GPS provider sets sights on marine market

A new player is hoping to bring its GPS experience to the marine market and help dealers boost their F&I profits.

Skypatrol has been providing solutions for the powersports market and other industries and sees the marine market as ripe for its products, said Tony Tarell, director of sales for Skypatrol’s Protek Powersports division.

Skypatrol offers proprietary GPS hardware and firmware to help businesses monitor and protect vehicles and other “mobile assets.”

The company is going after two major markets: dealers, through the F&I office, and those with rental fleets, Tarell said.

“Our quickest impact is going to be with those dealers that have rentals – those fleet guys that want that protection or theft recovery device on their boat or” personal watercraft, he said.

But Tarell believes the biggest opportunity for dealers to impact business will be on the finance side.

Skypatrol is promoting the service to dealers as an upsell to roll into their financing. That’s a model that has proven successful in the other industries in which Skypatrol works.

“Been asking around and nobody’s doing it, but when I explain it [to dealers], they say it makes a lot of sense,” he said. “You’re providing a service, protecting my investment, rolling it into my financing. It only costs the buyer another $5 a month and the dealership’s making 300 percent.”

Another target is subprime borrowers, allowing lenders to track boats. Although the company has not entered into any partnerships with lenders in the marine market yet, powersports dealers that cater to the subprime market have found success with the product, he said.

See related story at our sister publication, Powersports Business.

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