CRYSTAL RIVER, Fla. — Pro-Line Boats is adjusting to its sales strategies, personnel and model lineup to adapt to the new market, according to officials with the Florida-based builder of fiberglass recreational saltwater fishing boats.
“We’ve substantially reduced field inventory at the dealer and factory levels, and over the past few months our production of retail sold boats has continued to increase,” John Walker, senior vice president for Pro-Line’s parent American Marine Holdings, said in a release. “The climate for new business is showing signs of improvement and we’re adapting our methods to increase sales in this changing marketplace.”
The first change involves shifting the company’s focus away from traditional boat shows.
“Traditional boat shows are no longer the singular catalyst to retail sales that they once were, so we are shifting our focus to include more tournaments and owners events,” Walker said. “Pro-Line has a long history of being very retail-focused, going back to the days of our ‘Factory Direct Sales,’ which we began in the early 1990s. Today we are proactively engaging retail customers through our Web site and have recently opened channels for customers to work directly with our factory sales staff, who in turn work with our dealers to facilitate retail sales. Our presence and participation in on-water events further strengthens our customer relations, and ultimately, sells more boats.”
American Marine Holdings has also secured a private floorplan source and recently announced that floorplan will be available to both Pro-Line and sister-brand Donzi’s preferred dealer partners.
“By offering our dealers a floorplan option so they may finance boats for stock, we’re helping them to remain viable business entities, as it has been proven that customers are far less likely to purchase from so-called catalog dealers,” Walker said.
In terms of product development, Pro-Line is expanding its “Pro-Lite” line of affordable family fishing boats with new 21’ and 23’ center consoles. Pro-Line is also taking aim at the offshore tournament center console market with a new 35’ Super Sport center console. The 35 Super Sport will incorporate ventilated stepped bottom running surface technology developed at Donzi Marine.
Internally, Pro-Line is making administrative moves to accommodate its changes. Teresa Reddick, the company’s production assistant, will assume duties as sales coordinator. That will allow national sales manager Lanie Martin to shift his focus toward government sales for both the Pro-Line and Donzi Marine factories.
“Over the years we’ve built up quite a reputation among law enforcement and military agencies, both in the U.S. and abroad. We are able to build highly custom boats to meet specific mission requirements, and we are on the GSA schedule, which means no-hassle buying for U.S. government agencies,” Walker reported. “We are currently working on a number of key contracts that will likely result in substantial future business.”