SIOUX FALLS, S.D. — The average dealer tracked by Spader Business Management reported an increase of 3.2 percent in new boat sales for the first three months of 2010 when compared to the first three months of 2009, the firm reported in its latest trend report.
“While it’s still very early in the season, these numbers do represent the first quarter of the 2010 year,” Spader said. “Quarterly trends tend to be predictive of the rest of the year.”
The report highlighted several other positive trends from the first quarter. New boat inventory levels ended the quarter 35.6 percent lower than new boat inventories at the end of the same period in 2009; the average gross margin percentage on new boats was up by one percentage point over the average gross margin earned on new boats a year ago; and total dealership sales were 4.5 percent higher in the first three months of 2010 when compared to the first three months of 2009.
The average dealer reported year-to-date new boat sales of $641,286 and average total dealership sales of $1,259,353. This compares to average new boat sales of $621,254 and average total dealership sales of $1,204,562 in the prior year.
Pre-owned boat sales for the average dealer tracked by Spader Business Management brought in $153,292, down 9 percent.
New boat inventory levels were down from $3,199,421 to $2,061,540. Spader reported pre-owned boat inventory was down 26 percent to $466,091 during this period, resulting in a total inventory decline of 33.1 percent.
During the period, F&I revenue was up 31.8 percent, service revenue dropped 7.5 percent, parts and accessories revenue was up 5 percent, marina revenue was down 5.8 percent and other department sales were up 10.6 percent.
The average dealer reported a 4 percent reduction in expenses for the first quarter of 2010. While it was a reduction, this was the smallest decrease in expenses reported for many months. One expense category, Variable Expenses, actually was slightly higher in 2010 than it was in 2009.
“Dealers need to be careful not to relax the expense controls that they have implemented during the period of reduced sales,” Spader said.
For the first quarter of 2010, dealers reported an average net operating loss of $92,152. This was an improvement of over 30 percent from the average net operating loss reported in 2009.
The total dealership gross margin percentage was up slightly so far this year.
The Spader 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.