Luhrs Marine Group to Consolidate in New Jersey

The Luhrs Marine Group announced today that it will be relocating Mainship Corporation and Luhrs Corporation operations from St. Augustine, Florida, to the group’s existing Millville, New Jersey, production facility, where the Silverton and Ovation brands are built.

The announcement, made by company founders John and Warren Luhrs, incuded notice of the closing of the St. Augustine plant and immediate transfer of tooling to Millville. Production in Millville of the Mainship and Luhrs lines will commence in January of 2009, the company said.

The company also said that design, engineering, manufacturing and support responsibilities for the Power Boat Division will be centralized in Millville.  Hunter Marine, the Group’s fifth company, which manufactures sailboats in Alachua, Florida, as well as Luhrs Marine Limited in the U.K., will continue operations at their current locations.

Warren Luhrs said, “We had been studying the benefits to our product lines, our present and future boat owners, and to our employee ownership by combining production, product support, sales and marketing responsibilities that have, historically, been autonomous.  John [Luhrs] and I – together with Rick Cerami, Chief Executive Officer of Luhrs Marine Group and our General Managers – concluded that our companies will be significantly strengthened by the centralization of design, engineering, manufacturing, parts fabrication, purchasing, and customer service at our Millvilleplant.  The decelerated economy, in combination with our previous planning, has enabled us to implement our relocation and centralization planning and become a stronger group of boat-manufacturing companies.”

In a press statement, the company said it anticipated “enormous efficiencies” as a result of the centralization, “notably in design, engineering and in purchasing,” but did not quantify those in financial terms.

Forty years ago, in December 1969, the Luhrs brothers acquired Silverton Sea Skiffs – a Toms River, NJ, powerboat builder.  The brothers’ “roots,” in actuality, extend much farther back in boatbuilding: to the 1930’s, when their father, Henry Luhrs, began producing wooden sea skiffs in the coastal town of Morgan, New Jersey. 
“We didn’t intend that this first major step in the LuhrsGroup’s ‘Plan for the Future’ would coincide with the 40th anniversary of the Group’s beginnings in New Jersey,” John Luhrs said.  “But we think our father would be pleased.”

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Posted by oceanlines in Industry News