Chris-Craft to shut down production for six weeks

MANATEE COUNTY, Fla. – Luxury boatmaker Chris-Craft will shut down production during the holiday season the HeraldTribune newspaper reported in a story on its Web site this morning.

Chris-Craft will stagger production work beginning in mid-November, and most of its 200 employees will be off for about six weeks, spokeswoman Meghan Stout told the newspaper on Thursday.

“Rather than pushing product into the dealerships, where they are upside down, we decided to slow down with our production schedule,” she said.

Another factor is that Chris-Craft’s vendors are taking extended breaks in November, leaving the boatmaker unable to obtain such key components as engines and windshields for the 15 models it builds at its Manatee plant, the newspaper reported.

“Overall, everybody will be off for about six weeks, in general from Thanksgiving through New Year’s,” Stout said.

The boatmaker has traditionally halted production during Christmas week.

With marine industry sales off more than 20 percent this year, some employees may be concerned they will not be called back to work.

“We certainly hope that is not the case,” Stout said. “Unfortunately, there is so much fear out there in the world right now. We have every intention of returning to production as quickly as possible.”

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