LAKE FOREST, Ill. — Brunswick Corp. is consolidating a portion of its aluminum boat production by transferring production of its Crestliner and Triton aluminum boats, now made in Little Falls, Minn., to three other manufacturing plants, the company reported this week. As a result, the Little Falls manufacturing facility will phase down production and close sometime this fall.
“For the past several years, we have worked hard to institute more flexibility into our boat-making capabilities,” Brunswick CEO Dustan E. McCoy said in a release. “We have been steadily moving toward ‘category’-type production that focuses more on models and segments, rather than the traditional approach of having manufacturing facilities dedicated to a particular brand. Pursuing such a strategy, we have been better able to size capacity to anticipated market demand, utilize our available capacity, improve quality and productivity and significantly lower our fixed costs.”
Production of Crestliner and Triton fishboats and pontoons will be integrated into Brunswick manufacturing plants in New York Mills, Minn.; Lebanon, Mo.; and Fort Wayne, Ind. Both the Crestliner and Triton brands and dealer networks will remain intact, the company said.
The Little Falls facility will begin to ramp down production in May and is expected to complete the process in the fall. During that time, as many as 50 percent of Little Falls’ current jobs could be transferred to the New York Mills or Lebanon facilities. The company said it will work with local community leaders and government organizations to help with the transition of affected employees.
“While consistent with our manufacturing strategy, such decisions are always difficult,” McCoy said in the release. “This decision does not reflect upon the Little Falls workforce or product, but it is the result of our overarching need to develop a more efficient manufacturing footprint that is appropriate to the marine marketplace, which has been under pressure for several years.”