For the past two years, Peter Houseworth – director of client services for Info-Link technologies – has contributed an article to Boating Industry’s annual Market Data Book on the subject of inventory moving through the retail pipeline or, more simply, “Days in Inventory.”
We talked with Peter last week at the Marine Dealer Conference & Expo in Orlando and he shared with us the latest Days in Inventory information from Info-Link. The good news is that Days in Inventory – calculated based on the average number of days between production of the boat and sale to the end consumer – continues to fall – and has done so since the third and fourth quarters of 2009, when average inventory days peaked for several new powerboat segments. The bad news is that inventory levels still aren’t back to “normal.”
“While things have been trending in the right direction, they are still above historical averages,” Houseworth says.
Historically, the “normal” time in distribution has averaged in the 225-day range.
As can be seen on this PDF provided by Info-Link, average inventory levels across several boat segments, while falling, are still above that mark by a significant margin through the third quarter of 2010. Days in Inventory for new powerboats 16-feet to 20-feet in length, for example, are not too far below the 300-day mark, while new powerboats 33-feet to 65-feet in length are closer to 400 days.
Still, inventory levels are headed in the right direction. A trend Info-Link believes will continue.
“It is our expectation that ultimately they will be lower than the historical averages,” Houseworth says.