Taylor Made to wind down production at Bradenton plant

GLOVERSVILLE, N.Y. — Taylor Made Systems, which produces marine glazing systems and framed-glass windshield technology for powerboats, plans to consolidate its operations and mothball its Bradenton, Fla., facility, the company reported in a statement today.

The action is an effort to keep factory overhead in line with current market conditions, Taylor Made said.

Taylor Made didn't report how many layoffs would result from the decision, but the Bradenton Herald reported Friday that a Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification filed with the Agency for Workforce Innovation showed Taylor Made would be cutting 24 jobs, or about a quarter of the plant's workforce, between now and June 30. Phone calls by the Herald for further comment were not returned.

The Bradenton plant, one of five Taylor Made facilities in the U.S. that manufacture windshields for recreational powerboats, will wind down production over the next few months and its manufacturing will be moved to the company’s Kendallville, Ind., and Gloversville plants, according to Taylor Made. The company said all strategically placed sales, customer service and traveling technical service personnel would remain in place, including several in Florida.

“As our marine customers find it necessary to reduce staffing levels and cut production rates even further than they did in 2008, we too must bring our floor plan in line with what we might term the ‘cold, hard facts’ of the current market climate,” Taylor Made's President Al Petit said in his company’s statement. “Doing so will ensure that Taylor Made Systems as a whole stays at optimum health for the duration of this downturn and, very importantly, poised to be an even higher-value supplier to our customers when the market does rebound.”

For now the company says it plans to continue using the Bradenton facility as a distribution and service center with a small staff.

Despite news of the shutdown at the Bradenton plant, company executives are optimistic about Taylor Made's future in the marine industry.

“Although volumes are down due to this turbulent economy, our company is experiencing positive gains in market penetration," said Mike Oathout, vice president of Sales and Marketing for Taylor Made. "Unfortunately, these gains simply have not been enough to offset the lower volumes and keep all of our boat windshield production facilities at full, operational capacity in a shrinking market.”

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