SARASOTA, Fla. (July 20, 2006) – Chris-Craft today announced it will be expanding its operations by opening a second production facility in Kings Mountain, N.C. Kings Mountain is located in Cleveland County, just west of Charlotte, N.C. The new facility is 215,000 square feet and sits on 85 acres. The company will transfer its production of yachts from 33 to 40 feet to the new facility. Currently, these models are built in Sarasota, where the company is headquartered.
Chris-Craft will create 640 jobs at the new facility over the next five years. At the same time, the company plans to maintain its current workforce in Florida by introducing several new boats that are less than 30 feet in length to the Sarasota plant.
"Western North Carolina provides a big opportunity for Chris-Craft," says Steve Heese, President. "There are a significant number of potential employees available from the furniture and textile industries that are skilled craftsmen. Their skills will be ideal for building our premium quality yachts. This is an exciting time for our company. Our sales growth has exceeded the capacity limits of our Sarasota plant, and the new facility will see the company through the next stage of its development."
Initially, Chris-Craft will select a group of employees from the Sarasota facility to start production in North Carolina. The company will begin outfitting the building, which was formerly owned by Freightliner Corporation, for boat-building in the near future. The anticipated production start date is during the first quarter of 2007. The majority of the new jobs created will be skilled production positions.
Based in Sarasota, Fla., Chris-Craft is the oldest boat manufacturer in the United States. It has a fleet of eleven models ranging from 20 to 40 feet. Over the next three years, Chris-Craft plans to unveil nine more models, expanding the range even further. With a tradition of excellence dating back to 1874, the Chris-Craft name represents craftsmanship, classic elegance, total reliability and performance. For more information, visit the Web site at www.chriscraft.com.
Chris-Craft is owned by Stellican Limited, a London-based private equity firm headed by Stephen Julius. The firm acquires and revives distressed companies with famous brand names. Stellican purchased Chris-Craft in 2001. Stellican also owns Indian Motorcycle Company, which also today announced the opening of a motorcycle production facility in Cleveland County, N.C.