Genmar plant in Minnesota lays off dozens

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The Larson/Glastron boat plant, in Little Falls, Minn., last week laid off about 35 of its 700 workers, Genmar Holdings chairman Irwin Jacobs confirmed Tuesday.

Larson and Glastron are two of Genmar’s 13 boat brands. The company has approximately 5,000 employees and more than 1,000 authorized dealers, according to its Web site.

Jacobs said he wasn’t immediately aware of layoffs at any other Genmar plants, adding if there were it was “nothing major, nothing like Brunswick, nothing like that.”

Last week, Brunswick announced plans to reduce its hourly and salaried workers at some of its marine plants by 1,000. Further work reductions of about 1,000 hourly and 700 salaried employees across the company’s marine business units are under consideration.

In response to Brunswick’s announcement, Jacobs sent a letter to his dealers saying he expects the recreational boating industry to come back “bigger and better than ever before.”

“I am not suggesting that the 2009 retail boat market is going to come roaring back, but I do believe that once the presidential elections are behind us in early November 2008, we’ll most likely begin to see market conditions improve and continue from there in a positive direction for those who have the right boat products, best services and a positive attitude throughout their organizations,” Jacobs wrote in his letter.

On Tuesday, Jacobs said he had received about 400 e-mails in response to his letter, many of those from Brunswick dealers.

Genmar is the second largest boat manufacturer behind Brunswick.

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