NMMA: Manufacturing picks up in May, PWC sales surge

New data from the NMMA shows a pickup in manufacturing activity in May with seasonally adjusted wholesale shipments of outboard engines, PWCs, wake sport boats, and jet boats seeing increases ranging from 19% to 160% compared to April when business productivity was halted due to the pandemic. Data also shows an unprecedented increase in personal watercraft (PWC) seasonally adjusted sales in May, up 59% compared to April, and up 75% compared to a year ago. These initial findings are an encouraging indicator for new boat sales and boating activity as the summer boating season opens across the country.

“The new data coming out for May suggests that the worst of the pandemic impacts may be behind the boating industry as we’re seeing manufacturing activity start to pickup and an increase in sales in certain segments. PWC retail sales surged in May, a high volume category that account for about a quarter of total new boat sales annually and a popular purchase option for many first-time boat buyers,” noted Vicky Yu, director of NMMA business intelligence. “This new data reinforces what we’ve been hearing from dealers and manufacturers nationwide. With summer camps, sports leagues, and vacations cancelled, there’s been a heightened interest in boating as a way to escape and enjoy the outdoors while social distancing responsibly.”

The NMMA expects to receive May data for the remaining retail sales and wholesale shipment categories next month. Access the monthly reports on New Powerboat Registrations and the Monthly Shipment Report on NMMA.org.

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