825 EMPLOYEES LAID OFF AS SEA RAY ABANDONS SHIP
Knoxville, Tennessee-based Sea Ray has announced that it is closing two of its facilities. The Sykes Creek facility on Merritt Island, Florida, originally opened in 1972, will be closed permanently resulting in the layoff of 380 Sea Ray employees. Another 440 employees will be laid off at Sea Ray’s Palm Coast facility IN Flagler, Florida.
A portion of the Sykes Creek facility will remain open until contracted orders are fulfilled and to support warranty and other customer service operations.
Sea Ray, the manufacturer of luxury boats was acquired by Mettawa, Illinois-based Brunswick in `1986 for $350 million and has been restructured over the years. Brunswick claims that while production will be halted and facilities closes, the company will retain, refocus, revitalize, and reinvent the brand to include sport boats and cruisers.
A Brunswick spokesperson indicated that the company tried to sell the Sea Ray business, but could not find a buyer willing to pay a premium for the iconic brand and that the general miasma and weak sales in the luxury boat category led to lower, and unacceptable, valuations. Brunswick does not plan to leave the marine sector and will continue to offer Mercury and Mariner outboard engines, and Bayliner, Boston Whaler and Meridian boats.
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