Skip to main content

Hard times continue for manufacturers

The downturn in the marine industry continues as two more companies react to the changing marketplace.

MasterCraft Boat Co., of Vonore, Tenn., laid off a third of its work force last week, reducing its number of employees to 200. This compares to about 570 employees a year ago, which was a record year for MasterCraft in terms of revenue and unit sales, according to president and CEO John Dorton.

He says the layoffs were necessary because of the soft market and difficulties in wholesale credit.

“The problem is a softening in retail demand,” he told Soundings Trade Only. “The amount of dated product in the field has caused concerns with wholesale credit providers.”

During the last year, four wholesale credit providers have exited marine lending, leaving only GE Financial Services. Dorton characterizes the reduced floorplan providers as an “atomic bomb” that has hit the marine industry. If GE leaves, that would be like a “nuclear bomb,” he says.

“The industry and OEMs in particular are very appreciative of GE’s continued support,” says Dorton.

Still, the limited floorplan financing that’s available has forced MasterCraft and other boatbuilders to change business models. Floorplan credit allows manufacturers to build boats in advance and ship them to dealers. But with dealers placing fewer orders, boatbuilders must change to just-in-time manufacturing and delivery.

“Now they’re nearly all custom orders,” he says.

Dorton notes that while retail demand is off 25 percent, the wholesale business is down 50 percent. He says MasterCraft is working aggressively to reduce aging inventory in the field and find additional floorplan lenders for its dealers.

*    *    *

Crownline Boats, which shut down production in December, is holding off on resuming production for another three months.

The company originally planned to reopen this week but has decided to postpone production until June 1, according to a report in TheSouthern.com.

Officials from Crownline could not be reached this morning for comment.

Related

1_AKZO.STEWART

AkzoNobel Names Marketing Manager

Jessica Stewart is an experienced marketing, brand and product manager and has held several global roles.

1_IBEX.DEADLINE

IBEX Innovation Awards Deadline Looms

Entries must be in by tomorrow for the program, which will announce winners Sept. 27 in Tampa, Fla.

1_ONEWATER.ROY

OneWater Appoints Board Member

Steve Roy will raise the company’s board count to 11 and brings independent financial expertise to the board.

1_ABYCELECTRIFICATION

Ready for a Revolution?

The recreational marine industry is seeing advancements in lithium-ion batteries, electric propulsion and the need for charging infrastructure.

2_RIT-Yellowfin Selects_11

Big Data, Little Price

Radian IoT allows real-time data collection using a device that’s the size of a cellphone.

AdobeStock_450592682

Great Culture in Four Steps

Four steps to create a great culture within your business.

Screen Shot 2022-08-10 at 10.20.10 AM

Inventory Still the Retail X-Factor

Dealers turn to maintenance, marketing and storage services for the off-season

pic-1_300-dpi

Get Paid 85 Percent Faster

Business texting and pay-by-text systems can help speed up incoming cash flow