Dealership Certification Ramps Up

It’s been nearly seven months since the first group of 28 “pilot” dealers achieved certification under the Marine Industry Dealership Certification program. Since that time, the number of “Marine Industry Certified Dealerships” has more than tripled, with a current total of 86 certified dealerships and another 200-plus dealers actively working through the process [as of late August]. That number is expected to climb throughout the remainder of 2006 and into 2007, and by the end of next year reach as high as 500 dealerships.
With these results, it’s clear the industry has jumped on the certification bandwagon and fully supports the Marine Industry Dealership Certification program. Dealerships see clear benefits in earning the “certified” status, manufacturers have been encouraging every step of the way, and in the end consumers, too, will benefit by purchasing a product backed by industry-approved sales and service standards.
Dealership Certification Launch Workshops held this past spring were packed full of dealership personnel interested in pursuing certification through the program. After conclusion of the spring sessions, which wrapped up in May, more than 600 dealership employees had participated to date. The fall Launch Workshop schedule began in August and continues through November. As of late August, more than 50 dealerships were scheduled to participate in the fall meetings. Workshops are limited to 25 dealerships and are scheduled for locations throughout the country. Manufacturers are also invited to learn more about Dealership Certification by sitting in on the workshops.
Already, several local and state Marine Trade Associations, boat manufacturers and other groups have requested that fall workshops be held in their areas. Some have gone one step further and offered to provide meeting space and catering services for the event, as well as promoting the workshops among their respective memberships—a clear indication the industry recognizes a need for the program and is willing to help aid the ongoing effort. A workshop can be conducted in any area, provided at least 20 dealerships to participate.
The Marine Industry Dealership Certification program is still somewhat in its infancy. But instead of taking baby steps to forge ahead, the program is growing by leaps and bounds. Support for the program resounds throughout the marine industry, and at this rate it’s just a matter of time before everyone wants a piece of the action. Dealership Certification is setting a new standard for the way dealerships conduct business in today’s marketplace.
For additional information on the Marine Industry Dealership program, or to host a Launch workshop in your area visit, or contact Elizabeth McAllister at (312) 946-6500;

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