German yacht-builder to cut 5% of its workforce in Giebelstadt

The growth of German boat manufacturer Bavaria Yachts is apparently slower than expected. On Monday afternoon, a regional TV broadcasting website reported that around 5% of the workforce will have to leave. A company spokesman told float magazine that 24 employees have been laid off.

After the restart with financial investor CMP Capital Management Partners last autumn, which followed the surprise insolvency of the shipyard in April 2018, Bavaria entered the 2019 season with optimism. New boat models have been announced for the coming 2020 year.

“We are right in the middle of repositioning Bavaria,” explains managing director Michael Müller, who has also recently taken over production management. “We are changing and improving the company in many areas, among other things to achieve more flexible production.”

The website of TV station Bayerischer Rundfunk quotes Christian Hartmann, chairman of the workers’ council, as saying that customers have become insecure as a result of the bankruptcy-related stop on accepting new orders. “An increase in production to 450 motor and sailing yachts is only in sight for the coming financial year,” the TV station’s website quotes the employee representative.

Bavaria Yachtbau’s management did not confirm the fact published by Bayerischer Rundfunk that, as in the previous year, short-time working is planned for the workforce at the Giebelstadt plant. “The aim is to work according to the principle of a breathing factory. This applies both to the time and flexible deployment of employees in different production areas. In doing so, we rely on the know-how of our core workforce. We are currently discussing the details with the works council.”

At peak times, 3,500 yachts were produced per year in Giebelstadt. One reason for the great success of the shipyard before the financial crisis in 2008 was its series production, which was unusual for boatbuilding.

The new management announced in October that they wanted to return to the successful original company concept of manufacturing inexpensive family boats. According to Bavaria CEO Michael Müller, the goal is “to build around 450 sailing and motor yachts in Giebelstadt in the first full business year 2019/20, together with our more than 500 employees.”