Buizen Yachts Director and Proprietor Mr Steve Howe has today announced that the company will close its manufacturing facility in Terrey Hills, Sydney, effective from the 1st December 2015. Mr Howe said that the decision was a very sad and emotional one, marking the end of an era for Buizen but certainly not the end. The company is continuing.
“It is the culmination of one chapter but the potential beginning of a new and exciting stage in the Buizen Yacht story”, Mr Howe added.
For some years, the company has been approached by international brokers to expand the Buizen marque into offshore markets, particularly in the US, Europe and more recently in Asia.
Mr Howe conceded that the current Australian market alone has been insufficient to sustain the company in a viable position long term. “It was always our intention to grow the Buizen brand internationally, but limits on both the company’s investment capacity and the existing factory’s ability to upscale construction numbers proved a major impediment to entering overseas markets,” Mr Howe said, making the closure of its Terrey Hills manufacturing facility ultimately inevitable.
Buizen Yachts has established a very strong market position in Australia, which has in turn attracted the attention of more than one international investor, with whom the company has now entered discussions.
“We have received interest from potential investors who wish to explore a new offshore manufacturing centre for the company and develop international markets”, Mr Howe said.
For the last 35 years, the Buizen Yacht has become an feature of marine manufacturing in Australia. From its commencement in the 1980s with the Zeston 36 and 40’ cruising yachts, through to the 1990s and 2000s with the Buizen 40 and 48s, the company established itself as a world class builder of quality, luxurious and capable blue water cruising yachts for the Australian cruising market. National Awards followed such as The Australian Boat of the Year (Sail) 2008 being bestowed upon the Buizen 48. More recently, following from years of design development, the company introduced its new model, the Buizen 52.
Howe said that even though he is excited for the future of the company, and can intellectualise this decision, the full impact of the Sydney factory’s closure hasn’t hit home yet. “The company has been building boats in this factory for the last 35 years, meaning the entire Buizen fleet has been built under this roof, so it has been a very difficult decision to make,” Howe added.
“This will be an emotional time for both myself, my family, our loyal staff, owners and supporters, however the disappointment is tempered with a sense of a new beginning for this iconic Australian brand,” Howe said.