LAKE FOREST, Ill. (AP) -- Boat maker Brunswick Corp. said Tuesday it will stop producing its Bluewater Marine brands and close a plant that employs 175.
''The U.S. marine industry has been in a prolonged slowdown since 2005,'' company Chief Executive Dustan E. McCoy said in a statement.
Consumers have cut back spending amid a difficult economy, especially on big-ticket items such as boats.
McCoy said the company will focus on its Boston Whaler, Triton and Trophy brands and its sportfishing offerings from Hatteras, Cabo and Albemarle, as well as cost-cutting efforts.
Lake Forest, Ill.-based Brunswick will cease production on Bluewater Marine brands include Sea Pro, Sea Boss, Palmetto and Laguna with the upcoming 2009 model year, beginning July 1.
It will close its plant in Newberry, S.C., by the end of June.
The move will save the company $9 million annually, Brunswick said.
The company said qualified staffers will receive assistance in transitioning to other employment.
Brunswick will take a pretax charge of $25 million to $30 million in the second quarter to cover asset write-downs and other costs associated with closing the plant.
Brunswick said in April that first-quarter profit plunged 71 percent, weighed down by weaker demand for boats and related products, while revenue fell 3 percent.
Shares fell 5 cents to $16.76 during aftermarket trading after closing up 31 cents at $16.81.