On September 8, 2020, at a committee meeting, the Bénéteau Group made a number of difficult decisions dictated by the impact of COVID-19 on all of its industrial projects
The group briefed BoatIndustry about the strategic plan for 2020-2025 and the changes affecting employees and businesses.
Global policy on regulation of shipbuilding
The BénéteauGroup has started negotiations with all of its representative offices and subsidiaries to conclude a long-term agreement on partial activities and to implement plans to protect workplaces.
The cuts in the production capacity of the world leader in the yachting industry, which began in the United States in the summer, will now affect Poland, Slovenia and France.
Conservation of 4 Bénéteau factories
The Bénéteau Group plans to mothball 4 production facilities. The Marion plant in the United States has not been operational since July 2020. It will now be joined by a plant in Slovenia, acquired by Seascape and making First, a small sailing yacht.
As well as the Noirmoutier and Challans production sites in the Vendée region of France, producing NC and Swift Trawler motorboats and outdated models that are in demand.
Bénéteau Group Communications Manager Myrna Cenevich explains: “These are the units with the greatest recession, the recovery of which will be the longest and the least powerful. Moreover, they are not quite suitable for the further placement of new production on them. Therefore, their work is suspended until the resumption of activities or the emergence of any new economically attractive project. As it was when the site in Chevira was inactive for 10 years, until Figaro 3 appeared. "
Italian sites in Monfalcone, which produced two brands - CNB and Monte Carlo Yachts, for sale, as well as Poiré-sur-Vie in Vendée and Delphia in Poland, will remain idle for now.
Job cuts will be from 8 to 17%
As of 31 August 2019, the Bénéteau Group had 8,361 employees. The 8-17% staff reduction means between 710 and 1,390 people will lose their jobs under PES terms and long-term part-time agreements.
Support units will also suffer. They are expected to cut their staff from 380 to 460 people.
“The 336 operators of the Noirmoutier and Challans factories, due to their proximity to the production sites, to avoid layoffs, we can offer internal relocations if they agree,” says Mirna Cenevich. “We cannot offer such relocations to the management team. The designers will undergo double changes - the conservation of sites and the strategic plan under which the Group will switch from 12 brands to 8. The development of new models of the remaining 4 brands will be stopped. We will most likely sell them or work on them in cooperation. "
It is difficult to imagine the consequences of the decisions described above, which will be felt by all interested companies, suppliers, manufacturers of equipment and engines, as well as representatives of the labor market in the field of maritime transport.
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