Princess responds to recession and Nord West cuts a quarter of its workforce

Princess has followed Fairline in introducing a shorter working week for its employees.

The changes will take effect from 5 January next year, and will allow the Plymouth yard to increase production of its larger vessels as well as bring forward launch plans for new products, the company said in a statement.

Chris Gates, MD at Princess, said: “We take our responsibility as one of the area’s main employers very seriously and we hope that by adjusting production in this way we will be able to cope with a softening market without the need to reduce the team.

“It is of course impossible to predict how long this market condition will continue for, or indeed whether it will worsen before improving again but we are optimistic that these measures will help protect our position during this difficult period.”

This move by Princess means that of the four big British motorboat manufacturers, Sunseeker stands alone in not announcing significant cost cutting measures.

Fairline has already made redundancies, and Sealine announced in October that it would be cutting almost half its workforce.

The news comes on the same day that Swedish builder Nord West, twice a winner at the Motor Boat of the Year Awards, announced that it was laying off 25 of its 100 employees in response to weakening sales.