The National Marine Manufacturers Association (NMMA) Q4 2020 Marine CEO Sentiment Report, a quarterly survey to assess the state and needs of U.S. recreational boat, engine and marine accessory manufacturing businesses, shows marine CEO assessments of current conditions and short-term outlooks in Q4 were the most optimistic since the survey’s inception in 2018, following historic new boat retail sales in 2020.
“Despite the challenges marine manufacturers faced in 2020, optimism among marine CEOs was strong in Q4 as the industry experienced a 13-year record increase in boat sales,” noted Vicky Yu, senior director of business intelligence for NMMA. “Overall, the industry is continuing to face headwinds caused by the COVID-19 pandemic and winter storms, particularly with supply chain disruptions causing a backlog in production. On the flip side, Q4 data show upticks in hiring and investments in capital expenditures–indicators that the industry is cautiously scaling up to meet increased demand for new boats.”
Key findings from the Q4 2020 Marine CEO Sentiment Report include:
- 96% of marine CEOs reported stable or expanding business conditions.
- 64% of marine CEOs expect business conditions to further improve through the next six months, and another 24% expect business conditions to remain stable.
- Supply chain disruptions, such as slowed deliveries, remained a challenge for 75% of marine manufacturers in the fourth quarter, especially among boat builders.
- Labor costs and availability were cited by the most manufacturers as top challenges, followed by raw material costs, which have been steadily rising since the second half of 2020.