Brunswick Corporation, parent company of Mercury Marine and numerous other brands in the boating industry, today announced that it will suspend production operations over the next few weeks in response to the impact of the coronavirus (COVID-19).
A company press release announcing the move stated, "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. 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."
The company had previously enacted a range of actions that included a work from home program and additional measures to ensure the safety and security of its employees. In addition, Brunswick introduced wage continuation programs to assist employees affected by a coronavirus-related business interruption. The schedule changes will take effect on Monday, March 23 and are expected to range from 2 to 3 weeks in duration depending on the specific circumstances for each brand, model and operation.
“The outbreak and rapid proliferation of the coronavirus has disrupted the global marine market and our business," said David Foulkes, Brunswick Corporation CEO. "The prudent and necessary response to the spread and threat of the virus by national, state and local authorities across the globe has included measures that we believe will influence near-term marine demand and consumer access. We have and plan to continue diligently following the CDC and other health agency guidelines to protect our organization and we believe that temporarily suspending our production at the major propulsion and boat facilities is consistent with the spirit of these measures and supports the priority we place on the safety and health of our employees and their families. In addition, this action enables us to proactively rebalance supply and demand.”