Brunswick bets on better economy

Boat maker Sea Ray Group has expanded its global retail network with the addition of 22 new dealerships in nine countries, the Knoxville-based company said Friday.

Brunswick Corp. apparently isn’t listening to the doomsayers on cable TV who say the world economy is circling the drain. The retail expansion follows an announcement last month that the company is building a 150,000 square-foot manufacturing plant in Brazil to make Sea Ray and Bayliner brand boats.

“With the addition of these distinguished dealerships, who have demonstrated a commitment to the same high standards to which Sea Ray and Meridian strive, we continue to expand our heritage of credibility and reliability not only in the U.S. and Canada, but in countries around the world,” Sea Ray President Rob Parmentier said in a news release.

Sea Ray Group includes the Sea Ray and Meridian Yacht brands.

Sixteen of the new dealerships are in the U.S., Canada and Mexico. The other new dealerships are in Grenada, Ukraine, Peru, Brazil, Australia and Thailand. The new U.S. dealerships include one in Tennessee – Erwin Marine in Knoxville and Nashville.

In addition to boats, Brunswick makes fitness, bowling and billiard equipment.

Sea Ray press release.

Market Watch: Research on Brunswick

New Brazil plant to make Sea Ray, Bayliner boats

Photo: In this 2009 photo, boats on dollies wait to receive finishing touches and be pulled along a floor track toward quality testing at a Sea Ray plant in KNox County. (News Sentinel/ Ed Marcum)