Jacobs comments on market conditions

MINNEAPOLIS – In a letter sent to its dealers yesterday, Genmar Holdings LLC Chairman Irwin L. Jacobs suggested that market conditions aren’t as bad as they might appear, and predicted that the marine industry, in rebounding from this downturn, would reach new heights.

“I’m going to make a prediction and tell you that I’m 100-percent sure … that the recreational boating industry is not only going to come back again, but it will be back bigger and better than ever before,” he wrote in the letter. “It surely is no secret that the present retail boating market is less than desirable regardless of who you speak with and/or what you are hearing and personally experiencing. But frankly, on behalf of Genmar and its boat companies, we are impressed with what all of our dealers have accomplished.”

To underline the accomplishments of Genmar and its dealers, Jacobs predicted that Genmar boat sales will have declined only about 5 percent during the fiscal year ended June 30.

He warned, however, that “there will be many boat manufacturing companies and boat dealers who won’t be around for the better days ahead because they have not effectively adjusted their businesses downward and/or don’t believe the boating industry will ever return to its previous successful decades of the past.” And he urged Genmar dealers to “look very carefully at your overhead costs and your product lines to be sure that you’ve done everything you possibly can to adjust your costs and to have the right boat lines and inventories particularly during the present market conditions.”

Jacobs called Genmar “the boating industry’s most innovative and aggressive worldwide leader,” suggesting that Genmar’s record breaking 94 new products for the 2009 model year, spread amongst its 14 boat companies, is evidence of that leadership.

Finally, Jacobs re-emphasized Genmar’s commitment to helping its dealers get through the current market downturn and suggested it may begin to turn around sooner than some analysts are predicting.

“I promise you, Genmar and all of our boat companies’ management teams will do everything practical to help our Genmar Dealers through these difficult times,” he wrote. “I am not suggesting that the 2009 retail boat market is going to come roaring back, but I do believe that once the Presidential elections are behind us in early November 2008, we’ll most likely begin to see market conditions improve and continue from there in a positive direction for those who have the right boat products, best services and a positive attitude throughout their organizations.”

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