“It is with regret that we inform you that the decision has been made to close the manufacturing operations at our Sturgeon Bay facilities,” begins the first press release. Mohamed cites diminishing operations and employment levels, diminishing sales and increasing offshore competitive pressures as the primary reasons for operations cessation. “We are disappointed and saddened by this business closing and yet realise that there is no alternative,” he continues.
It is not yet clear when the shipyard will close; operations will officially stop upon completion of their current – and final – US-based project. The move is expected to affect employees as early as October.
In a second statement released on September 3 Palmer Johnson has outlined its plan to move operations to the Netherlands.
“Palmer Johnson has made a strategic decision to move its manufacturing operations to Europe in order to focus on the new carbon composite SuperSport series of yacht,” explains the press release. The carbon composite hulls required for the SuperSport series were previously being made in Norway and then being shipped to Wisconsin for completion.
In order to compete with the pressures alluded to in Palmer Johnson’s first statement, moving manufacturing operations to Europe makes financial and logistical sense. Palmer Johnson “has finalised an agreement to take over a shipyard in the Netherlands,” continues the press release.
Palmer Johnson’s second SuperSport hull is currently being manufactured in Norway and will be the first vessel to be completed on the new Dutch premises as of November – a third hull will follow in April 2016.