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Chris-Craft Sold to Winnebago

Posted: Fri Jun 08, 2018 12:23 pm
by Dutchman
Like Boston Whaler being bought by Brunswick, Chris-Craft was bought by Winnebago. Maybe Winnie knows that it is good to have a well known boat brand in its recreational portfolio.

Re: Chris-Craft Sold to Winnebago

Posted: Fri Jun 08, 2018 9:45 pm
by frontier
Wow. What's next? Airstream buying Boston Whaler? Airstream does have a new fiberglass travel trailer. Just trying to picture a foam sandwich construction center console Airstream going down the road.

Re: Chris-Craft Sold to Winnebago

Posted: Fri Jun 08, 2018 10:29 pm
by jimh
For anyone to buy Boston Whaler, they would first have to buy Brunswick. Brunswick is never going to sell Boston Whaler.

Re: Chris-Craft Sold to Winnebago

Posted: Sat Jun 09, 2018 10:38 pm
by Whalerdog
Never say never.

Re: Chris-Craft Sold to Winnebago

Posted: Mon Jun 11, 2018 9:12 am
by padrefigure
For sure, Never is a VERY long time.

Re: Chris-Craft Sold to Winnebago MEANS NOTHING

Posted: Mon Jun 11, 2018 9:39 am
by jimh
Brunswick's self-description says "Brunswick is a market leader in the marine, fitness[,] and billiards industries. We have made a commitment to focus our efforts on our core businesses..." In marine, you can't get much better than owning Boston Whaler. Boston Whaler is a perfect fit for the Mercury brand, too. Making Boston Whaler boats makes transoms for Mercury engines.

Here are some excerpts from the 2017 Annual Report:

The Marine Engine segment...had net sales of $2,631.8 million in 2017...

...the Boat Group...had net sales of $1,103.0 million during 2017...

...Fitness segment...had net sales of $1,033.7 million during 2017...

(The fitness segment includes the billiard "industry" revenue.)

With some simple addition you can see that boats and engines account for $3,734.8-million in sales. That is 3.6-times the revenue of the fitness and billiards business operations. Boats and engines are huge.

Also, don't forget that the vice-president of Brunswick in charge of the boat group is Huw Bower, who was president of Boston Whaler.

The notion that because Chris-Craft was sold to a company known for building motor homes represents some sort of trend or portent that Boston Whaler is going to be sold off is a completely laughable conclusion. Brunswick must be laughing about this, laughing all the way to the bank with the huge money they are making at Boston Whaler.

Re: Chris-Craft Sold to Winnebago

Posted: Mon Jun 11, 2018 1:24 pm
by Ridge Runner
Winnebago is not a large company: 2017 revenue was $1,500-million and net income of $71.3-million. Chris-Craft has some models that are over $1-million. It will be interesting to see if the purchase price gets published.

There was another interesting deal as Polaris Industries Inc., also said it would acquire the pontoon boat business of Boat Holdings, based in Elkhart, IN for $805 million.

Some statics that have been published in the deal announcements:
2012: 146,000 powerboats were sold in the U.S. with a retail value of $4.7 billion
2016: 189,000 units and the retail value rose to $8.2 billion

Interesting how much the average selling price per unit has grown from $32,191 to $43,386 or 25.6% in four years.

Re: Chris-Craft Sold to Winnebago

Posted: Mon Jun 11, 2018 1:26 pm
by Hoosier
Didn't Brunswick just sell off their SEA RAY brand?

Re: Chris-Craft Sold to Winnebago

Posted: Mon Jun 11, 2018 2:32 pm
by jimh
Yes--SEA RAY had been losing money for years, with sales falling off and trending downward.

The Washington Post-Newsweek company sold the Washington Post newspaper at a fire sale price--because it was losing millions of dollars every year. They also sold NEWSWEEK magazine for $1, on the provision that none of the staff would be laid off for one year. Companies sell off money-losing business. They don't sell core businesses that are generating big profits that also enable another division to boost their sales, too.

Re: Chris-Craft Sold to Winnebago

Posted: Mon Jun 11, 2018 2:48 pm
by jimh
For a long time with the SeaRay brand the business was counting on their customers moving up through the boat line to bigger boats. The marketing was to sell some young couple a SeaRay 24-foot bow rider or cuddy cabin boat, and then every two or three years sell that same customer a bigger SeaRay. You could keep up-selling the same customer until they bought a 57-footer.

Guess what: Boston Whaler now has the same opportunity. Boston Whaler can sell some younger buyer a SPORT 15. In a few years he can trade that in for a 170 MONTAUK. And this can keep going now until the customer is ready for a $1-million Boston Whaler 420 OUTRAGE--well, at least the customer can get on the waiting list for a building slot for a 420 OUTRAGE and wait his turn.

Don't forget the very significant expansion of the Boston Whaler plant in Florida. The workforce there has more than doubled. They had to buy the adjoining acreage just to have a parking lot for the 800 or 900 people who come to work every day. They're making so many boats down there they don't have enough room to keep them around for very long; trucks are hauling out new boats just about every day to make room for the ones coming off the line. That's not the sort of business you'd sell, and especially so when the buyer could easily start putting a different brand of outboard on the transom of all those new boats.

Re: Chris-Craft Sold to Winnebago

Posted: Mon Jun 11, 2018 7:17 pm
by Hoosier
Here in Fort Wayne, Brunswick has their major pontoon plant. It's in the old Lincoln-Wearever plant and is [more than] 300,000-square feet. Their [Brunswick's] old Harris-Kayot plant was half that. I think they make three brands or lines here, and some are [high priced]. I know--I drove one in last year's Fort Wayne Three Rivers Festival; the price sticker was [more than] $90,000, and it had a full below-deck head, shower, makeup room, and a full wet bar with fridge next to the pilot station.. I kinda miss the simplicity of my 1987 Montauk.