MINNEAPOLIS — As current boaters and prospects gain confidence in exploring purchase decisions, it is increasingly vital that they are directed to trustworthy and professional dealers for boat sales and service. Thanks to Boating Industry magazine and its soon-to-be-published list of the 2010 Top 100 Dealers, it won’t be long before consumers have access to those best of the best dealers at their fingertips.
The Top 100 Dealers, a ranking of those marine dealers that are unsurpassed in overall business operations, customer service, marketing and professionalism, has developed a growing reputation not only for celebrating dealer successes, but for aiding the marine dealer community in its efforts to improve. And to help bring the Boating Industry Top 100 to life, Affinity Group, the magazine’s parent company, created the Leadership Alliance — an elite group of the marine industry’s leading suppliers. These companies were invited to participate because they possess as one of their corporate values a true belief in, and commitment to, raising the bar of professionalism across all marine industry sectors, particularly dealers.
“As consumers tire of denying themselves the many benefits of the boating lifestyle, marine dealers need to leverage all of the tools at their disposal to attract consumers into their businesses,” explained Tammy Galvin, Vice President of Affinity Boating Media. “Six years after its inception, inclusion on Boating Industry’s Top 100 Dealers list is a proven solution used by leading dealers to set themselves apart from the pack.”
“Whether today’s boaters are finally ready to upgrade their vessel or are maximizing their enjoyment of their current model, Boating Industry’s list of Top 100 Dealers is a much-needed guide to those dealerships that provide their boating community with an industry-leading sales and service experience,” said Matt Gruhn, Editorial Director and Publisher of Boating Industry.
To be recognized as one of Boating Industry’s Top 100 Dealers, marine dealerships simply need to submit an application by the July 16th deadline. Applications will be reviewed by the Boating Industry editorial team and then compared to the other applications, and the list of the Top 100 Dealers will be generated after necessary follow-up questions and further research. Boating Industry magazine, along with the Leadership Alliance, will then announce the 2010 Top 100 at an invitation-only gala awards ceremony in Orlando on Nov. 17, 2010.
Meet the 2010 Leadership Alliance:
The 2010 Leadership Alliance members include: Evinrude, GE Capital, BoatTrader com, Volvo Penta, Manheim Specialty Auctions, Global Marine Insurance Agency and the Marine Retailers Association of America.
Boating Industry magazine, an 82-year-old business-to-business publication owned by Affinity Boating Media, a subsidiary of Ventura, Calif.-based Affinity Group Inc., is the most authoritative and widely respected magazine serving the marine industry. Visit www.boatingindustry.com to learn more about the Top 100 and view past years’ winners.
For 100 years, the Evinrude name has been synonymous with boating innovation. Buying an Evinrude means buying a trusted brand name that delivers everything consumers want in an outboard engine. Today’s Evinrude E-TEC engines, manufactured by Bombardier Recreational Products, Sturtevant, Wis., deliver an unmatched boating experience, with more power, better fuel efficiency and less maintenance than any other engine. All this means more of what boaters want most: spending more time on the water to create lasting memories. Visit www.evinrude.com
GE Capital, Hoffman Estates, Ill., a recognized leader in the marine industry for more than 30 years, supports its customers with knowledgeable staff, focused on providing outstanding service and information. Its Commercial Distribution Finance unit takes the time to ensure that it understands its marine manufacturer and dealer customers’ needs and deliver financial products and programs to help them execute their business plans. Its array of financing programs and services include inventory financing, seasonal credit lines, pre-owned and pre-sold financing programs, and business planning tools. For more information about CDF, call 888/873-8232 or visit www.ge.com/cdf
Boat Trader is the leader in the marine classified advertising segment for boat buyers, sellers and dealers, attracting 23.2 million visitors to its Web site in 2009 alone. Headquartered in Norfolk, Va. and owned by Dominion Enterprises, Boat Trader is dedicated to providing its dealers and end-users with results. That commitment is reinforced in the leads and sales that Boat Trader generates to dealers, as well as the aggressive development of new products that help consumers more easily find and purchase inventory. For more information, call 888/410-6270 or visit www.boattrader.com
Volvo Penta, Chesapeake, Va., has become the fastest growing marine engine company in the world by constantly developing innovative new products and services. The company, founded in 1907, introduced its first outboard engine in 1922, the first in-line 6-cylinder diesel in 1946, the first sterndrive in 1959, the first duo-prop in 1982 and Electronic Diesel Control in 1995. Then, in 2005, Volvo Penta changed the face of marine propulsion forever with the Volvo Penta Inboard Performance System (IPS), followed by the Volvo Penta IPS Joystick. Today, more than 10,000 units have been produced and shipped to more than 100 independent boat builders worldwide. Visit www.volvopenta.com
Manheim Specialty Auctions, a division of 60-plus-year-old auction provider Manheim, offers auctions with sales dedicated to boats, motorcycles, recreational vehicles and powersports vehicles at 16 locations in North America. Benefits for dealers who participate in the auction process include a critical mass of buyers and sellers, credible pricing, market liquidity, affordable participation and technology applications. Customers can take advantage of on-site and online bidding using a variety of technologies such as Manheim Simulcast, which allows dealers to participate in live auctions online. For more information, call 877/704-4636 or e-mail email@example.com.
Founded in 1989, the independently owned and operated Global Marine Insurance Agency (GMIA), Traverse City, Mich., is one of the most highly regarded marine insurance providers in the country. Global specializes exclusively in insuring a growing mix of marine products, from personal watercraft to mega-yachts to various commercial marine vessels. More than 60 percent of GMIA’s insurance business stems from business partnerships with marine dealers and lenders, ranging from small dealerships to multistate, multimillion-dollar dealerships. For more information, call 800/748-0224 or visit www.globalmarineinsurance.com
The Marine Retailers Association of America is the leading not-for-profit organization aimed at promoting the recreational marine industry and the welfare of the marine retailer. The association raises the standards of retailing within the industry, provides its members a common source of information concerning all aspects of marine retailing and serves as the voice within the industry and in Washington regarding issues concerning marine dealers nationwide. Visit: www.mraa.com
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