Fiberglass boat sales down 40.5 percent in October

Author:
Updated:
Original:

Sales of fiberglass boats dropped 40.5 percent in October, according to early release data.

Last year at the same time there was slight growth, showing a healthy clearing of inventories closing the fall selling season. This year, the market was stagnant in October because of a record low in consumer confidence and unstable financing resources.

These statistics include 29 early reporting states that represent approximately 63 percent of the national market.

Fiberglass boats in the 14- to 30-foot segment were down 40.8 percent for the month, similar to the entire fiberglass market. On a year-to-date basis, the market was down 31.7 percent. This decline is expected to continue through year’s end and into the 2009 model year.

Aluminum boats sales also declined in October, dropping 25.2 percent. Aluminum sales were down 17.7 percent for 12 months through October. For nine months ending in September, the decline was 18.2 percent.

Lower volume states posted some slight gains, but not enough to offset the larger declines in the top 10 reporting states in the period.

PWCs also posted another month of decline, falling 39.2 percent. They were down 27.6 percent for the year-to-date period.

October preliminary results point to an extremely challenging marketplace. The fourth quarter is traditionally a lower volume period, but the slowdown in retail activity for October was extreme.

Dealers and manufacturers will need consumer confidence to turn around for at least a quarter before they will see the bottom of this market contraction. With gas prices falling, even the oil states are showing lower retail activity.

According to the experts in our industry, dealers and manufacturers must trim all costs to a minimum and focus their sales efforts on more robust markets, such as the health care and professional markets, while they wait for the real estate and financial markets to stabilize.

Aarn D. Rosen is national marine sales manager for Statistical Surveys, the Grand Rapids, Mich.-based firm that tracks retail boat sales.

aluminum_chart
fiber_chart

This article originally appeared in the January 2009 issue.

Related

MarineMax Posts Record Q2

Coming off its most profitable fourth quarter, first quarter and fiscal year, the company continued to roll with a 70 percent increase in revenue.

MMTA Lands State Grant

Massachusetts Marine Trades Association will use the $20,000 recovery grant to promote its “Stay Local Boat MA” program.

Hundreds Stream ABC

Topics of discussion during Day One of NMMA’s virtual American Boating Congress included policy updates, infrastructure, the global supply chain and more.

Next Stop, Key West

The Moorings adds the Conch Republic to its roster of charter bases.

IBEX to Host Supply Chain Webinar

The April 29 session will address logistical issues that continue to impact manufacturers amid strong customer demand.

Safety is no Accident

Sure, it’s a cliché, but it’s 100 percent accurate. With boats going in the water for a new season in many areas, dealers should wave the safety flag wide and high, especially for the newcomers.

Brunswick Recognized for Diversity

Forbes ranks Brunswick as one of the top employers for diversity for the second consecutive year.

ABYC names Content Director

Sarah Devlin will support ABYC’s events and communications, distributing content through various channels.

Ferretti Group Reports Strong Q1

The conglomerate saw revenues increase by 40 percent, with a record 56 yachts launched in the first quarter.