Crownline Boats went into production early this fall with 100 employees and is now building at the rate of 25 units per week, according to a company spokesman. CEO Kevin Riem says that he expects to be moving to 30 units a week in the near future. This is good news for a brand that closed its doors in December 2008, while the venture capital company that had bought the company a year or so before (timing is everything, boys) searched around to find a buyer.
In mid-October the first Crownline boat rolled off the assembly line.
See local TV video showing the restart of operations and interviews with staff and management…
PRESS RELEASE -- Crownline Boats Proudly Displays Its First 2010 Model
October 14, 2009: The first Crownline boat built since the company shut down production in December of 2008 rolled off the manufacturing line as the company began production of its new 2010 models. The company re-opened its doors under new ownership with a celebratory ribbon cutting ceremony on 8/26/09. This event signifies the rebirth of one of the top boat manufacturers in the industry.
More than 550 boats have been sold since the company’s reopening, a testament to the confidence its dealer associates have in the Crownline name and the company.
Crownline’s Australian distributor, David Fraser of Melbourne, Australia was on site for the event. “Crownline gives you exceptional quality and they are serious about developing a world class product,” he said.
100 Jobs Re-Activated
Most workers say it’s reassuring to see the first boat come off the assembly line.
“Its nice to know that I’ve played a part in that boat- helped roll it from top to bottom,” said Kathy Hilliard. Kathy Hilliard recently rejoined Crownline in the lamination department. She worked there for 11 years before the plant laid off all its employees nine months ago.
“My grandkids always ask me about that, ‘What did you do on that MawMaw?’” Hilliard chuckles. “I said, I put that stuff right there on it.”
The workers are encouraged to know many more boats will follow, and they’re not the only ones.
“Just last Sunday I spoke with a customer that’s buying this boat,” explains international Crownline distributor, David Fraser. “And they’re really excited about it. And it’s great to see it here and finished and looking as good as ever.”
Kevin Riem, CEO, Says…
Kevin Riem says this is the beginning of a beautiful future with domestic and international support for the boat producer. “What this is, is really one of the first steps with re-establishing our company on a global basis.”
Riem says workers will be busy for a while. More than 550 new units are sold. Riem says production is at 25 boats a week right now and expects that to jump to more than 30 within months.