Boy, that was a hard headline to write. But it is true. Groupe Beneteau announced that the company was in the process of putting their large boat building facility in Marion, SC into hibernation. The process will begin in September and will run through the end of November. During that time all current orders for new boats normally built in Marion will be met. After that time and for the near future, new boat orders will be served by Beneteau and Jeanneau factories in France which build boats similar to the boats produced in Marion for the European and Asia-Pacific market. Groupe Beneteau remains the market leader in sailboat sails in the U.S. market and will continue to fill that role in the post Covid-19 era. After sales service for North America will continue to be handled from offices in the U.S.
The reason for the production reallocation from the U.S. to France is due to two fairly obvious forces affecting the sailboat market in the North America. First, sales of new sailboats in North America have been falling for the last decade. And, second, that trend has been exacerbated by the Covid-19 pandemic. As we get through the pandemic and get our economy back in gear, Groupe Beneteau will continually reevaluate the viability of building their boats in Marion. In the meantime, the company continues to build their range of powerboats in the U.S. and will serve buyers of sailboats as they did 36 years ago prior to opening the Marion facility. The only difference for Beneteau and Jeanneau new boat buyers is their boats will make a transatlantic passage aboard a ship before arriving in the U.S.
For more information, contact your Beneteau or Jeanneau dealer through the links below.