At the Helm: Best of the best

A 16-percent increase in revenue. Nearly 4,000 more boats sold. More than $1.1 billion in total revenue.

Those are just a few of the facts about the 2012 Boating Industry Top 100 Dealers. This elite group of dealers is leading the marine industry’s recovery from the recession through their high level of customer satisfaction, revenue growth and all-around business acumen.

One thing all the Top 100 dealers have in common is a dedication to improvement. Even our three Hall of Fame companies – those dealers that have received special recognition for topping the list twice – aren’t content with the status quo.

As most of you reading this know, I am new to the magazine. One of the things that impressed me before I even took the job was the Top 100 program. It’s great to see a group of dealers that is focused on raising their game year after year, even in a challenging environment.

On the following pages, you’ll find more about all 100 companies, starting with our 2012 Dealer of the Year, Legendary Marine. Legendary truly blew us away with their growth and improvement over the last several years. Considering the competition, this was particularly impressive. You can read more about Legendary and the rest of the Top 100 on the following pages.

Just like the best dealers are evolving, so is the Top 100. We already made some changes this year, but we have more ideas in store for 2013 to make sure the program continues to meet the needs of the industry. Among other things, we’ll be revamping the application process, addressing some of the concerns and comments we’ve heard from you over the last few years. If you’ve thought about applying in the past and haven’t for whatever reason, I encourage you to keep an eye out for our streamlined process coming this spring.

Lastly, I want to make sure we thank the select group of manufacturers and suppliers that make so much of what we do with the Top 100 possible.

We couldn’t run the Top 100 program without our Leadership Alliance – GE Capital Commercial Distribution Finance, Volvo Penta, Boat Trader, Manheim Specialty Auctions and the Marine Retailers Association of the Americas. These companies not only sponsor our Top 100 Gala, but also support the program throughout the year. In times good and bad, they continue to recognize the importance of supporting the best in the industry.

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