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MRAA disbands Genmar bankruptcy dealer group

Lack of interest among dealers has prompted the Marine Retailers Association of America to discontinue its Genmar bankruptcy dealer group.

"I think the dealers are making a mistake," MRAA president Phil Keeter told Soundings Trade Only this morning. "I think they should be represented at the unsecured creditors table."

Genmar chairman and CEO Irwin Jacobs says he's glad to know he has the support of his dealers.

"I don't have a business without them," he told Soundings Trade Only. "I am committed to doing everything I possibly can to support our dealers."

The MRAA set up the dealer group last month in response to numerous inquiries from its members regarding the pending bankruptcy case. The association arranged to have legal counsel to represent its members in the most economical and effective way.

"They slammed us when they came out with this," says Jacobs. "I don't know what they could have done for these people other than what we're already doing."

He notes that Genmar is continuing to pay warranty claims and support dealers as much as it can. However, Keeter says he knows a number of dealers who have not yet been paid for warranty, boat show assistance and other claims.

Nevertheless, the MRAA says one of the key reasons expressed by Genmar dealers for not going the legal route was "the staunch and repetitive assurances" by Jacobs that his company would honor all outstanding dealer obligations.

"MRAA hopes, as do the Genmar dealers, that these assurances can be, and will be, honored," the association said in a statement. "MRAA would like nothing better than a revitalized Genmar that has fulfilled its commitments to Genmar dealers."

MRAA says it will remain ready to assist its members and protect their interests in the Genmar bankruptcy case.

— Melanie Winters



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