Ranger Boats Lays Off 130 Workers Due to Credit Market Woes

FLIPPIN, Ark. (AP) - Ranger Boats has laid off 130 workers at its manufacturing plant in northern Arkansas, saying the credit market slowed dealers from stocking the company's new sport-fishing boats.

Randy Hopper, president of Ranger Boats, tells The Associated Press the layoffs represent just under 20 percent of the company's 750 workers. Those laid off Wednesday include manufacturing workers as well as employees in other departments.

Hopper says the credit crisis gripping the market made it hard for dealers to purchase the company's boats wholesale. He says that slowdown could extend into the spring, when customers traditionally buy the boats on credit as well.

Ranger Boats also will extend its Christmas shutdown from 10 days to nearly three weeks this year, hoping to match market demand.

Ranger Boats is owned by Minneapolis-based Genmar Holdings Inc., a group of boat companies with about 6,000 employees and more than $1 billion in annual sales.

(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)