CDK: Robust boat dealer sales growth in March

After a lackluster start to the year, boat dealers saw impressive growth in same-store sales in March.

Sales were up 9.3 percent for the month over March 2014, CDK Global Recreation reported. Sales were up in all four categories in the report, which is based on data from dealers that use CDK’s Lightspeed software.

That followed a flat month in February (up only 0.3 percent) and a year-over-year decline of 1.5 percent in January. Even more impressive is that this year’s growth comes off of a 10.1 percent increase from March 2013 to 2014. While the 2014 growth was driven entirely by an increase in unit sales (with service and parts sales declining), this year’s growth carried across all departments.

Unit sales were strong again, up 6.8 percent from March 2014. That bested February’s anemic 0.2 percent growth rate. Unit sales have now been up year-over-year for 10 of the last 12 months.

Service department revenue were particularly robust, increasing 14.4 percent from March 2014, surpassing the 3.6 percent year-over-year growth in February. Service revenue has also increased 10 of the last 12 months.

The parts department continues to drive revenue growth for many dealers, with same-store sales up 5.2 percent for the month from 2014, topping February’s 2.8 percent increase. It was the 12th month in a row for growth in parts sales in the CDK report.

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