Hatteras Yachts For Sale, Lays Off 105 Workers
Hatteras Yachts is laying off 105 workers at its plant in New Bern while its parent company, Brunswick Corp. of Lake Forest, Ill., has announced plans to sell it and CABO Yachts.
In emails to the Sun Journal, Dan Kubera, a spokesperson for Brunswick, said the layoffs announced Thursday were necessary to better adjust to the market conditions.
He also said the layoffs were “unrelated and separate” to the decision by Brunswick Corp.’s Board of Directors to seek a buyer for Hatteras and CABO.
In a statement about the decision to sell, Brunswick Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Dustan E. McCoy said: “This action reflects our decision to exit the sportfishing convertible category and to concentrate our resources in the yacht segment on our remaining brands, Sea Ray and Meridian Yachts. When completed, this action will also contribute to our goal of a break-even or better Boat Segment in 2013, even if the larger sterndrive/inboard fiberglass markets do not improve.
“The current plan assumes that the eventual purchaser will retain both the physical plant and the talented workforce of Hatteras/CABO. During the sale process, which we seek to complete in an expeditious manner, Hatteras and CABO will maintain ongoing operations, and we will keep our employees and dealer network informed of our progress.”
News of the layoff and the potential sale of Hatteras/CABO was unwelcome in Craven County.
“It’s never a good thing to hear about these types of development,” Assistant County Manager and interim Economic Development Director Gene Hodges said. “We feel for the employees who have lost their jobs. Craven County is ready to work in any way possible with the workers who have been displaced.”
Brunswick purchased Hatteras Yachts in 2001 and CABO in 2006.
Kubera said the timing of the layoff and sale announcements was “coincidental.”
“The plan we announced concerning the Hatteras and CABO brands was a strategic decision to exit the sportfishing convertible category and to concentrate our resources in the yacht segment on our remaining brands,” he wrote in an email to the Sun Journal. “The layoff announced this morning was an operational decision, necessary for Hatteras and CABO operations to better adjust to market conditions. As we stated in our news release, during the sale process, Hatteras and CABO will maintain ongoing operations.”
Workers were notified of the job reductions on Thursday morning. In all, about 75 full-time production employees and about 30 temporary employees would lose their jobs, Kubera said.
At the end of November, the New Bern plant had about 545 total employees, full-time, salaried and temporary, he said.
Even amid tough economic conditions, Hatteras has continued to refine its products. In October, the company rolled out a redesign of its popular 80 motor yacht during the Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show.
Brent Barkley, director of marketing and product portfolio for Hatteras and CABO Yachts, said at that time that Hatteras had sold 45 original Hatteras 80 MYs since the model debuted in 2003.
The retail price for a basic 80 MY is $5.34 million, he said. The redesigned model is scheduled to be out sometime in the fall, Barkley said. Kubera did not say if the layoffs would affect the redesigned model. “We do not comment on production plans for specific products or categories,” he said.
Hatteras has frequently undergone fluctuations in its staffing levels. In 2009, the company underwent a restructuring during which 330 employees lost their positions.
Hatteras Yachts is considered a world leader in the construction of convertible sport fishing and luxury motor yachts. It began production of its first model in 1959 and pioneered the production of large fiberglass sea boats.
Eddie Fitzgerald can be reached at 635-5675 or at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @staffwriter3.
Read the original Newbern, NJ Sun Journal article HERE.