BRP to Exit Sport Boat Market

350 employees affected by move

Story by Staff, Sep. 17, 2012
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If you’ve been thinking about moving from a PWC to a Sea-Doo sport boat, you’d better act quickly. BRP has announced that it will exit the sport boat business over the coming months. According to BRP, the drop in sales of sport boats since the financial crisis is the cause for the move.

The move will affect approximately 350 jobs. Nearly all of those lost jobs will come from BRP’s Benton, Ill facility, while 15 jobs in the Palm Bay, Fla. test center will also be eliminated. BRP says that all impacted employees will receive a good transition package.

“This is a difficult but necessary decision for BRP,” says José Boisjoli, president and CEO. “We worked hard to grow our sport boat business through a serious sales decline that began in 2007. But now, we must focus our research and development resources and capital investments in areas of our business that offer greater growth potential.”

Sea-Doo Sport Boat

BRP entered the boat manufacturing business in 1994 and purchased the assets of Celebrity Boats in 1995, at which time it moved its facility to Benton, Illinois.

"We looked for a buyer for our sport boat business, but that effort proved unsuccessful," says Boisjoli. "Consequently, we decided not to resume production of the upcoming model year due to seasonal production planning requirements."

BRP will continue to provide parts and honour warranties for its customers.

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