Spader reports dealer sales are up

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. – Dealership sales are up, but small dealers’ bottom line is about the same as last year, while large dealers have seen an improvement, according to Spader Cos.’ monthly report released yesterday.

The market research firm report tracks approximately 60 dealers in North America, dividing them into categories: those doing under $5 million in business at retail and those doing over $5 million.

The small dealers saw their total dealership sales grow 5.4 percent to $123,927 in January compared to the same month last year, while the large dealers saw 2.2-percent growth to $421,263.

Small dealers

New boat sales for the average small dealer rang up $96,462 in January, up 29 percent over January 2003, while used boat sales were reported to be $15,286, down 46.6 percent, said Spader.

New boat inventories for the smaller dealers were up 4.1 percent to $1,200,839 compared to the same month last year, while used boat inventories were down 19.7 percent to $83,371.

The market research firm also stated that average net loss was $34,882, a growth of 4.1 percent from last year, and as a percentage of sales was down 0.4 percentage points from last year to 28.1 percent.

Spader reported that the total gross margin percent for smaller dealers was down 5.5 percentage points from a year ago to 27.7 percent, while total unit margin percent was down 0.7 percentage points to 16.2 percent compared to 2003.

Spending for January was down in terms of dollars but due to the lower margins, it was up as a percent of gross margin, compared to last year, according to Spader.

Large dealers

New boat sales for the average large dealer were $289,397 for January, up 15.8 percent, while used boat sales were reported at $60,772, up 48.2 percent from the same month of 2003, said Spader.

The large dealers’ new boat inventories were down 4.5 percent to $3,645,210. Used boat inventories were up 31.5 percent to $507,348.

The market research firm reported that net loss had improved 25.2 percent to $43,588 or 10.3 percent of sales for January, compared to a net loss of 14.1 percent of sales a year ago.

Total gross margin was 34.6 percent, up 2.1 percentage points from last year, and while spending in terms of dollars remained nearly level with last year, as a percent of the gross margin it is over 10 points less than last year, the report said.

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