Brunswick will permanently shut its Arlington, Wash., yacht factory by year's end, idling most of the facility's 790 employees, the recreational-equipment company said Thursday.
Brunswick will permanently shut its Arlington yacht factory by year’s end, idling most of the facility’s 790 employees, the recreational-equipment company said Thursday.
The Arlington plant and another in Roseburg, Ore., will close this year, and a plant in Pipestone, Minn., will be closed early next year.
Brunswick also will mothball a plant in Navassa, N.C., and temporarily suspend production at three plants in Tennessee.
About 1,450 hourly and salaried positions at the four shuttered plants will be eliminated as Brunswick battens down the hatches to survive what CEO Dustan McCoy called “the most turbulent economic times in recent history.”
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Company spokesman Dan Kubera said “the vast majority” of the 790 workers at the Arlington plant will lose their jobs. The plant builds Meridian yachts and performs research and development as well as some headquarters functions for Brunswick’s U.S. Marine unit.
“We do plan to maintain some sort of presence in Arlington, customer service, that sort of thing,” said Kubera.
In July, Brunswick furloughed employees in Arlington and other plants to reduce the pipeline of boats in production, he said. The company had said this summer it would close four plants but didn’t identify them.
“Unfortunately it’s a case of falling retail demand; the pipeline remains too large,” said Kubera. “You’ve got very concerned, anxious people out there, and like any other large durable-goods manufacturer, it’s a very challenging environment.”
This summer’s bankruptcy of Redmond-based Olympic Boat Centers, a leading Brunswick dealer with 20 locations along the West Coast, underscored the industry’s difficulties.
Brunswick agreed to reacquire Olympic Boat’s inventory, and the retailer will close its stores, according to an agreement filed in bankruptcy court in California.
“As far as we’re concerned, that’s all been wrapped up,” said Kubera.