Sea Ray to eliminate 350 jobs

MERRITT ISLAND, Fla. – Sea Ray Boats will eliminate 350 jobs by midyear at its Merritt Island, Fla. plant because of slumping demand for boats, Florida Today reported in an article on its Web site yesterday.

Sea Ray will stop production of some boat models on Merritt Island after June and move production of those models to its plant in Palm Coast, Fla., and its two plants in Knoxville, Tenn., Dan Kubera, director of media relations and corporation communications for Sea Ray parent company, Lake Forest, Ill.-based Brunswick Corp., told the newspaper.

The job cuts will leave Sea Ray with about 850 employees at its Merritt Island campus, Kubera said.

Sea Ray anticipates adding 270 jobs at the Palm Coast and Knoxville plants to handle the additional models, resulting in a net loss of 80 company jobs related to the 350-person Merritt Island staff reduction, Florida Today reported.

“This difficult decision was reached in part because of the continuing challenging U.S. marine market, which since late 2005 has experienced very soft demand,” the company said in a statement. “Based on various indicators, Sea Ray expects that demand will further weaken during 2008, and is taking measures to decrease its production to better control the supply of boats in the marine pipeline.”

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