Dealers from 23 different countries gathered in Sarasota, Fla., in mid-July to see the latest offerings from Chris-Craft as the company celebrates its 140th anniversary.
More than 120 dealer principals and senior staff attended Chris-Craft’s annual dealer meeting, representing dealerships from the U.S., Canada, Russia, the UK, China, Mexico, Spain, Italy, the Dominican Republic, Norway, Singapore, Turkey, Guatemala, Cyprus, the UAE, Sweden, Germany, Puerto Rico, Peru, Brazil, Colombia, Slovenia and Nigeria. According to Chris-Craft Marketing Manager Allison Witty, international dealers slightly outnumbered domestic dealers at the 2014 event.
“We’re excited to see so many of our overseas dealers attending this year,” said Witty. “Chris-Craft truly is a global brand, and the number of countries represented at our dealer event speaks to that.”
Attending dealers learned about the company’s business plans for the 2015 model year, and enjoyed the opportunity to sea trial more than 13 different models at the Sarasota Hyatt marina, including a special anniversary edition of the Capri 21 powered by a 380 horsepower Ilmore 6.0L V8. Plant tours were also available.
“We’ve been working very hard over the past year and we’re pleased to see our sales continue to grow,” said Jeff Ellis, Chris-Craft’s VP of Sales. “That growth is something we’re seeing not only domestically with our dealers in the US, but internationally as well.”
While pleased the company’s export sales now represent almost 50 per cent of its total production run, Ellis feels that the potential for further international growth is strong.
“The European economy, for the most part, is still not at the level where we’re used to seeing it,” said Ellis. “And that’s always been a good market for us. If we can see some positive economic growth in Europe we should see our business there return to pre-recession levels and grow from there.”