We live in a time of consolidation, as the news of Garmin’s bid to acquire Raymarine this week once again illustrates. Airlines, automakers and certainly media companies, among others, are combining forces like never before in hopes of increasing their returns in an uncertain economic future.
The boating industry has seen its share of mergers and acquisitions as well. That’s nothing new, change has always been a constant. Brands, and the companies that make them, change hands through the years, coming and going. Dealers change the lines they carry, manufacturers change dealers, finance and insurance companies enter and leave the market.
But if the pace of consolidation picks up in the marine industry and begins to mirror the trend seen in other industries, is that a good thing or a bad thing for boating?
An often-heard complaint is that there are (or at least were) too many boat builders, too many boat models and too many boat dealers, in some markets. When talking about the recession, a lot of people will also often mention that for all the pain and suffering that’s been caused, the one positive from the whole ordeal will be that those businesses that survive will have been streamlined by necessity and will help form a healthier industry with more potential for growth.
Consolidation, voluntary or otherwise, is taking place. Some people may see that as a threat, others an opportunity. What’s your opinion? If you would like to share some thoughts, please comment below.