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Old 20-01-2012, 13:33   #1
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Seawind Moving Most Production to Vietnam

I was participating in this thread Catamarans - Current Market Situation
which turned into a discussion about Seawind cats moving production to Vietnam. I did some research and found that they are going to move 2/3 of their production there.
Seawind Catamarans | Business In Focus Magazine

So Seawind is gearing up to produce around two-thirds of its annual output of cats in Vietnam, employing around 140 staff under expat supervision, while retaining some 40 staff in Australia (headquarters is in Wollongong). We work in a very competitive niche in the industry, which is quite price-sensitive more so now than it has ever been and we either sink or we swim, if youll pardon the expression! We would rather keep swimming.

I thought this is worthy of a new thread and ask the mods to move the last few relevant posts from there to here.
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Old 20-01-2012, 13:56   #2
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Re: Seawind moving most production to Vietnam

Guess it was pretty much inevitable, with imported boats getting so cheap due to the strength of the Aus dollar. I doubt our pending carbon tax would have helped the case for staying here either.
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Old 21-01-2012, 03:27   #3
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Re: Seawind Moving Most Production to Vietnam

What I want to know is if you buy one, can you cruise Vietnam waters for any length of time or do you have to instantly leave.

I asked Corsair this same question but never got a reply and never got a reply when there wanting to visit their facilities.

At present, its incredibly difficult to get in and once there you cant actually go anywhere on your boat.
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Old 21-01-2012, 09:03   #4
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Re: Seawind Moving Most Production to Vietnam

Same deal with Chinese made Gunboats. I wonder.
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Old 22-01-2012, 00:03   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sand crab
I was participating in this thread Catamarans - Current Market Situation
which turned into a discussion about Seawind cats moving production to Vietnam. I did some research and found that they are going to move 2/3 of their production there.
Seawind Catamarans | Business In Focus Magazine

So Seawind is gearing up to produce around two-thirds of its annual output of cats in Vietnam, employing around 140 staff under expat supervision, while retaining some 40 staff in Australia (headquarters is in Wollongong). “We work in a very competitive niche in the industry, which is quite price-sensitive – more so now than it has ever been – and we either sink or we swim, if you’ll pardon the expression! We would rather keep swimming.”

I thought this is worthy of a new thread and ask the mods to move the last few relevant posts from there to here.
lived in Wollongong for a while and am familiar with the factory location. To some degree they have been "built out" so to speak. a new northern distributor created a change in access...not all bad. A few years back they build a new shed to produce the 1250 right next door to the existing factory. I had heard that they were moving to Nowra which did not suprise me, good space and access to a skilled workforce ex Navy station there.
This Vietnam story initially surprised me. However seeing the high Aud and Carbon Tax uncertainty has basically sent the Australian Steel industry down the tube then I think other manufacturing businesses like Seaind will have to look at alternate manufacturing bases with lower fixed costs and lower O/H. Thats globalisation at work for better or worse.

The owner/MD is a smart cookie and astute so no doubt there were compelling busines cases to the move. Wish them all the best of luck in this rather torrid time business wise in Australia.

Mick

PS...worked in Vietnam with an Australian company expanding into Asia...a nodding head does not mean "I understand"...it means you are talking...need a lot of supervision and cultural sensitivity...
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Old 22-01-2012, 16:10   #6
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Re: Seawind Moving Most Production to Vietnam

Yep thanks sandcrab

I knew that as i live in the area and thats why i posted on the other thread that started the attack from bullwinkle about starting false rumours etc.

Its a shame Oz companies have to doe this to compete due to the high AUD but by being inovative and staying competitive it means my money is on seawind staying the long haul as a result so good on em.

cheers
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Old 22-01-2012, 16:22   #7
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Re: Seawind Moving Most Production to Vietnam

Quote:
Originally Posted by Barra View Post
Its a shame Oz companies have to doe this to compete due to the high AUD
I mentioned this in another thread

Quote:
Maritimo eyes USA as production base
Nick Nichols, business editor | December 29th, 2011

THE United States is emerging as the most viable option for Maritimo's proposed new production base as costs continue to soar in Australia.

The Gold Coast-based luxury boatbuilder, headed by Bill Barry-Cotter, is still weighing up its options for a new factory in Asia or the US as a spike in production costs over the past two years has weighed heavily on the company's competitiveness in global markets.
Maritimo eyes USA as production base Local Business | goldcoast.com.au | Gold Coast, Queensland, Australia
and these guys are now building in China and importing to Australia
Noble Boats International // World Leaders in Quality

Bit of a worry when we cant even afford to build the humble "tinnie" in Australia any more.
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Old 22-01-2012, 17:34   #8
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Re: Seawind Moving Most Production to Vietnam

F**k China. Vietnam too. If I was in the market for a new boat and one was built in China or Vietnam and the others were built just about anywhere else I would buy the anywhere else boat. I like South Africa. France, too. But that's just me. You don't have to agree.
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Old 22-01-2012, 17:39   #9
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Re: Seawind Moving Most Production to Vietnam

Sandcrab I dont totally agree mate - the seawind factory in 'nam is the pre existing Corsair factory that by all accounts has been building quality tris for years so i reckon quality will hold up.

re china now thats a different story as there was no multi industry there till a few years ago so who knows what quality teething probs they will come up against...
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Old 22-01-2012, 18:02   #10
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Re: Seawind Moving Most Production to Vietnam

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sand crab View Post
You don't have to agree.
Ok then
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Old 22-01-2012, 18:59   #11
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Re: Seawind Moving Most Production to Vietnam

Quote:
Originally Posted by Barra View Post
Yep thanks sandcrab

I knew that as i live in the area and thats why i posted on the other thread that started the attack from bullwinkle about starting false rumours etc.

Its a shame Oz companies have to doe this to compete due to the high AUD but by being inovative and staying competitive it means my money is on seawind staying the long haul as a result so good on em.

cheers
Barra

Hi Barra - my earlier comments were based on what Seawind says on it's website about where it manufactures it's boats. What you say may be spot on but they do not say that they are currently or are planning to manufacture any of the current Seawind models in Vietnam.

They may make mention of looking for efficiencies in manufacture between the Seawind & Corsair factories in interviews etc but one really needs to go digging to find this out. To anyone looking at the website they would think that all Seawinds were Australian built. They had me convinced like many others.

I agree with you that the Corsair factory in Vietnam has produced quality boats but it is a big change in direction for Seawind which will cost them sales, I think you mentioned that this had turned you off them for one.

Like you I also want them to survive in the current tough economic world maket that they operate in. They just need to be upfront with their customers and if the situation has changed about where they manufacture their boats they should update the text on the Home & About page of their website if it is no longer tells the full story.

Regards,
Steve
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Old 22-01-2012, 19:12   #12
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Re: Seawind Moving Most Production to Vietnam

No worries Steve.

Fully agree they should keep existing and future customers informed. Im sure there are alot of seawind owners with their boats on the market not realising they are in effect competing with a vietnamese boat.

At some point there will be a decent price drop and they wil go more "officially" vietnamese i guess. Unfortunatley that will upset alot of existing customers initially which was why i posed the question as to whether they were trying to look after the "seawind family" or being greedy by not dropping their prices significantly already.

I actually think it is at least in part the former as the after sales service from seawind is legendary from what ive seen and heard.

Good luck to em as without doing this the AUD and the Carbon Tax would send em the same way as wollongongs biggest employer - Bluescope Steel
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Old 22-01-2012, 19:23   #13
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Re: Seawind Moving Most Production to Vietnam

Globalization is another word for exploitation of cheap labor to maintain or increase profits. It results in short term profits, but long term it is stealing from Peter to pay Paul. When you send all the Ozzie jobs overseas, then the Ozzies won't have the jobs and the cash to buy the sailboats. It is non-sustainable long term.

I get discouraged when I walk into a store, and the majority of the products are from China. I want to support the jobs in my own country, but it gets harder with each passing year.

This problem will continue as long as governments pursue policies that make manufacuting at home more expensive, and they favor those who move the jobs overseas.
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Old 22-01-2012, 19:43   #14
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Re: Seawind Moving Most Production to Vietnam

Its a bit different here in oz mate as we are a relatively "open economy" already. Our manufacturers are getting smashed from the strong AUD due to a commodities boom. On top of that we are introducing a massive carbon tax from a green government that acts to "export" the carbon emmissions.

End result is even efficient manufacturers have to build in another country to avoid the FX / tax smash. Long story short Aussies will still be able to afford boats - they just wont work in manufacturing they will be on the mines.
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Old 22-01-2012, 19:43   #15
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Re: Seawind Moving Most Production to Vietnam

Barra, have you heard if they have started producing Seawinds in Vietnam or are they just gearing up for it? Any idea when it will start if it hasn't already? Having a Seawind with a Made in Vietnam plate just doesn't have the same ring about it does it? It may keep the price up of 2nd hand Aussie built ones though.
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