Dealers’ sales taking a hit?

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. – New boat and total dealership sales were down for both the large and small dealers it tracks during the eight months ending Aug. 31, compared to the same period of 2003, Spader Cos reported yesterday.

The training and consulting company 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.

The company found that new boat sales for smaller dealers were down 4 percent from the same period in 2003 – from $2,058,211 to $1,975,904 – and fell from $6,181,480 to $6,013,530 for larger dealers, a 2.7-percent decline.

Total dealership sales for larger dealers fell 2.9 percent ($9,510,620 to $9,238,464) and dropped 5.8 percent for smaller dealers – from $3,287,343 to $3,095,746.

Small dealers

Small dealers reported that their profits were up from 2003 as they had a net profit of 6.9 percent of sales, or $214,451, as compared to 6.1 percent of sales, or $200,791, for the same period the year before.

Used boat sales showed a sharp drop, falling from $373,376 in 2003 to $299,735 this year, a 19.7-percent decline.

New boat inventories were down 2.1 percent, from $1,083,692 to $1,061,350, while used boat inventories fell 9.6 percent – from $110,627 to $99,994.

The total gross margin percent was down 1.1 points to 28.4 percent, while total unit margin percent was up 1.6 points to 19.4 percent.

Spending in terms of dollars was down and, as a percentage of gross margin, was 2.0 points less than the same period of 2003.

Large dealers

Large dealers reported a net profit of 5.6 percent of sales, or $515,487, compared to 6.7 percent, or $635,511, in 2003.

Used boat sales climbed 11.5 percent, to $1,172,181 from $1,051,731 in 2003, and used boat inventories fell 2.1 percent, from $458,704 to $449,220. New boat inventories were down 6.8 percent ($3,351,199 to $3,123,008) from 2003.

Spader reported that total gross margins were down slightly (0.8 points) from 2003, to 26.0 percent, while total unit margins fell 0.9 points to 17.2 percent. Spending was down in terms of dollars, but up 3.5 points as a percentage of gross margin.

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