NMMA: Recovery begins at winter boat shows

NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Attendance was up at the National Marine Manufacturers Association’s Nashville show, the group’s first show of the season, and NMMA President Thom Dammrich says dealers can expect that trend to continue.

“The 2011 winter show season will be much stronger than 2010,” Dammrich said. “The Nashville Boat and Sportshow saw attendance grow 5 percent and dealers reporting multiple solid sales with cash deposits. I visited the Toronto Boat Show this weekend as well and dealers there were reporting strong sales. The recovery in new boat sales begins this winter at boat shows.”

The NMMA says the Nashville show attracted attendance of 12,561. Dammrich said he will continue to closely monitor boat show attendance as well as other factors to help predict how sales will fare during the rest of 2011.

“We will be looking at boat show results and, particularly, the Miami International Boat Show – a bellwether for the industry,” Dammrich said. “But, we continue to monitor consumer confidence, GDP, light vehicle sales and consumer spending. Consumer confidence, while much lower than we would like today, is 10 points higher than it was a year ago. It is gradually recovering. GDP has been growing for five straight quarters (soon to be six when Q4 10 is announced and predictions for next year are in the 3-4 percent growth range). The boating industry tends to do well when GDP growth is 3 percent or better. Light vehicle sales have recovered nicely — they’re up 11 percent in 2010, with most auto forecasters predicting a stronger 2011. And, consumer spending has only been down in one the past eighteen months. Consumers are spending again! Unemployment and housing will continue to be a drag, but momentum has clearly shifted in our favor.”

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