Genmar launches first all-brand dealer show

LAS VEGAS – “The Brands of Genmar 2005” began Sunday evening with Genmar chairman Irwin Jacobs presiding over the first-ever dealer meeting of all 15 boat brands that make up his company – 26 years, to the day, after he acquired Larson Boats, his first boat company.

More than 3,400 people have gathered in Las Vegas for the dealer meeting, with 400 vendors, 180 international dealerships and 1,700 North American dealerships represented. There are also 500 Genmar staff in attendance, the company said in a press release yesterday.

“We have 200 2005 models from all brands in the [Las Vegas] Convention Center covering 10 acres, plus 100 vendor exhibits and 80 boats in the water for the dealers and media to test,” said Genmar senior vice president George Sullivan.

During the four days of the event, the brands will have separate business dealer meetings and then open educational and training sessions for all.

Genmar president Roger Cloutier set the upbeat tone for the dealers on Sunday, reviewing the brands and organization, including its international manufacturing facilities and what can be expected during the meeting.

“Irwin’s goal has always been to make a difference to help improve the marine industry and bring new people to boating,” said Cloutier. “That’s why he often takes the lead in business and legislative challenges, and encourages other industry executives to join him.”

Jacobs was also upbeat.

“There are five things in place that point to continuing success for Genmar dealers,” Jacobs said. “We have the strongest balance sheet ever, which puts us in the position of being able to do things our competitors cannot.

“We have the strongest, most committed and talented management and staff. Clearly we are the most comprehensive, innovative builder in product leadership. Finally, we have the forward thinking to lead and are prepared to take the risks necessary.”

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