I believe that Factor hit the nail on the head
- with the Australian dollar as high as it is now, it is questionable whether Seawind
could have remained profitable and in business if they had continued to manufacture all of their boats in Australia
. We had a similar experience in Canada
a few years back with PDQ
yachts. Justifiably reknowned for producing a quality product, they nevertheless went bankrupt when the Canadian dollar soared from about 78 cents US to par (and above). This made imported boats substantially less expensive in Canada
and made PDQ
boats substantially more expensive abroad.
Whether we like it or not, we now truly live in a global village. As I understand it, Seawind's Australian personnel continue to design, supervise production, market and fit out their boats. If they had gone bankrupt, it is by no means certain that the purchaser of the molds would have continued any
association with Australia
. Again, as an example, the purhaser of the molds for the (formerly PDQ) Antares
44 now builds, equips and markets their boat exclusively out of South America
Are higher production costs/taxes in countries such as Canada and Australia a factor in this type of decision? No doubt, although one must also understand that this can be partially compensated for higher shipping
costs (at least on boats sold in Australia) the cost associated with moving personnel offshore
and the preference of most buyers for products produced domestically (or at least, in places other than China
etc.). I supsect, however, that the final nail in the coffin was not the carbon tax, but rather the substantial rise in the last couple of years of the Australian dollar as against the Euro, Rand and USD.
We can bemoan the circumstances that got us here (and the loss of some jobs for Australians), but we should applaud companies such as Seawind
who were able to respond to changing circumstances - not of their own making, and continue in business.