BY APB Staff on 9 Feb 2024

The New Zealand boatbuilder is mitigating significant cost increases since the pandemic.

sealegs malaysia

New Zealand-based Sealegs International, a manufacturer of amphibious boats, is relocating a portion of its manufacturing operations to Malaysia.

The firm says this move comes as the result of a comprehensive evaluation of factors, primarily driven by the need to address increased manufacturing costs in New Zealand following the Covid-19 pandemic.

“The rising cost of manufacturing in New Zealand post-covid has presented challenges, resulting in increased prices for our valued customers worldwide,” says Sealegs CEO, David McKee Wright, highlighting significant cost increases as the primary driver for the decision.

He adds: “Our objective is to make the joy of amphibious boating more accessible to a wider audience by identifying ways to reduce manufacturing costs — a relocation of some of our manufacturing operations will help facilitate this.”

The New Zealand-based firm builds amphibious craft that can drive on land and, with the push of a button, will turn into a high-performance powerboat.

By establishing manufacturing facilities in Malaysia, Sealegs says it expects to achieve significant cost reductions, which the firm anticipates will translate into a decrease in the purchase price for Sealegs consumers. The Malaysian government has offered allocated land in Malaysia to establish a manufacturing facility.

Wright emphasises that new product development will continue to be carried out in New Zealand, as well as manufacturing for sales for New Zealand and Australia.

In a statement, Sealegs says it remains committed to ‘maintaining quality standards’ and ‘ensuring that the systems and processes replicate those implemented in New Zealand’.

Some members of the New Zealand staff will relocate to Malaysia full-time to help oversee operations.

In its statement, Sealegs says it is confident the move to Malaysia will ‘not only address the challenges posed by increased manufacturing costs’ but also pave the way for ‘wider adoption of amphibious boating worldwide’.

In 2022, Sealegs announced a record financial year result, with a 152 per cent increase in orders, enabling the company to expand its team and production capabilities.

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