Marlow-Hunter searches MDCE for new dealers
Marine Dealer Conference & Expo attendees saw many new things in 2013, including the first sailboats on display at this year's show. Marlow-Hunter decided the company needed to grow in 2013, and one way to do that was to reach out to dealers at last week's conference.
The sailing community has been growing domestically and internationally, said Glen Stanley of Marlow-Hunter, and Marlow-Hunter came to exhibit at the MDCE in Orlando, Fla., hoping to capitalize on that momentum.
Stanley said that the company is coming off of a year of successful growth in markets in Europe, Australia, Vancouver and China, and hoped that the conference would provide Marlow-Hunter with the opportunity to reach motivated and successful dealers that are interested in growing in 2013.
"It gave us an opportunity to present our product to an upper ended environment of dealers that are interested in gaining more market share," Stanley said. "It's the ideal dealer that you can come in contact with. They're here because they want to make an investment in their future and that's the kind of dealers that we want."
Marlow-Hunter debuted new models at the 2012 Annapolis boat shows and has been searching for dealers to help carry those lines. The company has primarily been working with sailboat dealers, but also has had powerboat and especially trawler dealers carrying the models in dealerships both currently and in the past.
Stanley said that Marlow-Hunter typically been carried by sailboat dealers but are looking to work with other dealers to reach markets in any region where customers are looking to buy. While a large portion of the company's dealers are sail-based, around 25 percent are split between sail and power, particularly in the trawler market.
Hunter Marine was acquired by Marlow Acquisitions earlier this year and will be building on the successful history of those brands at its Florida plant.
"We're still building at our Florida plant because we see the value in a quality, American-built boat," Stanley said. "We offer a good, American-built boat to maintain our competition."
This year was a good one for Marlow-Hunter — it received "Boat of the Year" honors from Cruising World magazine for Coastal Cruisers 30-35 feet. However, Stanley said he doesn't expect growth to stop there.
"The model year 2013 is going to be a very good year for us," Stanley said. "We're anticipating probably close to twice the number of sales than what we had last year, and I think the future's never been brighter for us."