Boat builder moves production to China

KALAMA, Wash. – NorthStar Yachts has laid off 60 workers in Kalama, Wash., and is shifting production to China to lower its labor costs, The Associated Press reported in a story yesterday.

About seven employees will remain at the company’s headquarters and parts warehouse.

“We tried to make it work here, but economics forced us to look at different options,” Jerry Clark, chief operating officer of NorthStar told The Columbian newspaper earlier this month.

NorthStar makes luxury boats about 80 feet to 125 feet in length that sell for between $6 million to $13 million. It produces one to two yachts each year.

To maintain quality control, NorthStar is establishing and managing its own operation in Zhuhai, a maritime business zone in China, AP reported.

“A lot of the expense is labor,” Clark said. “With cheaper labor, hopefully our sales will increase.”

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