A Tarboro-based company that makes outboard power catamarans for recreational boaters worldwide will open a new production facility in Pitt County, investing nearly $9 million and adding 60 jobs, state and local officials announced.
World Cat is expanding as a result of strong consumer demand for its 36-foot to 50-foot twin hull vessels, according to the state Department of Commerce and the Greenville ENC Alliance. It will maintain the 180-person workforce in Tarboro.
The company plans to locate in the former Camping World Distribution Center on Staton Road north of Greenville.
World Cat is finalizing details with the building’s owner and hopes to be able to start operations by November, said Uconda R. Dunn, vice president of business development with the Greenville ENC Alliance, a public-private economic development partnership. World Cat is working with officials to secure a reuse grant to retrofit the building for its operations.
World Cat, a brand of HC Composites LLC, has been headquartered in Tarboro since 2002. The company won the 2019 Governor’s Export Award as a Top Global Reach Exporter for its strong international dealer network, the news release said. The twin hull design of its boats provides a more balanced, stable recreational boating experience, the release said.
“North Carolina has been a strong partner for World Cat the past 20 years and is a big part of our success,” said Andrew Brown, president of World Cat. “World Cat is a people business: our boats are designed and built by exceptional people, sold by exceptional people, and serviced by exceptional people so our customers have a fantastic experience.”
The addition of 230,000 square-foot manufacturing space in Greenville will position the company for long-term growth in the fastest-growing segment of the recreational market, the news release said.
“We have a wonderful team in Tarboro and are excited to extend our culture and philosophy to our new facility in Greenville,” said Vann Knight, vice president of operations for World Cat.