Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal announced today that Chaparral Boats will expand its existing facility, creating 50 new jobs in Berrien County.
“This expansion by Chaparral Boats underscores how well Georgia’s No. 1 business climate supports existing businesses,” said Deal. “With access to a widely recognized logistics infrastructure and a highly-trained workforce, Georgia offers the tools necessary to keep companies competitive in the United States and in the global marketplace.”
Celebrating its 50th anniversary, Chaparral and its subsidiary Robalo are renowned world leaders in family sport boats and recreational fishing boats. The company recently developed a new line of high-quality Vortex jet boats, creating new jobs and expanding production facilities. Based on initial sales results, Chaparral anticipates additional expansion in the future.
“Chaparral and Robalo have enjoyed consistent growth almost from day one,” said Chaparral President Jim Lane. “We also currently rank No. 1 in market share in the competitive 18′ to 35′ stern drive market. In many ways, Nashville, Georgia is recognized by recreational boaters the world over as boating’s premier location for innovative engineering, manufacturing excellence and unmatched customer service.”
“We have always tried to stay on the cutting edge of new product development,” said Chaparral Founder Buck Pegg. “In addition to our award winning stern drive and outboard powered models, our expansion into Vortex jet powered sport boats makes us one of the marine industry’s most diverse manufacturers.”
Chaparral and Robalo are part of Marine Products Corporation, which is traded on the NYSE under the symbol MPX. The company has had operations in Georgia for almost four decades. Spanning more than 1.2 million square feet, Chaparral operates one of the single largest boat manufacturing facilities in the U.S.
Employing almost 600 Georgians, Chaparral is Berrien County’s largest employer. The company contributes an estimated $155 million in annual economic impact. Chaparral also bolsters economic development by shipping to its international dealer network via the Georgia Ports Authority.
The city of Nashville and Berrien County invested heavily in the development of new infrastructure needed for the expansion. Michelle Shaw, the Georgia Department of Economic Development (GDEcD) project manager of the existing industry team, assisted Chaparral’s expansion on behalf of the state of Georgia, along with the Berrien County Economic Development Authority.
“Chaparral has been a leading employer in Berrien County since moving its operation here in the late 70s,” said Berrien County Development Authority Chairman Paul Hamilton. “Chaparral is not only a leader in the marine industry, but its impact is felt in all kinds of civic projects throughout our community. On behalf of the Berrien County Development Authority, we congratulate Chaparral on 50 years in business and look forward to continuing our successful partnership.”
“Georgia’s solid manufacturing network continues to support company advancement,” said GDEcD Commissioner Chris Carr. “This newest expansion by Chaparral Boats accredits not only Georgia’s No. 1 business climate, but also the solid support from the Nashville community.”