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Market changes since 2005

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Changes cited by suppliers and end-product manufacturers in the survey ran the gamut from having a greater number of fabrics to choose from to the dramatic increase in the prices of key materials, especially petroleum-based fabrics. Specific changes cited include:

For suppliers

  • Many more fabric choices are available worldwide.
  • More acrylic suppliers are aggressively selling their products.
  • More mills are selling directly to the customer.
  • The number of boat manufacturers has decreased.

For end-product manufacturers

  • More consolidation; more competition for less work.
  • More fabrics to choose from.
  • More technology is available.
  • Dramatic increase in prices, especially for petroleum-based fabrics.
  • More smaller boats are being manufactured.
  • More buying groups.
  • Fewer customers.
  • Customers are being more frugal in how they spend their money (more used boats are selling).
  • A trend toward buying cheaper fabrics, especially imported fabrics.

Jeff Rasmussen is market research manager at the Industrial Fabrics Association International. He can be reached at +1 651 225 6967, jcrasmussen@ifai.com.

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