Cautious ordering leads to Chris-Craft layoffs

SARASOTA, Fla. and KINGS MOUNTAIN, N.C. – Boat builder Chris-Craft Corp. decided after its recent dealer meeting to layoff about 40 employees from each of its two plants – one in Sarasota, Fla. and one in Kings Mountain, N.C., according to several recent newspaper reports.

This is the second round of layoffs this year for the company’s N.C. plant, which opened about 15 months ago.

Chris-Craft also will move production of its Catalina line from North Carolina back to Florida, Meghan Stout, director of marketing for the company, told the Bradenton Herald. The North Carolina plant, which now employs about 40 workers, will be focused on research and construction of prototypes to help the company prepare for a market recovery, she added.

While Stout told the Gaston Gazette that the industry was down about 50 percent, compared to two years ago, she suggested Chris-Craft with its high-end position in the market, wasn’t impacted until recently.

The company now employs about 160 workers, according to The Business Journal of the Greater Triad Area.

"Every year, we have a dealer meeting in the summer, we take all our commitments for the year at that time, and this year, based on the economy, the dealers were extremely cautious signing commitments for the coming year," Stout told the Bradenton Herald. "Based on that, we can't maintain our current rate of production."

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