Yamaha, Brunswick Suspending Operations; NMMA Cancels American Boating Congress

Brunswick and Yamaha have suspended operations at facilities in the United States, and the National Marine Manufacturers Association has canceled the 2020 American Boating Congress.

Yamaha, Brunswick Suspending Operations; NMMA Cancels American Boating Congress

Photo: Yamaha Motor Corporation/Skeeter Boats

Brunswick and Yamaha have suspended operations at facilities in the United States, and the National Marine Manufacturers Association has canceled the 2020 American Boating Congress.

The moves are a result of the Covid-19 pandemic, which have affected the entire fishing industry. Brunswick and Yamaha offered no timetable about returning to production. The NMMA is holding a virtual summit instead of its in-person conference in Washington, D.C.

Some fishing companies are experiencing "non-essential business" shutdowns in their states, such as in Louisiana. Mister Twister is located in Minden, in the northeast corner of the state east of Shreveport. Due to the state order the factory has suspended operations. Parent company Sheldon's in Wisconsin, makers of Mepps' Lures, also is under "safer at home" orders issued by the governor to close non-essential businesses.

In states with limited or no restrictions some operations are ongoing. Pradco Fishing's production line in Arkansas and distribution in Alabama are operational. Fishing guides nationwide, and in Canada and Mexico, are seeing massive cancellations or rescheduling. Many public access points such as boat ramps and beaches are closed, even in interior states such as Illinois. 

The American Boating Congress was scheduled May 12-14. NMMA says all registration fees and hotel room deposits reserved through the event blocks will be refunded within five business days. NMMA will host a virtual American Boating Congress on May 13, where it will provide more information on how the association is pursuing these outreach and advocacy efforts, particularly as this COVID-19 pandemic continues to strain businesses across the country and threaten the broader economy.

The event will also feature remarks from members of Congress and Trump administration officials. Additional information regarding the virtual advocacy summit will be released in the coming days. Other questions may be answered by Erica Crocker, NMMA senior director for pollical advocacy and engagement.

Brunswick Suspends Operations

Brunswick Corporation, parent company of Mercury Marine and other brands, has suspended operations.

"This is being done in the best interest of the safety and health of our employees as well as to better balance production levels with some projected near-term global market weakness," the company said in a press release. "Largely due to our current inventory position, our view of in-transit stock and good planning with our suppliers, we remain confident in our ability to meet market needs and continue our distribution capabilities during this period."

Brunswick CEO David Foulkes said the company will follow Centers for Disease Control, state and heath agency guidelines. He added that the shutdown "enables us to proactively rebalance supply and demand.” 

Yamaha Institutes 'Pause'

All of Yamaha Motor Corporation’s U.S.-based manufacturing subsidiaries have decided to pause production in response to the increase in COVID-19 infections nationwide.

“The wellbeing of employees is of utmost importance,” said Bob Starr, Corporate Communications Manager for Yamaha Motor Corp, U.S.A. “This step is being taken with the factories to protect the health and safety of all team members, their families and our local communities.”

Affected manufacturing plants include Yamaha Motor Manufacturing Corporation of America based in Newnan, Georgia; Yamaha Jet Boat Manufacturing U.S.A., Inc. based in Vonore, Tennessee; Skeeter Products, Inc., based in Kilgore, Texas; G3 Boats, based in Lebanon Missouri; Yamaha Marine Precision Propellers, Inc. based in Indianapolis, Indiana; Bennett Marine, based in Deerfield Beach, Florida and Kracor Rotational Molders, based in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

The pause in production at each of these facilities was determined according to individual plant schedules, and began March 20. The pause will be evaluated weekly and last for as long as deemed necessary.


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