At the Helm: A Top 100 stronger than ever

This month we recognize the Boating Industry Top 100 – the best boat dealers in North America.

And as we celebrate their success for the 12th time, the dealers on the list are stronger than they have been since before the Great Recession. The Top 100 and Hall of Fame reached nearly $2.7 billion in total revenue in 2015, surpassing their 2014 total by more than $100 million.

They sold more boats and more engines, increased service and storage revenue, all while maintaining industry-leading CSI scores, service efficiency and profits.

Of course, the Top 100 is about more than revenue. From the thousands of dealers in North America – and hundreds of nominations – these 100 dealers are the best of the best. The Top 100 dealers excel not only at the business of selling boats, but also delivering a great customer experience.

These dealers also faced stiff competition to make the list, with the highest number of applications since the recession. It shows the returning strength of the entire market and this year required some incredibly difficult cuts to get us to the final 100.

You can see all of the Top 100 companies on this year’s list, with the complete list starting on p. 32.

You’ll also find profiles and best practices from several of this year’s top dealers, including the 2016 Dealer of the Year, OneWater Marine Holdings. We’ve also profiled the eight Best in Class winners, recognized for their achievement in specific areas of their businesses, such as marketing, service and innovation. Finally, each Boating Industry editor picked one dealer from the 2016 Top 100 that stood out to them as a company to watch. Those Editors Choice companies are profiled starting on p. 56.

I also want to be sure to thank the group of manufacturers and service providers that that make the Top 100 program possible. The Top 100 Leadership Alliance’s support allows us to not only recognize the Top 100, but also to share their best practices with the entire industry.

We all owe a debt of thanks to those companies: Wells Fargo Commercial Distribution Finance, Manheim Specialty Auctions, Volvo Penta, Brunswick Dealer Advantage, Sunbrella Marine, the Marine Retailers Association of the Americas and the National Marine Manufacturers Association.

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