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Genmar extends holiday shutdown in Wisconsin

Genmar Yacht Group is extending its annual holiday shutdown for nearly half its employees at the Pulaski, Wis., plant because of the continuing slump in sales.

“We’re all going through this together,” Genmar president Robert Van Grunsven said of the market conditions. “Business has slowed down.”

Van Grunsven told Soundings Trade Only this morning that the company typically shuts down for the last two weeks of December during the holiday season. That temporary shutdown will be extended an extra two weeks for about 40 percent of the factory, affecting about 200 employees, while the remainder will have the usual two-week vacation period.

He said the plant will be back to full operation after the New Year. Despite the market slowdown, Van Grunsven said there is still a lot of interest in the company’s yachts, especially international markets.

“Eastern Europe and the Pacific Rim have been very, very good for us,” he said, noting that business in these regions has picked up in the last 18 months or so.

Van Grunsven said the company is still on track to expand its production facility in the future. Genmar announced the expansion plans, and the addition of 450 new jobs, last spring. The company received a $4 million grant from the state for the long-term growth project.

“That is still under way,” said Van Grunsven. “We haven’t accelerated it — we’re being cautious — but it’s still under way,” he said, adding that Genmar is still going through the permitting process.

— Melanie Winters
m.winters@tradeonlytoday.com

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