Knoxville-based Sea Ray Boats got a bit of good news from New York recently. The maker of pleasure craft won the Best Boat Display award at the 2012 Progressive Insurance New York Boat Show last weekend.
“This award is a testament to Sea Ray’s efforts to bring to life the best sales atmosphere and owner experience possible,” Rob Noyes, vice president of marketing for Sea Ray, said in a news release.
Usually I would now say something snarky about industry awards, but the Great Recession was hard on Sea Ray so I will refrain. I hope, however, that the boat show effort translates into increased sales and a better future for the company’s Knoxville area manufacturing plants.
The recession hammered Sea Ray’s parent company, Brunswick Corp., which closed one of its Knoxville plants and cut hundreds of local jobs as part of a global cost-cutting campaign.
The boat business has rebounded somewhat, but sales were flat in the 2011 third quarter. We’ll find out if the fourth quarter produced improved sales when Brunswick releases its financial report on Jan. 26.
For those who missed the New York boat show, Sea Ray’s award-winning display will make its next appearance at the Miami International Boat Show from Feb. 16 to 20.
Photo: This Feb. 17, 2009, photo shows boats on dollies waiting to receive finishing touches and be pulled along a floor track toward quality testing at a Knoxville plant. (Ed Marcum/Knoxville News Sentinel)