GE, NMMA discuss state of industry in podcast
June 22, 2012
Filed under Features
In a recent podcast discussing the state of the marine industry, Bruce Van Wagoner of GE Capital, Commercial Distribution Finance, and Thom Dammrich from the National Marine Manufacturers Association discussed inventory and sales improvements.
Van Wagoner, who is president of his company’s marine group, said he is expecting slow and steady growth between 9 and 14 percent in 2012, which is similar to last year.
“Shipments are in line with demand and dealer inventories are low, healthy and turning,” Van Wagoner said.
Wholesale shipment dollars in 2011 were about 60 percent larger than in 2009 but are still half of peak amounts in 2005 and 2006, according to Van Wagoner.
Wholesale shipment dollars in the first quarter of 2012 are up 40 percent compared to the prior year, Dammrich said.
In terms of participation in boating, Dammrich said adult Americans who went boating in 2011 increased by 10 percent to a total of 83 million, which is the highest level of participation since 1997.
From April 2011 to April 2012, inventory turned 2.24 times on average – twice as fast as 2009’s 1.2-turn average, according to Van Wagoner. Inventory older than one year represents only 13 percent of total inventory, compared to 40 percent in 2008.
However, total inventory is down one-third compared to peak levels; therefore, both Dammrich and Van Wagoner advised dealers to ensure inventory is adequate to meet market demand, specifically spur-of-the-moment consumers
“If they are out at a dealership and are feeling good about the economy, [customers] can be spontaneous,” Dammrich said.