East Tennessee's largest newspaper, the Knoxville News-Sentinel, had a story today about Mastercraft. The company laid off 110 workers "effective immediately," with no severance. Both production and admin jobs were cut. With this layoff and previous ones (for example, another 56 were let go last month), the work force will be down to 200, compared to 570 "last year."
John Dorton attributed the problem to a collapse in wholesale credit for dealer floorplan financing. He said there used to be five companies offering this service nationally, but now it's down to one. He said this "atomic bomb" hurts because about 80% of boat sales are to dealers who rely on this financing.
Dorton said the 2008 model was "a record year" for Mastercraft. They were building 20 boats a day (from the article, it appears he was talking about the period of 7/1/2007 through 6/30/2008). Dorton said production will be at five boats a day "starting Monday," which he says "still makes [Mastercraft] one of the industry's highest volume manufacturers; it's just terrible out there." Dorton said that MC "is hoping that warmer weather this spring will spur boat sales."
Note: The article didn't say anything about what another person in the industry told me -- the remaining employees are having their salaries cut 20% to 40%, "take it or leave it."