Groupe Beneteau Decides to put Plant in Marion, SC into Hibernation

Beneteay Oceanis 46.1

 

July 23, 2020

An Oceanis 46.1 built by the Marion facility in 2019

Canadian Yachting OnBoard has just been informed that Groupe Beneteau has taken the difficult decision to hibernate its boatbuilding activities at their Marion plant located in South Caroline (USA). This will progressively take effect in the upcoming months (from mid-September until end of November 2020). The company said that although difficult, this is a necessary step in transforming Groupe Beneteau for success in the post COVID-19 era. As the world health and economic crisis unfold, Groupe Beneteau will reevaluate its options for the Marion plant.

This decision stems from 2 reasons:

  • In an uncertain market environment, Groupe Beneteau globally needs to adapt its production capacity to volume decreases in many market segments, while reducing its fixed costs.
  • Over the last decade, demand for monohull sailboats in North America as well as in other geography around the globe has been declining. This trend has been exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic. The mid-term outlook does not call for a sharp turnaround in customer demand in the North American market. This leaves Groupe Beneteau with excess capacity for this line of product and the necessity to adapt its production capacity.

A representative for the company stated that this decision will not affect existing or future orders made for Beneteau or Jeanneau boats. Current orders will all be completed within that timeframe (mid-September to end of November). Similarly, the delivery dates will remain unchanged.

In the future, Beneteau and Jeanneau sailboats for the American market will be served from Europe where similar models are being built for the European and Asia-Pacific markets. The full range of Beneteau and Jeanneau boats will continue to be offered to North American sailors. This production reallocation decision does not affect or alter in any manner the commitment and the presence of Beneteau and Jeanneau in North America, as both brands are and intend to remain world leading brands for monohulls sailboats.

Finally, looking at aftersales service and spare parts for North America, the aftersales service remains unchanged. Spare parts will continue to be managed in the US. All the Beneteau and Jeanneau teams in Annapolis, MD remain the same.

– From Boating Industry Canada

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