Boat market is improving

Published On: September 1, 2011Categories: Industry News

GE Capital Commercial Distribution Finance (CDF) issued its 2011 mid-season marine industry update.

“We are generally pleased with the year-to-date results across the nation, despite challenging regional weather conditions and an overall “mixed” macro-economic climate,” wrote Bruce Van Wagoner, managing director of the marine division at CDF, in the report. “Wholesale shipments in units are up 16 percent through May, and retail registration data on a like data set through June is indicating a slightly improved overall market performance compared to the same timeframe last year. This positive news is being driven by strong improvements in the aluminum, pontoon, sail and deck boat segments.

“The overall level of new boat inventory in the field today is likely at the industry’s historic low point, so as dealers align inventory levels to anticipated customer demand, we have experienced an increase of 29 percent in the dollar volume of new marine inventory we financed through June 2011.

“As we move into the new model year, aged and distressed inventory levels are back at or better than historic norms and continue to trend favorably. Our dealer inventory turns are also suggesting a much healthier marine environment, and have moved to levels stronger than the industry’s historic norm.”

Segment turns vary, but, overall, the inventory turn quartiles and average turn ratios speak to a recovering industry.