Arkadelphia boat manufacturer to close, 90 jobs lost

by Roby Brock ([email protected]) 2,213 views 

The Alumacraft boat factory in Arkadelphia will close in June leaving 90 workers out of a job as the company moves production to Minnesota.

An Evinrude spokesperson confirmed the closure and layoffs to content partner KATV Ch. 7.

Production is scheduled through mid-June in Arkadelphia and then work will transition to a facility in St. Peter, Minnesota. The spokesperson said 90 employees would be impacted.

Alumacraft makes fishing boats, including modified V boats, bass and bay boats, and riveted Jon boats, at its Arkansas facility and has had a presence there for 46 years.

The closure is related to its parent company discontinuing the manufacturing of certain Evinrude boat motors. Quebec-based BRP, parent company for Alumacraft, announced on Wednesday that it would cease production of outboard engines and instead focus on its boat brands and other innovative marine products.

“In order to be more competitive in the market, we have decided to consolidate all Alumacraft operations on one site and upgrade our boat production facilities to the modular model used elsewhere in BRP. This will enhance productivity and effectiveness as well as respond with more agility to demand. We had to make the difficult choice on which site could be made the most productive and St. Peter, Minnesota emerged as the better option,” the spokesperson said.

Employees are expected to receive severance packages, but details were not disclosed.

Editor’s note: KATV’s Angela Rachels contributed to this story.

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