Wholesale boat unit sales decline in March

CHICAGO, Ill. – Wholesale dollar sales of all boats were up 4.3 percent in March, compared to the same month the previous year, while unit boat shipments dropped 9.8 percent, based on the March Monthly Shipment Report (MSR) recently released by the National Marine Manufacturers Association (NMMA).

Reviewing first quarter numbers, dollar sales were up 8.7 percent, while unit sales were down 8.6 percent, according to the association.

Dollar sales for the traditional powerboat segments (outboard, sterndrive, and inboard boats) in March were more impressive, up 7.2 percent, while unit shipments increased 0.6 percent. Through the first quarter, dollar sales were up 10.2 percent and unit sales were up 1.1 percent.

“It is encouraging to see sales of higher end boats on the rise. Relatively low interest rates and rebounding consumer confidence are making people more comfortable in making the decision to purchase boats at higher price points,” said NMMA Market Research Director Jim Petru.

NMMA’s MSR tracks manufacturers’ shipments to dealers for both boats and outboard engines using a control group of boat and engine manufacturers. The 2005 boat control group represents about 77 percent of the overall boat marketplace while the 2005 outboard engine control group represents about 95 percent of the market.

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