SIOUX FALLS, S.D. — New boat sales were down by 34.2 percent and total dealership sales were down by 23.0 percent for the average dealer tracked by Spader Business Management during the nine-month period ended Sept. 30, compared to the same period of 2008, the company reported in a recent statement. Those numbers are slightly improved from last month, when new boat sales were down by 36.5 percent and total dealership sales were down 25.5 percent.
The average dealer reported year-to-date new boat sales of $2,977,439 and average total dealership sales of $6,363,451 for the first nine months of 2009. This compares to the average new boat sales of $4,522,078 and the average total dealership sales of $8,260,010 reported for the first nine months of 2008.
The training and consulting firm tracks North American boat dealers, both large and small, to compile an average profile, then compares year-over-year trends in a number of different categories.
Pre-owned boat sales for the average dealer tracked by Spader Business Management brought in $897,323 during the first nine months of the year, down only 5.2 percent when compared to the same time frame in 2008, according to Spader.
New boat inventory levels were down 21.5 percent for the first nine months of the year — from $3,347,226 to $2,626,923. Spader reported pre-owned boat inventory was down 5.8 percent to $398,114 during this period, resulting in a total inventory decline of 19.8 percent.
F&I revenue fell 39.2 percent and service revenue dropped 10.5 percent for the period, while parts and accessories revenue was down 7.8 percent, marina revenue was down 14 percent and other department sales rose 0.8 percent.
The total dealership gross margin percentage was up by 0.5 percentage points because with boat sales down, a greater percentage of revenue is coming from higher margin areas such as parts & accessories, service, finance & insurance and marinas, Spader explained. Unit gross margin percentages were down by 1.9 percentage points to 17.2 percent, compared to last year.
“Spending in terms of dollars is running just under 18 percent less than a year ago,” Spader said. “However, as a percentage of gross margin, expenses are over four percentage points higher than last year.”
At the end of September, the average dealer earned a net profit of 2.2 percent of sales. This compares to an average net profit of 3.4 percent of sales in 2008. This is a 50-percent decrease in net profit dollars for the nine months ending Sept. 30.