Dealers and Distributors

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Our weekly roundup of dealers and distributors includes news from Glastron Boats, Hunter Marine Corp., MarineMax, Viking Life-Saving Equipment, Aqualuma, Nautic Global Group and the 2010 Marine Dealer Conference & Expo.

Glastron Boats held its first dealer meeting this week since its purchase by Platinum Equity Group and its move from Little Falls, Minn., to Cadillac, Mich., the company announced.

Dealers from across North America attended business meetings and met the new management team, took tours of the new plant and were introduced to new sales and marketing programs.

"In a very short amount of time and [with] solid commitment from Platinum, we've accomplished a major transition of production and resources; all without disruption to our selling networks," said Roch Lambert, group president of Rec Boat Holdings, of which Glastron is a part.

"The dealers and distributors in attendance this week are very pleased with what they saw. Their confidence is secure, which will result in a very exciting and successful 2011 model year from Glastron," he added.

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Hunter Marine Corp. secured two new dealerships serving the coastal areas of China.

"This area of the world has been a priority of ours since we supplied several large cruising yachts during the Olympics for official state usage. By having two premier outlets for our sailing boats will make an immediate impact on the recreation offerings for this emerging nation," vice president John Peterson said in a statement.

Omina Marine Co. of ShenZhen, and Great Ocean Yacht Sales and Service of Quingdao are strategically located to begin to serve the coastal ocean regions of China.

"Both dealerships, while in their beginning stages of business life, are well-financed, well-staffed and have an excellent relationship with the local marine enthusiasts. New 2011 boats are en route and will be introducted at two separate grand openings later in the fall," international sales director Ted Norris said in a statement.

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MarineMax announced that it will represent Nautique and its lineup of water ski, wakeboard and sportboats in Georgia and Minnesota.

"Nautique is a great fit for MarineMax because it is one of the highest-quality brands in the industry, with a strong and passionate following," said Bill McGill, president, CEO and chairman of MarineMax, in a statement. "By continuing to add premium boat brands to complement our premium service and lifestyle opportunities, we ensure that our customers get the unsurpassed ownership experience that MarineMax delivers."

MarineMax offers two locations in Georgia: MarineMax Buford is in close proximity to Lake Lanier, Young Deer Creek, Six Mile Creek, Chestatee Bay and Flowery Branch Bay, and MarineMax Cumming is near Bald Ridge Creek, Young Deer Creek, Little Ridge Creek and Six Mile Creek.

MarineMax Minnesota offers sales and service locations in Rogers and Lake Minnetonka (serving Minneapolis and St. Paul), the St. Croix River (Bayport), the Brainerd Chain of Lakes (Brainerd) and Leech Lake (Walker).

"I have always had a tremendous amount of respect for Bill McGill and the MarineMax team, so it was not a stretch to believe they would be a great representative for Nautique," Correct Craft president and CEO Bill Yeargin said in a statement. "We have discussed on and off over the years our mutual respect and how nice it would be to work together. The opportunity finally presented itself this year, and we are excited."

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Viking Life-Saving Equipment recently appointed Ocean Marketing Inc. of Guilford, Conn., and Ocean Southeast Inc. of North Palm Beach, Fla., as its East Coast sales representatives.

Covering Maine to Florida, they will handle Viking's extensive range of life rafts for the leisure yachting marine market.

"We believe our association with Ocean Marketing and Ocean Southeast will greatly enhance our ability to present our yachting and commercial liferafts to a larger segment of the yachting market," said Karen Hansen, Viking's yachting national sales manager, in a statement.

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Aqualuma recently expanded into Bermuda and brought on its first distributor for the island, Bermuda Marine Supply & Services Ltd. Co./Marine Locker.

"Bermuda is host to many world-class fishing tournaments, attracting some of the finest boats and teams from around the world. There's definite buzz around Aqualuma's products and if it's good enough for them, then it's their products we want to carry," said Lyle Douglas, sales manager for Bermuda Marine Supply & Services, in a statement.

Marine Locker has catered to Bermuda's water enthusiasts for almost 30 years.

"We are so pleased to have been at the Marlin-Bermuda Big Game Tournament in July and were fortunate enough to meet Lyle and the Marine Locker team," Aqualuma vice president of sales and marketing Alexandra Bader said in a statement. "It looks like we were just what the doctor ordered because shortly after meeting us, Lyle decided being our first distributor in Bermuda would be an excellent idea. We welcome him and his crew to our growing family."

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Nautic Global Group recently wrapped up its Model Year 2011 Dealer Meeting, which brought together nearly 450 people representing 250 dealers, vendors and marketing partners from around  the world.

"Based on the response from our dealers, we are confident that our aggressive product offerings, pricing and plans for the new model-year will firmly position us to take advantage of the current retail market landscape," CEO Bob Moran said in a statement. "Our dealers are enthused about the direction in product development, as well as the tools we are providing them to maximize success in their markets."

Outside the informational and educational sessions on the meeting agenda, NMMA president Thom Dammrich addressed the attendees on industry trends that underscored the reasons that the industry should be optimistic about continued success in 2011.

Nautic Global Group also outlined a litany of new marketing initiatives that will provide dealers with greater access to tools through the dealer portal, support with lead generation and interaction with owners, as a new owners club program will soon be implemented.

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Organizers of the 2010 Marine Dealer Conference & Expo crafted an educational lineup with 21 new sessions.

This year's conference takes place Nov. 14-17 in Orlando, Fla.

The Sales and Marketing and Service Department tracks are back, but for 2010, the conference is also offering a third track of content - Powering Profits - specifically designed for a company's decision makers.

"With the addition of a third track this year we've been able to expand the content of the event into more areas than ever before, designed to help you sell more boats, run a better service department and make more money," said Ed Lofgren, chairman of the Marine Retailers Association of America, which co-produces the conference with Boating Industry magazine. "This year's sessions really cover it all."

Sessions include:

• Sales and Marketing

The Myth of Price

Eight High-Impact, Low-Cost Marketing Tactics

The 24/7 Marine Dealer

Converting Online Efforts to Sales Profits

Immediate Results Using SEM

The Five Hidden Secrets to Closing More Sales

• Service Department

The Successful Service Advisor

The Profitable, Proactive Service Department

Web Strategies for Service Profits

Achieving Operational Excellence as a Service Manager

Financial Management for Service Managers

Your Service Problems ... Solved

• Powering Profits

Lessons from the Recession

How To Adopt Best Practices

(Re)Building Your Culture

The Best Ideas For Success In The Current Economy

Fact-Driven Dealer Management

Pay Plans That Work

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