Wholesale boat sales up significantly

CHICAGO – Wholesale dollar sales of all boats were up 20.8 percent this year through March compared to prior year numbers, based on the March Monthly Shipment Report released today by the National Marine Manufacturers Association.

Unit shipments for the year are up 19.8 percent through March, year-to-date, compared to 2003, NMMA said.

“When you look at the retail level, it is apparent that wholesale shipments are on the rise to meet current demand by consumers,” said NMMA Market Statistics director Jim Petru. “Statistical Surveys data shows that sales of outboard boats are up 14 percent for the first quarter, while Cruisers (20 percent) and Ski Boat (7 percent) sales are off to a strong start as well in 2004.”

NMMA said the traditional powerboat segments (outboard, sterndrive, and inboard boats) also showed strong gains, increasing 19.1 percent in dollars and 13.0 percent in units shipped for March YTD, compared to the previous year.

More companies are participating in this year’s MSR program – which tracks manufacturers’ shipments to dealers for both boats and outboard engines using a control group of boat and engine manufacturers – providing more accurate statistical data. The number of companies participating has increased to 153 (compared to 137 last year). These companies accounted for 79 percent of powerboat sales in 2003, NMMA said.

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