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Donzi Is Moving To North Carolina

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Old 08-30-2010, 10:14 AM
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Consolidation of the lines to one production facility is probably a good move especially if it means they retain the millions NC paid to Reggie to keep the factory in NC. FL is dead for manufacturing on a large scale. NC is more centrally located for raw materials coming in and finished boats going back out to the rest of the country.

That being said the lines may suffer a bit with 4 lines of boats coming out of one plant. Kind of the same issue GM had a few years ago with the Chevy Cavalier, it was 4 different brands on the same line (Cadillac Cimmaron, Pontiac Sunbird and a Buick something). Loss of identity for that platform.
The boats are 4 different lines but they may start looking very similar if they are being built out of the same parts bin (gauges, bolsters, vinyl, trim pieces and of course Mercury power/drives).

Baja and Proline probably should just die on the vine, there is no passion to build those lines for the folks in NC. Donzi/Fountain need to eliminate similar models like the 38 ZSF and the 38 LX, there isn't enough market for both models. Fountain should focus on go fasts 35-47 ft and Donzi should keep the 22-38 market. 38 ZRC/42 PR is a toss up and maybe can survive in low production numbers which is what they have been since day 1 anyway. The fish boat market is probably ideal for Fountain due to the wide beam and popular 34-38 lineup. Donzi should keep the smaller line of 29-32's.

No matter what they do it will be a struggle for all involved. There are still many new Donzis/Fountains leftover in dealer inventory from 07-09 so new 2011 models will be tough to floorplan if the 07-09 stuff is sitting in the same showroom for 50% off!
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Old 08-30-2010, 10:15 AM
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From Washington Daily News

Fountain out of bankruptcy



Fountain employees work on a 42-foot-long interceptor boat being built at the Fountain factory Thursday. The boat will be used by the Navy. (WDN Photo/Greg Katski)
By GREG KATSKI
Community Editor
Published: Friday, February 5, 2010 2:18 AM EST
CHOCOWINITY — Fountain Powerboat Industries Inc., parent company of Fountain Powerboats, is out of bankruptcy and back at work.

Following a hearing held in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court in the Eastern District of North Carolina on Wednesday, Randy Doub, chief bankruptcy judge, approved Fountain’s reorganization plan, lifting the company from Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection.

In late August 2009, Fountain filed for bankruptcy protection. Several weeks later, the company’s $19.6 million bank note was purchased by a third party, Oxford Investment Group. A bankruptcy auction of the company’s assets was set for early October, but the company instead moved to restructure its Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection and reorganize with Liberty Investments.

With Doub’s approval Wednesday, Liberty became the majority owner of Fountain Powerboats. Reggie Fountain was retained as the company’s president and CEO, and Bill Gates was named chairman.

According to Gates, Liberty Investments, which is based in Florida, also is majority owner of Donzi and Pro-Line Boats. Fountain called the investment group “avid boat-lovers.”

As part of the reorganization plan, Liberty agreed to pay Oxford Investments $6.9 million for the bank note and an additional $500,000 for unsecured debt. Fountain’s other creditors were awarded $500,000. The company also has transitioned from the public to private sector, and will not be traded publicly from this point forward.

“First of all, I’m pleased with the judge’s decision,” Gates said. “It was a little bit of a bumpy road, but we were confident all along.”

Gates, now the highest-ranking individual at Fountain, said he is optimistic about the future of the company.

“I’m confident Reggie can steer the company in the right direction,” he said.

Fountain said the success of the company that bears his name depends on the economy.

“If the economy comes back, Fountain comes back,” he said.

Fountain said the company’s performance at the Miami Boat Show, which starts Thursday, will be a “good harbinger for what to expect in the future.”

The company is shifting its focus from building what Fountain called “pleasure boats” to government-contracted boats to be used by the Navy, Coast Guard and other branches of the U.S. armed services.

Fountain referred to a 42-foot-long interceptor-type boat the company is working developing.

“It’s like the James Bond boat, but better,” he said.

The Bahranian government recently placed an order for 24 interceptors; the company has already built six, Fountain said.

After halting production for some time, the company began building boats again in earnest last November. Production was aided by Liberty, which helped finance Fountain operations during the reorganization process.

In November, the company made $300,000; in December, it made $1.2 million, Fountain said, adding that he hopes the company will be pulling in $3 million a month by March. With the rebound in production, the company has been able to hire 120 employees. As recent as October, the company had just 10 full-time employees, Fountain said.

If the company reaches $80 million in sales by the end of 2010, it can return its work force to 400-plus employees, Fountain said, adding that hiring more workers depends on how the market rebounds.

Gates expects it will take two to five years for the sportboat industry to recover.

“We understand that it’ll be slow to return,” he said, “but our vision is to lead the market.”
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Old 08-30-2010, 08:12 PM
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At a Poker Run at Ugly Johns in Oklahoma, the Donzi guys told me they had 1 boat left at the factory and only a few boats left with dealers and they were building 4-5 boats a month. The dealer said that was a fact, he had just signed up and was at the factory to pick up his boat and the place only had production boats there that were all sold.
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Old 08-30-2010, 08:33 PM
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Originally Posted by jimmy mcfly View Post
At a Poker Run at Ugly Johns in Oklahoma, the Donzi guys told me they had 1 boat left at the factory and only a few boats left with dealers and they were building 4-5 boats a month. The dealer said that was a fact, he had just signed up and was at the factory to pick up his boat and the place only had production boats there that were all sold.
Really? Legendary shows 8, Pier 57 shows 3 new boats. I don't know all the dealers but I would bet there are 30+ new boats in the USA that are leftover 07-09's! That is more than few and dealers won't be real anxious to take on more inventory when it has to sit 3-4 years to sell!

Legendary:

2009 22 Classic 009 496HO
2008 DONZI 35 ZR TWIN 496 MAG HO BRAVO ONE DRIVES. 1
2008 DONZI 32 ZF TWIN 300 VERADO'S
2008 DONZI 38 ZR WITH TWIN 525 AND SPORTMASTER DRIVES 2
2008 43ZR Custom Paint Twin 700's 2
2009 Donzi 38ZR Twin 700s 100++MPH Brand New
Note the (2) indicated for the 43/38 ZR's
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Old 08-30-2010, 09:32 PM
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It's a smart move for Liberty...Donzi has sold 129 units in 12 months...That's a lot of boats in this market! Fountain hasn't sold anything in 2 months and the factory sits dormant. Why not consolidate? Don't compare the Baja thing to Donzi. If Fountain wouldn't have gone belly up, Baja would have been good to go at the Fountain facility. Timing is everything. Baja was timed poorly, Donzi is set to be timed perfectly.

Word is Pro-line, Baja, Fountain and Donzi will all be built in N. Carolina. Things could be really good for everyone.

I know everyone likes doom and gloom but this may be the start of a great thing!!

Congrats to all involved...Except of course those that lost their jobs in FL. However, I'm sure they have been offered jobs in N. Carolina (that is just a guess of course).
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Old 08-31-2010, 07:59 AM
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Faja and Fonzi


http://www.offshoreonly.com/forums/g...erboats-2.html
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Old 08-31-2010, 08:34 AM
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Congrats to all involved...Except of course those that lost their jobs in FL. However, I'm sure they have been offered jobs in N. Carolina (that is just a guess of course).
Sarasota and the surrounding area is one of our favorite places in Florida. Beautiful beaches, beautiful water, great dining - lots of things to do.

I've been to Washington NC too..........
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Old 08-31-2010, 11:41 AM
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Originally Posted by thisistank View Post
It's a smart move for Liberty...Donzi has sold 129 units in 12 months...That's a lot of boats in this market! Fountain hasn't sold anything in 2 months and the factory sits dormant. Why not consolidate? Don't compare the Baja thing to Donzi. If Fountain wouldn't have gone belly up, Baja would have been good to go at the Fountain facility. Timing is everything. Baja was timed poorly, Donzi is set to be timed perfectly.

Congrats to all involved...Except of course those that lost their jobs in FL. However, I'm sure they have been offered jobs in N. Carolina (that is just a guess of course).
I guess that I would have to agree that it IS much different with the Donzi move because the owners are moving with the product line, along with the Donzi history. Another great move by Donzi is that they hired Baja Marine's #1 salesperson in 08' who has done a great job picking up the old Baja dealers. With Baja, all the history was thrown in the dumpster!

Here is a good Baja comparison: If I took my current Chevy truck to Chevy dealer or GM, and said "I need a new wiper motor for it" and they said "Sorry we cannot help you because we did not build your truck, and we don't know were to get that part, BUT we can sell you a brand NEW Chevy truck"

Another note was is that only 1 Baja employee from 400 was offered a position in NC in 2008, and he left during the bankruptcy.

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Old 08-31-2010, 12:02 PM
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Another note was is that only 1 Baja employee from 400 was offered a position in NC in 2008, and he left during the bankruptcy.

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This is true, but Reggie did offer me a tour of the factory when I met him in LOTO. Oh, and he said have a nice day!
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Old 08-31-2010, 12:11 PM
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Out of curiosity how many boats did their "#1 Salesperson" sell in 2008?.....
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