Skip to main content

IBEX 2014: NMMA president sees ‘good times’ for industry

  • Author:
  • Updated:
    Original:
"These are good times in the marine industry," NMMA president Thom Dammrich told IBEX conferees this morning in Tampa, Fla.

"These are good times in the marine industry," NMMA president Thom Dammrich told IBEX conferees this morning in Tampa, Fla.

TAMPA, Fla. — The boating industry has turned the corner and is prospering with increasing overall retail spending and rising boat sales, National Marine Manufacturers Association president Thom Dammrich told hundreds of attendees this morning at the 2014 International BoatBuilders’ Exhibition & Conference.

“I have a very simple message for you this morning: These are good times in the boating industry and there are more good times ahead,” Dammrich said in his State of the Industry presentation at the Industry Breakfast.

Total retail spending in the marine industry in 2013 was $36.9 billion. If a projected net increase of 8 percent growth comes to fruition in 2014, total spending will near $40 billion, which would be the highest since the Great Recession ended. “That is good news and clearly an indication that recreational boating is alive and well in this country,” Dammrich said.

The number of boats sold in 2014 is projected to be 220,000. If that number increases by the projected 6 percent in 2015 and 2016, “we’ll be just under 250,000 total units for the industry,” he said.

Dammrich named several factors that will contribute to the continued growth of the marine industry, including the a rising Gross Domestic Product, lower unemployment, higher consumer spending and confidence and an increase in new-home sales. “New-home sales and boating correlate closely,” he said. “There is room for improvement [in the housing market] and it has a way to go until it fully heals.”

Political advocacy is also a priority for the industry. “It’s important that all 340,000 employees in the industry become part of our advocacy to let our regulators know that recreational boating is a powerful economic driver,” he said. “[Boating] is important to the social fabric in this country. It means increased jobs in your communities.”

He urged the industry to attend and/or sponsor the American Boating Congress “to learn about the issues of the business and visit your senators and congressmen.”

A good portion of the presentation was spent highlighting the success of the Discover Boating initiative, which has promoted boating through four groups, including a Hispanic family. In addition, Dammrich said, the industry’s advertising campaign and sponsorship of country singer Jake Owen’s “Days of Gold Tour” is paying off. Owens has promoted Discover Boating through major media networks, including during a television interview with Larry King.

Dammrich also mentioned the increased presence of Discover Boating on the Internet.

“One of our major efforts in the past year has been to drive consumers from discoverboating.com to a manufacturer’s website — 1.75 million people have gone from discoverboating.com to a manufacturer’s website,” Dammrich said. “Many manufacturers will tell you discoverboating.com is the No. 2 or 3 referral service to their website.”

Related

1_ABA

ABA Celebrates 30 Years

The America Boatbuilders Association was founded in 1992 with the objective of collectively buying engines, raw materials and manufactured products at better prices.

1_YEARGIN

Who, Not How

Sometimes, to solve a tough problem, you need to get a different person in the room.

1_WHALESACTION

NMMA: Proposed Speed Rule an ‘Existential Threat’ to Industry

The association is calling on every marine brand, employee and boat owner to file public comment by Oct. 31 over a sweeping regulation to protect North Atlantic right whales.

1_AXOPAR

Axopar and Nimbus Renew Agreement

The boatbuilders have entered an agreement whereby Nimbus Group will retain exclusive rights to sell Axopar boats on the Swedish market.

1_IAN

Hurricane Ian Leaves Devastation in Florida

The storm left a wide swath of destruction, heavily impacting marine interests from Tampa Bay to Marco Island.

Norm

Email Is Your Ticket to Holiday Sales

Developing an effective email campaign can bolster sales and help fill winter coffers at your dealership.

1_NMRA

NMRA Presents Annual Awards

Edson CEO Will Keene and ComMar Sales president Tim Conroy were recognized for their contributions to the marine industry.

1_ PULSE.PING.2

DEALERS: Are Interest Rates Impacting Demand?

This month’s Pulse Report survey asks dealers whether interest rate increases are causing a downturn in boat sales. Take the survey here.

1_EPROPULSION

EPropulsion, Mack Boring Partner with Crest

Pontoon builder Crest will use an ePropulsion Navy 3.0 Evo electric outboard motor and an E175 battery for its 2023 Current model.