Sea Ray and Baja boats eliminate jobs amid soft market

October 2007 News

The reductions, which take place immediately, will affect Sea Ray manufacturing plants in East Tennessee and Florida as well as Baja boats in Ohio.

While the U.S. marine industry has seen a double-digit drop in demand over the past year in a progressively challenging sales environment, Sea Ray says it has increased its U.S. market share. However, the boatbuilder says numerous economic pressures continue to reduce consumers' spending power and new-boat purchases are being adversely affected.

"Sea Ray has concluded it must take measures to size its costs in line with the declining market," the Knoxville, Tenn.-based boatbuilder said in a statement.

In East Tennessee, Sea Ray will have about 80 reductions at its three plants in the area as well as its administrative staff. Earlier this year, Sea Ray had reduced its work force in this region by about 90 positions.

Florida operations will have 55 reductions at the Palm Coast plant and at Sea Ray's product development and engineering staff in Merritt Island.

There will be no reductions at the Merritt Island or Sykes Creek manufacturing facilities.

Baja Boats in Bucyrus, Ohio, will reduce its work force by about 40 positions.

Also, Sea Ray plants will go on furlough during the week of Thanksgiving to help further reduce costs.

"These decisions are very difficult, but nonetheless must be made to protect the overall health of the business," the company said in a statement. "Affected employees will receive assistance in transitioning to other employment."

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