Chris-Craft sheds 85 employees in N.C., Fla.

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Chris-Craft Corp. laid off about 85 employees last week — half in North Carolina and half in Florida — in anticipation of fewer orders from dealers.

“We have slowed all of our lines across the board,” spokeswoman Meghan Stout told Soundings Trade Only this morning. “Our dealers are very cautious for the coming year.”

The Sarasota, Fla.-based boatbuilder announced the cutbacks last Thursday. The company also plans to move production of its Catalina line in North Carolina to the Sarasota, Fla. plant.

Product development and engineering will remain in North Carolina, along with about 40 employees. Stout said the company hopes to again ramp up production in North Carolina and increase boat production across the board once industry conditions improve.

With four new products introduced at the company’s dealer meeting last month, Stout said Chris-Craft is well-positioned for an economic recovery.

Stout said it was only recently the company began feeling the effects of the industry wide downturn.

“We were pretty insulated, but even affluent customers are just kind of waiting to see what happens,” she said.

Stout said retail sales for Chris-Craft boats remained strong over the last three months, but she said dealers do not want to overextend themselves in the current market. She expects sales and production activity to pick up again after the November elections.

— Melanie Winters
m.winters@tradeonlytoday.com

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