Norwegian builder moves production abroad

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Norwegian boatbuilder Windy Boats has become the latest Scandinavian manufacturer of pleasure craft to move production abroad to combat high costs.

About 50 people will lose their jobs in the southern coastal city of Arendal when production moves to Poland and Sweden, according to The Norway Post.

Norwegians love their boats and local marinas are full, but the boatbuilding industry is struggling, the newspaper reported.

“When it costs three times as much to produce boats in Norway as it does in Poland, we didn’t have any choice,” Windy Boats chairman Trygve Hegnar told Agderposten.no. He said those who work in development, design, sales, marketing, quality control and finance will remain in Arendal.

The market for pleasure boats has been weak since the financial crisis in 2008 and costs in Norway have risen. Several other boatbuilders have moved out of Norway, including Askeladden and Nidelv, and Scand Boats of Grimstad filed earlier this month for bankruptcy.

Nimbus, of Sweden, also filed for bankruptcy and an industry representative told the newspaper Dagens Næringsliv that the boat branch “is undergoing exceptionally tough times.”

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