Norwegian boat yard makes move to save costs with cheaper production
Windy Boats is to move its sub-40ft production line to Poland, with plans to begin the migration later this year.
The Norwegian yard is
one of the most prestigious names in European boatbuilding, but also one
of the more expensive. Competitiveness is said to
be the main reason behind the move, with Windy looking to increase efficiency and profitability in what is still a very tough motorboat market. Currently, production is split between yards in Arendal, Norway, and Vastervik in Sweden. The Vastervik yard will continue to build larger Windy models, while Arendal will be used
as a customer demonstration and handover centre.
The Polish yard in question, Model Art, has been working with another Norwegian brand, Askeladden, for
about eight years, making mouldings and internal sections, so a high degree
of continuity is hoped for. However, only after the first ‘Polish’ Windys roll off the production line will we really be able to tell how successful the move has been.
Windy’s president Knut Heiberg-Andersen told MBM, “Askeladden has been our main guide to the Polish marine industry. We have made frequent visits to various builders and suppliers in Poland over the past months and have grown increasingly impressed by their skill levels and capabilities. Model Art is now building a new 2000m2 production hall to facilitate the Windy line, and the new facilities are planned to be ready by February 2013.”
In other related news, Windy’s UK dealer, Berthon International, has enjoyed its most successful sales figures with Windy since 2009. Sales manager Ben Toogood told MBM, “The Windy Zonda has proved massively popular since its 2011 launch, but the whole range is doing well. We are particularly pleased to see a real upturn in the number of British buyers returning to the market and looking to keep their boats here in the UK”.