Small dealers see losses grow

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. – Small dealers are reporting, on average, that their net loss for the two-month period ending Feb. 29 is up 58 percent compared to the same period of 2003, Spader Cos. reported in a statement Friday.

Large dealers, however, have seen their net loss shrink about 22 percent compared to the same period last year.

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

Total dealership sales for those under $5 million are down 20 percent from last year, from $351,891 to $281,663, while total sales for dealers over $5 million are up 0.4 percent over last year to $1,115,646 through the end of February.

Small dealers

New boat sales for the average small dealer were down 19.3 percent over 2003, from $241,048 to $194,613, while used boat sales were reported to be $23,711, down 40.1 percent, according to Spader.

New boat inventories for the smaller dealers were up 6.8 percent to $1,284,527 compared to the same two months last year, while used boat inventories were up 2.7 percent to $111,662.

Spader said the average net loss was $61,173, and as a percent of sales was up 10.7 percentage points from last year to 21.7 percent.

Spader reported that the total gross margin percent for smaller dealers was up 0.2 percentage points from a year ago to 29.7 percent, while total unit margin percent was up 0.4 percentage points to 17.7 percent compared to 2003.

Spending was up in terms of dollars and as a percentage of gross margin.

Large dealers

New boat sales for the average large dealer was $786,714 through February, up 9.9 percent, while used boat sales were reported at $84,396, down 14.9 percent from the same two months of 2003, said Spader.

The large dealers’ new boat inventories were down 7.0 percent on average to $3,621,556. Used boat inventories were up 14 percent to $458,656.

The market research firm reported that large dealers’ average net loss was $47,851, 13.8 percent of sales, compared to $61,604 and 17.8 percent in 2003.

Total gross margin was $345,636 or 31.0 percent, down 0.2 percentage points from last year. Spending in terms of dollars decreased during 2004 and is also down as a percentage of gross margin.

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