Dealer feedback drives Brunswick model year delay

CHICAGO, Ill. — Brunswick Corp. has made the decision to delay the release of its US Marine division’s and outboard boat brands’ 2010 product to September of 2009 in response to dealer feedback.

The company joins Everglades Boats, which announced a similar delay in March.

The Brunswick brands affected by the delay are Bayliner, Crestliner, Cypress Cay Pontoons, Harris, Kayot, Lowe, Lund, Maxum, Triton and Trophy.

In a note to dealers dated April 9, Brunswick said the delay was instituted in response to a dealer survey.

“Recently, the leaders representing the … brands … conducted surveys with a large number of dealers regarding inventory levels, changing credit conditions and model year conversion,” wrote Jay S. Povlin, senior vice president of sales for US Marine and Outboard Boats. “The ‘Voice of the Dealer’ we received was remarkably consistent …”

The company said the delay will allow retailers to liquidate inventory in the heart of selling season, prevent inventory from being devalued by new product, reduce the risk of retail lenders lowering available credit on existing inventory and alleviate customer confusion with new model year product during the selling season.

Brunswick’s announcement also cited market conditions, dealer inventory levels, changing credit requirements and the voice of the dealers as critical factors in making the change.

“As evidenced by this announcement, we are committed to taking responsible action to preserve the long-term financial health of you, our dealer partners,” added Povlin. “We believe that continued focus on selling the existing inventory through the summer months is the wisest path for all of us.”

In a related announcement, the Marine Retailers Association of America applauded Brunswick on its decision and called on all manufacturers to immediately implement the September announcement date to help dealers liquidate their inventories.

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