NMMA president touts industry in media tour

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NEW YORK - NMMA president Thom Dammrich spent the opening day of the Progressive Insurance New York Boat Show on a media tour of the Big Apple to promote the industry for the coming year.

During a TV interview with Fox Business Channel aboard a new Sea Ray 210 SLX, Dammrich touted both the 10 percent increase in powerboat sales in 2012 and the relative affordability of boating because 96 percent of registered boats in the United States are less than 27 feet.

What followed was a series of interviews with local TV and newspapers tied to both the show opening and the health of the industry.

“We’re saying we expect another 5 to 10 percent industry growth in 2013,” Dammrich told Trade Only Today. “I think it’s going to be closer to 10 percent.”

Dammrich cited growing consumer confidence, a dramatically improving housing market and a decreasing unemployment rate as clear reasons for optimism.

“If we get another 10 percent increase in 2013, then I think we’ll be well on our way back to recovery,” he said.

Dammrich said the compromise that Congress forged to avoid the economic “fiscal cliff” provides much-needed stability for the industry, regardless of opinions about the substance of the deal.

“Catastrophe was averted,” Dammrich said. “Today people are coming to the boat show knowing what their taxes are going to be. That’s huge, even if they will be paying more, because uncertainty leading up to this was the biggest issue for consumer confidence.”

— Rich Armstrong

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