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IBEX 2012: State Farm eyes marine financing

State Farm representatives are looking to finance boat loans.

That’s according to Michael Mudd of Eriksen Marine, who told Soundings Trade Only that a State Farm representative approached him inside his dealership to solicit boat loan activity.

The comments came this week during a marine banking seminar at the International BoatBuilders’ Exhibition and Conference in Louisville, Ky., where Jim Coburn of Coburn and Associates and Philip Brumbaugh of U.S. Bank were speaking.

Coburn confirmed that State Farm was actively soliciting retail boat loans from dealerships in an effort to grow that segment of its business.

Brumbaugh said used-boat loan values are on the rise, according to National Automotive Dealers Association book listings. For example, a 2007 270 Sea Ray Amberjack’s base value in 2007 was $75,600, Brumbaugh said. In 2009, the value plummeted to $53,000, but this year it rose to $63,850.

“So boat values have come back,” Brumbaugh told attendees. The trend was similar with other brands, such as Maxum; even though the brand is no longer in business, the decline in the value of the boats is attributed to basic depreciation.

That benefits dealers who sell used boats, Brumbaugh says. U.S. Bank will loan 120 percent of the wholesale value on most boats, so if values are higher, dealers can get customers approved for more money.

Read more about IBEX in the November issue of Soundings Trade Only.

— Reagan Haynes

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