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Dealer-cost website tops 2011’s top stories

A story about the launch of a controversial dealer-cost website tops our list of the most-read Trade Only Today stories of 2011.

SeeDealerCost.com, which went live in mid-March, has manufacturer and dealer price information, including prices on used models and dealer locator information, educational articles, FAQs, finance and insurance information and the option to request a quote.

Dealers and others in the industry were outraged by the site. “Controversial dealer-cost website debuts,” which ran March 17, generated 60 comments.

The second-most-popular story of 2011 was “Appeals court: Brunswick partially liable in prop accident,” which reported that the U.S. 5th Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed a verdict by a jury that Brunswick Corp. was partially liable for an accident on Lake Austin, Texas, in 2005 in which a propeller severed a teenager’s leg.

That story generated 61 comments, most of them from industry players who were concerned about juries and judges blaming boatbuilders for what seem to be operator errors in judgment.

An article headlined “Tsunami damage spreads far and wide” was the third-most-popular story of the year. The devastating earthquake and tsunami in Japan led to damage thousands of miles away. Boaters, marina owners and others in Hawaii and on the West Coast of the United States dealt with damage from the disaster.

Our fourth-most-read story arrived early in the year when Reggie Fountain announced a new business. “New venture for Reggie Fountain” detailed the industry icon’s plans to start a new boatbuilding business called RF, or Real Fast Powerboats.

Rounding out the top five was “Site might help consumers, but MRAA warns it could hurt dealers,” which ran in January before the dealer-cost website launched.

Other top stories of 2011 were:

6. “Jury rules against MasterCraft in design lawsuit”

7. “Boatbuilders won’t cooperate with dealer-cost website”

8. “Industry vows fight on styrene designation”

9. “J&D Acquisitions sues dealer-cost website”

10. “Government lists styrene as a carcinogen”

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