Boatbuilder Brunswick to close last plant in Md.

November 14, 2008|By Hanah Cho | Hanah Cho,hanah.cho@baltsun.com

Boatbuilder Brunswick Corp. plans to close its last Maryland plant that makes the Trophy offshore fishing boat and move the production to Tennessee, the company announced yesterday.

About 115 workers will lose their jobs when the Cumberland plant closes by the end of the year.

The Lake Forest, Ill.-based Brunswick said the plant closure is part of continuing plans to shrink its North American operations as it deals with the economic downturn and the impact on marine sales.

"This decision is no reflection upon the Cumberland work force or product, but the result of our need to develop a more efficient manufacturing footprint," Brunswick Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Dustan E. McCoy said in a statement.

In June, the company said it will cut $300 million in costs in part by shutting more plants and reducing the number of models it produces.

"Obviously, this is in response to a very difficult marine market place," spokesman Dan Kubera said yesterday. "As with most consumer durables, it's been a market under pressure in the economy and boat sales have been adversely impacted by the economy."

During the past two years, the boat maker has closed 12 other North American plants, including a plant in the Eastern Shore that resulted in the loss of 180 jobs. The production of Bayliner and Maxum cruisers at the Salisbury facility was shifted to North Carolina earlier this year.

In 2006, Brunswick also closed one of two manufacturing plants in Cumberland, which employed 115. The sister facility that produced the Trophy sport fishing boat remained open until yesterday's closure announcement.

Workers at the Cumberland plant will go on a three-week furlough around Thanksgiving as the production shutdown begins.

Employees will receive severance and outplacement assistance, the company said.

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