Malibu Boats provides business update, suspends operations; Chris-Craft plant winds down; New Hong Kong yacht show announced



Malibu Boats gives business update, suspends operations

Tennessee-based towboat builder, Malibu Boats Inc, has issued a business update on Covid-19 and announced several key actions to ensure the health and safety of its key stakeholders.

In a statement, Malibu CEO Jack Springer says: “We are all navigating uncharted waters, as uncertainty in the broader macro-economic environment has reached unprecedented levels. In this moment, the health and safety of our employees, dealers and customers remain our top priority. As a result, we made the difficult decision to suspend operations at our manufacturing facilities out of an abundance of caution for the communities we serve.

“Despite the volatility in the global markets, Malibu remains in an excellent financial position. To ensure we maintain sufficient liquidity, we have drawn just under $100m on our current revolver to support operations and strategic investments in the event of a prolonged lower demand environment. Further, our historical commitment to operational excellence and vertical integration initiatives will allow us to withstand the downward retail momentum that is beginning to reverberate throughout the world. These strategies will allow us to remain nimble and align our cost structure quickly to lowered retail demand to preserve margins.

“Given that the uncertainty and rapid spread of this virus and its ultimate impact on the broader macro-environment is unknown at this point, we believe it is prudent to withdraw our fiscal year 2020 outlook at this time. We believe our discipline in both good times and bad will enable Malibu to extend our leadership position in the broader marine industry.”


Chris-Craft plant winds down

Winnebago Industries announced Monday that the company is temporarily suspending production activities at the majority of its US facilities in view of the escalating Covid-19 situation in the US and worldwide. The temporary shutdown applies to the Chris-Craft Boats plant located in Sarasota, Florida. Operations are scheduled to wind down this week, with a view to remaining closed through April 12.


Anacortes Boat and Yacht Show rescheduled

The Northwest Marine Trade Association (NMTA) has confirmed that the third annual Anacortes Boat and Yacht Show, originally scheduled to run from May 14-17, has been rescheduled until late June. New show dates have been announced as June 25-28, 2020. “The safety and well-being of our staff, members, exhibitors and attendees is our first and foremost priority,” says NMTA president and CEO George Harris. “In light of this and the fluid and continuously changing Covid-19 situation, our board of trustees met and we made the unanimous decision to reschedule the show.”


Ritchie Navigation suspends manufacturing

Marine compass maker Ritchie Navigation will pause manufacturing and shipping operations for two weeks effective March 24. Mandated by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, the action is an effort to help slow the spread of COVID-19.


Hong Kong

New Hong Kong yacht show announced

Hong Kong is set to have a new yacht show timed for November 19-22, 2020. The initiative follows the signing of an MOU (Memorandum of Understanding) between the Hong Kong Cruise & Yacht Industry Association (HKCYIA) and Verventia, organiser of the Singapore and Thailand yacht shows.



Williams Jet Tenders ceases production

Following the UK government’s announcement yesterday, Williams Jet Tenders has announced it will close from 5pm today (Tuesday 24 March) until further notice. All team members remain employed by the brand. Williams Jet Tenders is a leading manufacturer of jet tenders globally, with a product range that is supported by over 50 dealers worldwide. The company says it is fully focused on its strategic planning in order to stand by its customers during this period of uncertainty, and that its strong position means it can swiftly resume building and shipping tenders when advised by the UK government.



Ernst Prost, managing director at German oil and additive specialist, has issued a statement to say that none ot the company’s workers will be laid off during the coronavirus outbreak. “If need be, I’ll waive my salary,” he says.



NMT postpones more trade promotion events
by Robert Wielaard

Netherlands Maritime Technology (NMT) has called off more member trade missions due to the coronavirus pandemic. “All our trade activities through June have been postponed,” according to NMT trade coordinator Joella Lucas.

Two 2020 trade missions – to Miami and Spain – will likely be held in 2021. A third, Posidonia (Athens), has been rescheduled to October 26-30.

In February, NMT gave these new dates for its attendance at two Asian shows: OTC Asia (Kuala Lumpur, August 17-19), APM Singapore (September 30-October 2). A third event – SEA Japan in Tokyo – will be held some time in 2022.

NMT is the lobby group of 400-plus Dutch maritime know-how companies. This year, it absorbed 24 superyacht sector companies for which it handles trade and export promotion.

Lucas said, for now, NMT still plans to attend the 2020 editions of the Monaco Yacht Show and the Ft Lauderdale International Boat Show, in September and October, respectively, and the METSTRADE show in Amsterdam in November.

“At this point, we primarily support all our members with lobby activities with the government,” Lucas told IBI.

In normal times, NMT annually organises 10 or so Holland Pavilions, four trade missions and more than 80 network meetings and knowledge seminars in various fields.