Sea Ray initiates another round of layoffs

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. – Sea Ray Boats will further decrease production and subsequently reduce its work force by approximately 180 positions, or about 5 percent of its work force, immediately, it reported in a statement today.

The reductions will affect certain Sea Ray manufacturing facilities in East Tennessee and Florida as well as Baja Boats in Ohio.

These actions are in response to continued weakness in the marine market, according to the company. 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 has increased its U.S. market share, it stated. However, numerous economic pressures continue to reduce consumers’ spending power and new boat purchases are being adversely impacted. Sea Ray said it has concluded it must take measures to size its costs in line with the declining market.

In East Tennessee, Sea Ray will have approximately 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 approximately 55 reductions, at the Palm Coast facility and 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, Sea Ray reported.

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

In addition to these reductions, Sea Ray plants also 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. “Affected employees will receive assistance in transitioning to other employment.”

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