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gcarter
11-22-2010, 03:32 PM
Josh just emailed this to me;









PRESS RELEASE





Changes Underway at Donzi Marine and Pro-Line Boats; Rebirth Announced for Baja Marine



Washington, North Carolina – November 22, 2010: Liberty Associates and American Marine Holdings Chairman Bill Gates is proud to make the following announcement regarding significant changes to the operations of Liberty’s recreational fiberglass powerboat brands Donzi Marine, Pro-Line Boats, Baja Marine, and Fountain Powerboats.

Liberty, owner of Fountain Powerboats and Baja;and American Marine Holdings, owner of Donzi Marine and Pro-Line; announced today that manufacturing operations for Donzi and Pro-Line are being relocated from production facilities in Sarasota and Crystal River, Florida; to Liberty's 250,000 square foot, 66-acre waterfront facility in Washington, North Carolina, long known as the home of Fountain Powerboats. Production for both brands is expected to commence by late November. North Carolina officials, lead by Governor Beverly Perdue, were instrumental in working with Liberty and AMH to offer state and county economic grants as incentives to make this project a reality.

John Walker, recently appointed as vice president and chief operating officer of Liberty, explained, “In North Carolina, Donzi and Pro-Line boats will be produced by their own dedicated workforces. Sales, marketing, and administration for both brands will continue to be run from our Florida offices. Donzi and Pro-Line will enjoy the benefits of a state of the art, wholly self-contained facility right on the water. At the same time, the added production volume will significantly enhance manufacturing efficiency at the North Carolina plant, which has been fully operational since November of 2009 when Fountain emerged from bankruptcy under our ownership.”




Donzi is currently enjoying strong sales and increased market share in the high performance powerboat segment, where the its upscale models typically sell for more than $200,000. The company has reported retail sales of nearly 160 units in the past 15 months, while at the same time seeing a nearly complete elimination of existing field inventory.

Meanwhile, sales at Pro-Line have been seen a boost following the recent introduction of several new models, including a 35-foot center console.

Liberty has also announced plans to re-launch Baja as a stand-alone brand. According to Walker, who will serve as president of the new company, “We have given Baja a very thorough evaluation. The brand has some of the most loyal customers in all of high performance boating, and many of them, along with several very successful past Baja dealers, have given us some tremendous feedback. We will reintroduce Baja with a very new and fresh model lineup, while retaining the key attributes and features that made this company so popular and successful for so many years.”

According to Walker, centralizing production in North Carolina is a strategic move that will provide significant advantages to Liberty’s brands. “After evaluating our options, North Carolina was really the only logical choice. The state has a very refreshing pro-industry stance, and the economic development people have been excellent to work with. We feel very welcome here. Beyond the many economic considerations, Eastern North Carolina has a very stable, skilled workforce and a strong boat building heritage.”

Gates added, “We have reorganized Fountain over the past 12 months, and are moving forward with our plans to improve operational and cost efficiencies, and gear up for future. Now we’re bringing in Donzi, with its dominance in the high end luxury performance boat market, and Pro-Line, the world’s largest builder of family fishing boats. With the rebirth of Baja now underway, I think it’s safe to say that Washington, North Carolina is the new capital of the boat building world.”


For more information, contact Josh Stickles at 941.400.8494, or josh.stickles@gmail.com.

HOWARD O
11-22-2010, 05:53 PM
Those Donzi employees that have moved up here to Washington from Florida are probably in for some culture shock. There's not much around what we call "Little Washington" except farmland and Washington itself offers absolutely nothing. Greenville is a short drive away and they are a good sized college town and New Bern, where I live, is about a half an hour drive south. Otherwise, the closest big city is Raleigh, a good 2 hours away. They'll be living in pretty rural country and fishing is the name of the boating game around these parts. Performance boats are very few and far between.