Features

Pontoon proliferation

Four big players on how far the segment’s come and where it’s heading next — in style What’s happened in the pontoon market in recent years is breathtaking. Simple aluminum platforms covered by scratchy AstroTurf-like carpets and topped with beige fishing seats used to be the norm. Today’s pontoons can still be affordable, but the category has expanded to included ...

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Crafting a Marketing Plan

Planning marketing activities in advance can help dealers save money while producing results Marketing is loosely defined as promoting and selling a product or service. “The way I look at marketing is basically it’s salesmanship in print, or salesmanship delivered in media,” said Matt Sellhorst, head profits coach at Boat Dealer Profits. Marketing is the avenue in which dealerships draw ...

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Creating new profit centers

The advantages of finding new ways to boost revenue If nothing else, the last few years have brought home the fact that simply relying on boat sales was a recipe for disaster for most dealers. While some dealers relied more heavily on storage and service revenue, others are finding ways to expand even beyond those core competencies. Whether it’s running ...

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Marine tech pushes forward

DMS providers advance technology, plan for growth With all of the in-house data that needs to be converted, switching dealer management system (DMS) providers is often a major undertaking that isn’t considered lightly. Even considering the high barriers to changing providers — one-time setup fees, staff training and data conversion — DMS is so critical to the functioning of most ...

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Q&A with Ron Huibers, Volvo Penta of the Americas

Ron Huibers assumed the helm as president of Volvo Penta of the Americas in 2012. He is responsible for Volvo Penta leisure marine, commercial marine and industrial engine business throughout the Americas. He is also responsible within Volvo Penta for the global marine leisure gas segment. Huibers has been with the Volvo Group more than 20 years. Prior to joining ...

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Washington bound

American Boating Congress gives industry chance to shape policy From E-15 to water access to environmental regulations, what happens in Washington affects the boating industry more than ever these days. One of the best chances to affect those policies is through the annual American Boating Congress, held May 5-7 in Washington, D.C. ABC is organized by the National Marine Manufacturers ...

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Canadian boat and engines sales dipped in 2013

Retail sales of new boats and outboard engines in Canada totaled $2 billion last year, a 2 percent decrease compared to 2012. That’s according to the National Marine Manufacturer Association’s 2013 Canadian Statistical Abstract, which uses data tabulated from October 1, 2012 to September 30, 2013. Other highlights from the report: • Pre-owned boat retail sales declined two percent from ...

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Brunswick, MarineMax, Marine Products Corp. report growth

Three of the biggest publicly traded marine companies all reported year-over-year growth, highlighting the strength of 2013 for the marine industry. Brunswick Corp. — parent company of Mercury, Sea Ray, Bayliner and more – increased net sales 5 percent for 2013 versus 2012. Earnings and margins were also up over 2013. The company’s gross margin of 26.1 percent was the ...

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Websites, boat shows top marketing tactics

New research shows blending of new and traditional Companies in the marine industry are increasing their digital marketing, but still rely on more traditional methods as well. That’s according to the latest monthly survey of Boating Industry readers, which focused on marketing. We surveyed dealers, manufacturers, suppliers and others in January to find out about their marketing efforts and how ...

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Friday Economic Snapshot: Housing reports point to growth

This week saw another batch of mixed indicators of the nation’s overall economic health, but steady growth in the all-important housing market is a major reason for optimism. One of the biggest factors in this sluggish recovery has been the housing market. It’s worth remembering that in every post-World War II recession, it’s been the housing market that has led ...

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