UMMA to fight Brunswick strategy

ST. LOUIS – As Brunswick continues to advance its acquisitions strategy, the threat the company poses to the independents is escalating, according to Kent Wooldridge, president of the United Marine Manufacturers Association and the United Marine Suppliers Association.

“I believe that Brunswick intends to put you out of business,” said Wooldridge during a speech given to boat builders at the UMMA/UMSA Partnership Conference in St. Louis this weekend. “Although the world thinks Brunswick has the power to consolidate the industry, the reality is we have the power to stop it.”

To accomplish this goal, UMMA members must stop buying products from Brunswick. Otherwise, they are keeping members from being competitive with Brunswick’s boat companies, he suggested.

“You cannot spend your dollars with the competition, only to have those profits subsidize lower prices for Brunswick companies,” Wooldridge stated. “If you take that business away, it will increase their prices. When you work with UMSA suppliers, which are committed to supporting independent builders, you get lower costs yourself.”

Wooldridge also once again promoted the idea of working with the other two buying groups – the American Boatbuilders Association and Independent Boat Builders Inc. – indicating that discussions between the three buying groups are continuing.

For more information on these topics, see Boating Industry magazine article, Independents’ Day.

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– Liz Walz

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