Jersey) In fact, this summer I bought 3 Bayliner boats from them.
    2011 195 Discovery bowrider
    2005 20 ft. Cuddy Cabin
    2001 2455 Ciera, which I just purchased this week.
    I also purchased a 2011 Harris Flotebote Pontoon.

    All these boats in ONE season. I love dealing with them and I love the Bayliner Line. Swapping and trading is one of my favorite hobbies. Now that I am retired I have plenty of time on my hands and the money to spend. I hope there is no problem getting parts and service when they move out of the country. It is a shame that we will lose more jobs in the U.S. What is this country coming to ?

    Gordon P. Lief

  12. Boat Guy

    This is typical of BIG BUSINESS. Buy smaller companies, combine them then start closing them. We need to realize that as smaller businesses are bought, many will be closed. This is also known as eliminating the competition. This elimination helps keep the prices higher, profits larger, and bonuses’ bigger. Remember, the CEO’s, or CFO’s get their money by the company having a bigger or increased profit margin.

  13. DotComd Guy

    If Brunswick wants to shoot themselves in the foot by outsourcing more jobs and brands out of the country, then we consumers simply need to stop buying their brands in the USA. This sounds familiar like what is happening everywhere. The simple solution is for the people who know how to make the boats start up their own new companies making new products for Americans to make and Americans to buy. If people in other countries want it, it’s going to have to come from these smaller companies! I own a Bayliner that was made in Valdosta Ga back in 1998. I love my Bayliner in large part because it was made here and I travel to florida every year and pass that area. Just think if more people would start a small business. That’s the cornerstone of America. Google “TPP Harley Davidson India” It’s enlightening!

  14. bob weichbrodt

    pre Brunswick, Bayliner was world’s largest boat manufacturer………directly and indirectly tens of thousands of people depended on Bayliner…a much better boat than Sea Ray……I sold ’em…..

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