SIOUX FALLS, S.D. — New boat sales were down by 33.9 percent and total dealership sales were down by 22.0 percent for the average dealer tracked by Spader Business Management during the ten-month period ended Oct. 31, compared to the same period of 2008, the company reported in a recent statement.
That continues a trend of incremental improvement in those numbers during recent months — in September, new boat sales were down by 34.2 percent and total dealership sales were down by 23.0 percent.
The average dealer reported year-to-date new boat sales of $3,121,027 and average total dealership sales of $6,925,321 for the first ten months of 2009. This compares to the average new boat sales of $4,721,009 and the average total dealership sales of $8,873,596 reported for the first ten 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 $983,545 during the first ten months of the year, down only 5.5 percent when compared to the same time frame in 2008, according to Spader.
New boat inventory levels were down 22.8 percent for the first ten months of the year — from $3,378,198 to $2,608,123. Spader reported pre-owned boat inventory was down 8.2 percent to $403,852 during this period, resulting in a total inventory decline of 21.1 percent.
F&I revenue fell 36.9 percent and service revenue dropped 9.7 percent for the period, while parts and accessories revenue was down 6.5 percent, marina revenue was down 12.9 percent and other department sales fell 8.1 percent.
The total dealership gross margin percentage was up by 0.8 percentage points. Unit gross margin percentages were down by 1.9 percentage points to 15.4 percent, compared to last year.
“Dealers continue to spend a larger portion of their earnings on operating expenses,” Spader said. “Spending on personnel, floorplan interest and fixed expenses were all up. Advertising expenses and other semi-fixed expenses were down.”
At the end of October, the average dealer earned a net profit of 2.2 percent of sales, compared to an average net profit of 3.0 percent of sales in 2008. This equates to a decrease in net profit dollars of over 40 percent.