MRAA reacts to Genmar bankruptcy

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Genmar's Chapter 11 announcement will likely have a devastating effect on its dealers, Phil Keeter, president of the Marine Retailers Association of America, said this morning.

"My concern is there's hundreds, if not thousands, of Genmar dealers out there that have Genmar product in stock, and now if Genmar is bankrupt and all those boat companies go down, what will happen to that product out there?" Keeter told Soundings Trade Only. "Who will supply the warranty on that product?"

In a statement, Genmar chairman and CEO Irwin Jacobs said the company plans to ask the bankruptcy court for approval to allow Genmar to pay appropriate dealer warranties and rebate claims.

"The key thing is they are going to ask," Keeter noted. "The court doesn't have to grant that. The court can say they can get in line like everyone else."

Keeter said this morning that he has received numerous calls from concerned dealers asking what they should do and if they should switch brands. Genmar says it has approximately 1,100 dealers worldwide for its 15 boat brands.

It's important, Keeter said, for dealers to work out as soon as possible how they will handle warranties. Dealers need to ensure they don't lose their customers over this.

"There will be a lot of dealers that will never sell another Genmar boat regardless of what Irwin does," Keeter predicted. "It's devastating."

— Beth Rosenberg

b.rosenberg@tradeonlytoday.com

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