Skip to main content

A template for boatbuilders

I’ve always been amazed at how often nothing short of a crisis is needed to produce changes that logically should have happened outside the context of desperate times. Case in point: Brunswick’s announcement last week that it will move the intro date for 2010 models to September (the industry standard at one time).

The decision is being hailed by MRAA, which for many years has called for this. It’s also encouraging news for dealers of all other brands. In Brunswick’s case, the brands involved include Bayliner, Crestliner, Cypress Cay, Harris, Kayot, Lowe, Lund, Maxum, Triton and Trophy. To my knowledge, no other manufacturer has yet announced it will follow Brunswick’s move. But there is a ringing hope others will. And when they do, we’ll be able to point to a very good change that has come from these bad times.

Certainly Brunswick deserves acclaim for what is clearly a pro-dealer decision. Still, it seems fair to ask: Why now, why not then?

I’m referring, of course, to the fact that when, some years ago, manufacturers began moving the new product changeover date back from September to midsummer, MRAA loudly called the move what it was — bad for retailers. But manufacturers ignored sound advice and, instead, put themselves in an annual race to be first to get as much of the dealers’ available credit before the next guy!

Dealers argued such a change had four strikes against it. Strike one: A model changeover in midsummer instantly devalued the dealer’s current inventory right in the heart of the prime selling season. Strike two: It hurt every dealer’s ability to continue selling his inventory because it suddenly made it all non-current smack in the middle of the selling season! Strike three: New model intros in midsummer served to confuse customers. Strike four: It handed lenders justification to lower consumer credit amounts on the existing inventory.

Were all these arguments sound? Absolutely! If you want confirmation of that, just read Brunswick’s announcement that boldly includes exactly those reasons for its decision. Oh, how a crisis can give us a better view of the landscape!

There’s no question, of course, that Brunswick’s decision is also good for Brunswick. That’s as it should be — a win, win! Moreover, it documents the fact that our industry should not expect to return to “business as usual” again. These days, we are being both challenged and changed for the better, and I say pour it on.

So kudos to Brunswick. They’ve set a terrific template for all the other boatbuilders. Who is going to step up next?



Marine Travelift Launches Co-op Program

The company received its first student, a University of Wisconsin engineering major, in the seven-month paid co-op.


Trade Only Today Returns Tuesday

The e-newsletter will not publish July 4 in observance of Independence Day. We wish everyone a safe holiday weekend.


ORR Announces Federally Funded Projects

The U.S. Economic Development Administration prioritized outdoor recreation for the first time


Ten Ways To Sell in a Tough Economy

These keys to successful selling can help you create customers who keep coming back, even when sales dip


ASA Names New Board Members

The American Sportfishing Association filled two at-large seats and two regional seats on its board of directors.


Dammrich, Hopkinson Partner With Marine Resources Recruitment

The industry veterans will help clients fill executive-suite, marine industry job openings around the world.


DEALERS: How Was Business in the First Half of 2022?

With the second quarter coming to a close, was there parity between the budget and financial performance in the first six months? Take the Pulse Report survey here.


Passagemaker Relaunches Podcast

Trawler Talk aims to connect with those who are interested in the cruising lifestyle, with episodes dropping every other week