The end of Bayliner/Meridan?

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Scraping Paint
Oct 23, 2007
An article in today's Seattle Times stated that Brunswick is permanently closing the Arlington, WA plant where Meridian yachts are made.* Most of the 700-something people will be laid off although there will still be*a small customer service presence there.* Another plant in another state is also being permanentlyi closed, a third plant is being mothballed, and a fourth plant will be permanently closed next year.* To paraphrase a Brunswick executive, this is what they have to do to keep the parent company healthy*in the face of too much production for the dwindling demand.
I would guess Bayliner is being hurt by lenders to folks that need 110% FINANCING.
Marin** * Not surprising to me, or to you, I'm sure. I'm truly sorry for the workforce, but can't deny the absence of quality that makes you hurt for the loss of a brand. Meridian/Bayliner, Oh Well!

** * * * * * * * *Carey
Meridian isn't going out of business.

From the Meridian website:

October 2008
Brunswick Corporation (Meridian Yachts is a brand of the Brunswick Boat Group) recently announced a new manufacturing plan that impacts many of Brunswicks domestic boat brands. Part of this plan included the closure of a facility in Arlington, Washington, where Meridian Yachts have been manufactured since their inception.

While western Washington was in many ways a prime place for our production operations, it was limiting in terms of structure (boat size was limited by building size), plant layout (complex) and location (land-locked). As a result, Meridian is currently beginning a move to the east coast of Florida, into an existing Brunswick yacht facility. Meridian dealers around the world have current inventory and will continue to be supplied with new boats during the transition through an inventory build-up prior to the announcement.

This move is ultimately a positive development for Meridian, and it will put the company in a better position moving forward. The new facility will allow the manufacture of larger yachts, including the upcoming Meridian 501 Sedan Bridge, and it will simplify the boat-building process. It will also help accomplish our aggressive new product development goals, including a new series of cockpit and aft-cabin Motoryachts and a revised Pilothouse portfolio.

For more details on our portfolio of boats, please contact your local Meridian Yachts dealer. Thank you for your interest in Meridian Yachts!
That's interesting.* I wonder how much of it is corporate spin designed to try to mainain an interest in the brand.* What was reported here was that three plants were being closed with a fourth to be closed next year.* The reasons stated (by Brunswick in the article) was that plummeting demand for their Bayliner/Meridian/Maxxum products was forcing the reduction and consolidation of their production capability.* As the Brunswick executive put it (I'm paraphrasing) "we have a great big pipe to supply product but the demand only warrants a little tiny pipe.* So we have to drastically*reduce the size of our pipe in order to preserve the health of our company [Brunswick]."
Having been at the receiving end of no small number of cutbacks / reductions / layoffs / whatevers, my guess is that this means that the molds, drawings, and other tooling will be sent to FL, and perhaps a few lucky (??) employees will go along.* This will let Brunswick keep spare part support and possibly continue lower volume production of a few models if the market recovers.

And who knows*- if the economy recovers, diesel prices might end up in the low $3 range, and the demand may come back.* During the 91-92 crash, nobody would have thought there'd someday be a big demand for boats when it looked like diesel was going to soar to over two dollars a gallon.
The article in the local paper said that a small warranty and service capability would be retained at Arlington. Don't know if that's still the plan although it makes sense given the huge number of Bayliner/Meridian boats in this area.
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