Inventory control: Lenders lend a hand

They’re helping with floorplans and cash flow, hoping to avoid 1990s-type dealership failures In light of an economic downturn, manufacturers and dealers are working in tandem with lenders to control and move inventory. Lenders are helping dealers manage their floorplan lines. In some cases, lenders have been extending curtailment periods and, in others, they have…more


In tight market, financing fraud soars

Banks are having to battle more sophisticated scam artists who secure bogus loans and fool dealers An unprecedented spike in boat loan fraud could be prompted by an economic downturn and increasingly savvy criminals, financial experts say. “It’s pretty scary how sophisticated this is,” said Don Parkhurst, senior vice president of SunTrust Bank.“Loan fraud is…more


Certification in an uncertain time

Dealers are weighing the costs and benefits of the three-year-old program, but the weak economy makes it hard to gauge its effectiveness Joe Zahler, a sales consultant at Wayzata Marine in Orono, Minn., says industry-wide certification has given customers the best possible experience, which ultimately leads to closing a deal on boats. The sales reps…more


Navigation: A new world

The high-tech gizmos are more affordable and easy to use, and are giving dealers more to offer buyers It sounds like covert military intelligence lingo, or perhaps it was part of the dialog in a James Bond film. But terms like thermal imaging, 3-D images with satellite-photo fusion and touch screens no longer are bantered…more

Boat loans still plentiful for credit-worthy

But GE Money’s departure from marine lending could make things tougher for the marginal buyer Given today’s tight economy and GE Money’s exit from the marine lending market, some financial experts think the average person will have a harder time borrowing money to buy a boat. That spells bad news for already struggling boat dealers,…more


‘She’ power: It’s in the purse strings

Marketing to women can be more profitable than you realize — if it’s done right “If Mama doesn’t want the boat, he ain’t getting the boat.” That’s the adage Wanda Kenton Smith cites when convincing clients of her advertising and public relations agency that women are as important as men when making a boat sale.…more


EPA compliance – do it yourself?

Businesses are split on whether it’s easier to meet EPA regulations with an in-house guru or an outside environmental  consultant A few years ago, Jim Hardin added federal environmental regulations to his job description. “There’s a lot of paperwork involved,” said the compliance manager in charge of health and safety for Grady-White, but “if you have…more

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