Despite layoffs, Correct Craft not going anywhere

ORLANDO, Fla. – After taking steps earlier this year to try and prevent layoffs, Correct Craft has made the decision to eliminate 98 positions at the company. But Bill Yeargin, Correct Craft’s president and CEO, wants it known that the move should not cast doubt on the company’s future.

“The information is accurate, we did eliminate 98 positions,” Yeargin told Boating Industry in an interview Thursday. “But the balance of that is Correct Craft is not going out of business. We’re not going anywhere. We’re solid financially, we’ve got orders through the second week of October. I just want to make sure that it doesn’t get presented that Correct Craft is having this big layoff, they’re shutting down, because that’s not remotely the truth.”

Yeargin said the company had been taking steps to try and prevent having to let any employees go, including investing in a training program for workers during gaps in production and also using furloughs. However, it became clear that an industry-wide turnaround is still some time away.

“It was a cumulative thing,” Yeargin said. “We obviously started taking orders for next year and we have a little over three months of orders for the 2010 model year and we can keep our production going where it’s going. It’s just that we’re not going to be able to bring these employees back.

“But we start looking out over the next few months, come the first of September we’ll be out of the peak selling season, and we started thinking it’s really looking like it could be February or early March, getting deep into the boat show season or early spring, before we really see, industry-wide, a turnaround. That was sort of the final piece.”

Yeargin remains optimistic for Correct Craft’s business because of the “excellent condition” of the company’s dealer inventory. He said Correct Craft did not “try to jam boats down our dealers throats” when the slowdown began.

“When we get into boat show season and into next spring, even if the retail market doesn’t pick up, we’re going to be doing pretty good,” Yeargin said. “Even if it’s a 50-percent-off retail market, we’re still going to be doing good because the dealer inventory is in good shape and the dealers are going to need boats to be able to sell. We feel pretty optimistic about that, even if the full industry hasn’t recovered.”

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