Trisha Shetty (Editor)

Chris Craft Industries

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Revenue  $467.1 million (1998)
Defunct  2001
Founded  1928
Former type  public holding corporation
Industry  Television Broadcasting Other Plastics Product Manufacturing Unsupported Plastics Film and Sheet (Except Packaging) Manufacturing
Fate  Sold to News Corporation
Key people  Herbert J. Siegel (chair)
Products  boats, hospital laundry bags, carpet fibers, insulation, and chemical products
Headquarters  New York City, New York, United States
Successors  News Corporation (2001–2013), 21st Century Fox (2013–)

Chris-Craft Industries, Inc., formerly National Automotive Fibers, Inc., was a publicly held American corporation traded on the New York and Pacific Stock Exchanges. It later took on the name of one of its acquisitions, Chris-Craft Boats. This forebear was founded in the late 19th century by Christopher Columbus Smith, and became famous for mahogany hulled powerboats in the 1920s through the 1950s.


National Automotive Fibers

National Automotive Fibers (NAF) was formed in Detroit in 1928 as a manufacturer of upholstery, carpeting, interior trim, plastic products for Chrysler Motors, Ford Motors and Studebaker-Packard, all automobile companies. While successful, the company was only a minor automotive supplier. In the 1940s, NAF purchased the Montrose Chemical Company of San Francisco, but was still centered on the auto industry. In 1956, the company suffered a major loss of $1 million against sales of $46 million. Paul V. Shields, a senior partner of Shields & Company, a Wall Street investment firm, acquired National as he saw that NAF was overdependent on the auto industry but had growth potential. Shields trimmed NAF's product line and diversified the company into oil and gas operations, television and radio broadcasting. With this diverse portfolio, the company was renamed the NAFI Corporation in 1959. This brought a record profit of $1 million against lowered sales with assets of $10 million. NAF and Bing Crosby teamed up to purchase a television station, KPTV, for $4 million on September 1, 1959. A Bing Crosby led group sold KCOP-TV in 1960 to the Corporation.

Chris-Craft Industries

Chris-Craft Boats was an independent company until it was acquired by Shields & Company's NAFI Corporation in 1960 and merged with NAFI. They renamed the merged company Chris-Craft Industries, Incorporated in 1962. In 1962, the company acquired the Old Crown Brewing Corporation, a brewery company based in Fort Wayne, Indiana. Old Crown was sold to its employees a short time later.

In 1964, Chris-Craft launched the all-fiberglass Chris-Craft Commander. This dramatic new design was unveiled at the New York City National Boat show, perched at the top of an escalator on a giant, castered cradle. This first Commander was a 38' express hardtop with a 13' beam. The line of Commanders soon grew to include sizes ranging from 19' to 60'—all "styled in fiberglass."

In 1968, Baldwin-Montrose Chemical Co., Inc. took a controlling interest in Chris-Craft and installed its chairman, Herbert J. Siegel, as Chris-Craft's chairman.

In 1977, Chris-Craft Industries formed BHC, Inc. to hold its two existing television stations, KCOP in Los Angeles and KPTV in Portland, Oregon, both placed within BHC's Chris-Craft Television, Inc. subsidiary. That same year, Chris-Craft purchased a share of 20th Century Fox. In 1981, the 20th Century Fox share, then at 20 percent, was traded to Marvin Davis and Marc Rich for 19 percent of United Television.

Between the 1960s and 1980s, Chris-Craft lost market share as competitors with more innovative designs and less expensive manufacturing techniques such as fiberglass hulls came on the scene. Chris-Craft ended production of its last mahogany-hulled boat, the Constellation, in 1971.

Chris-Craft Industries sold its boat division to Murray Industries in 1981. Chris-Craft Industries retained the Chris-Craft trademark and licensed it to Murray. Outboard Marine Corporation acquired the company in 1989. OMC went into bankruptcy in 2000 and was purchased by Genmar Holdings. Genmar sold the Chris-Craft division to Stellican, Ltd., then Stellican purchased the Chris-Craft trademark from News Corporation thus reuniting the two parts of the company.

Chris-Craft Industries was acquired by News Corporation in 2000 for its television subsidiaries.


Chris-Craft Industries Wikipedia