The recent announcement by ESPN that it will dump nearly all its outdoor shows by the end of the year can only be called disappointing news for boating. While this includes both hunting and fishing shows, it’s the latter that have been the weekend morning staple for both freshwater and saltwater anglers.
I know . . . we’re fond of saying: “life is better with a boat.” It’s true! But, now I suggest we can also say: “Life can be longer with a boat.”
The decision by NMMA’s Boat Manufacturers Board to end the nearly two years of redirecting 85 percent of the Grow Boating engine horsepower assessments was a good one. But, the choice to simply end any assessments for the next six months was not. (Note: The remaining 15 percent will continue to be assessed and used to [...]
A Bighead Asian carp has been found closer to Lake Michigan than ever before and it’s sure to rekindle raucous concerns and conflicting recommendations in the Great Lakes region that accounts for one-third of the nation’s recreational boating fleet.
The Conference Committee dealing with the financial reform bill will reportedly begin taking up various provisions and changes to the new Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection (BCFP) as you read this blog today (June 22). Our quest to get marine dealers excluded will be on the table.
The assertion by President Obama that tight credit continues to make it impossible for small businesses to buy inventory, equipment or hire new workers comes as no surprise to boat dealers. We’ve been saying that for too long.
Boat dealerships are small businesses. As such, it’s easy to assume we wouldn’t be a target for computer hackers and thieves. After all, it’s much more lucrative for them to hack into a bank or big corporation than a poor boat dealer.
High-end retailers like Nordstrom and Neiman Marcus have reported stronger sales. Cadillac and SRX crossover SUV sales tripled this spring over last. The confidence of small businessmen showed a healthy increase in May, and the retail sale of new boats is on the edge of positive territory.
We see people doing it everywhere. In restaurants … at little league games … driving on the freeway. People are reading and fingering those small hand-held devices that have seemingly become a way of life.
Once upon a time, one could “stretch” a claim in an ad or a sales presentation and it would likely go unchallenged. But that was before the Internet opened the door to fact checking by any one, on virtually any thing, at any time.
As reported previously in Soundings Trade Only and here in Dealer Outlook, our industry representatives in Washington, D.C. have been working to get boat dealers exempted from the burdensome and unnecessary oversight of a new Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection being created by the financial reform bill that has now passed both the House and Senate.
It was bound to happen. Something buried in the health care reform bill that will cause small business owners more grief than this year’s NBA playoff ouster for Cleveland Cavaliers fans!
We haven’t heard much lately about Corporate Average Fuel Economy standards. But, the Obama administration has quietly pushed the required average of 35.5 mpg up four years from 2020 to 2016. That’s a 34 percent increase over today’s average of 26.4 mpg and it must be accomplished in 40 percent less time.
Am I safe in saying there are no boat dealers that believe taxes won’t go up in the months ahead?
Yesterday, President Obama called on the senate to reject a proposed exemption for auto dealers in the financial reform bill (S.B. 3217) and, in doing so, indirectly attacked our interests as boat dealers in this critical legislation.
Computers. Cell phones. Texting. E-mail. Aren’t they all great inventions that are making our lives better? Not so fast.
It’s a common event these days – Congress taking on some massive overhaul of something. This time it’s the Senate, about to take up the financial reform bill (S.B. 3217) sponsored by Sen. Chris Dodd.
“Discover Boating” was our industry’s first-ever national campaign to promote the boating lifestyle and increase participation. On Oct. 1, 2008, as we sank into this deep recession, DB’s annual budget was reduced by about 85 percent to $1 million as boat builders wanted to redirect the funds to help dealers move inventories in the field.
If there’s anything we don’t do enough through our state marine trade associations, it’s pursuing favorable legislation. Sure we have a good track record of defending our interests against harmful bills. But that frequently causes us to forget we can and should be active in asking our lawmakers to initiate legislation that makes things better [...]
“Wow – I didn’t expect that!” Could there be any words more pleasing to our ears than those from our customers?
No question the factory showroom model is seen as a mixed bag, but generally it is viewed with optimism. It’s safe to say advantages and downsides are still being identified.
First it was Maritimo. That was followed by Regal. Then came J&D Acquisitions (Irwin Jacobs) with Carver and Marquis. They’re the most recent major brands to announce new “factory showrooms.” In fact, Regal just completed a gala grand opening in Orlando, Fla., reportedly with more than 500 in attendance.
As far back as I can remember, we’ve always acknowledged women could play a make-it-or-break-it role in closing any boat sale. Our reference, of course, was to the boat’s design, comforts, safety features, amenities and the way we treated them during the sales process.
Sadly, we’re still a no-growth industry this year. It means any increase a dealer hopes to capture this spring can only come from increasing market share by stealing customers from competitors. So, target competitors that exhibit these signs they’re failing to serve their customers (and, while you’re at it, make sure you’re not a possible [...]
Do you know that YouTube has now become the second most-used Internet search engine behind Google? It’s also true more people than ever say they’d prefer to watch a video over reading the copy in an email or on a Web site.
This will show you taking any of my predictions seriously can be risky!
Like you, I’m always looking for signs that the recovery is really happening, that it’s not fizzling out, and we can anticipate improving boat sales. That’s why this week’s Commerce Department report on consumer spending has me seeing the glass better than half full, and it merits comment.
The financial services industry is between the proverbial rocks these days. Chastised by Washington politicians and considered untrustworthy by most outside the Beltway, the banks are getting hammered these days. But they also have a talent for setting themselves up as targets.
There’s no place on the globe that can send out more mixed signals than Washington DC. More specifically, I’m referring to the nation’s fishing and boating picture.
We’re living in the digital age. As such, online search engines, like Google or Yahoo, have virtually buried the traditional sources, like yellow pages, when it comes to attracting new customers. More and more people now let their eyes “do the walking” on a computer screen.
We can find valuable reminders of how to be successful almost anywhere we look, if we’re always on the lookout for them. The country’s private colleges offer a good case in point.
“We’re happy to extend the money you’ve asked for,” said the banker. “But, unfortunately, our UCC search has discovered seven different companies have liens on your inventory or equipment or both.”
“The Guardian.” It was a 2006 hit movie about a high school swim champion who enters the Coast Guard’s “A” School, and highlighted the great job the Coast Guard does. Fittingly, now it’s also the name being given to a prototype maritime version of the Predator unmanned drone.
Boat sales appear to have gotten a boost from the winter boat shows. Good news, for sure. But, you gotta be in a coma not see why our unit sales still aren’t even close to what they should be.
Persistence! It doesn’t matter what state you’re in, beneficial legislation for the boating business can be accomplished if you won’t quit on it.
Walmart had a special going on fresh blueberries — just $2.50 a pint. So, Frank Mauer headed for his nearby Port Richey (Fla.) Supercenter. But, when he got there all the blueberries were gone. So, Mauer figured he’d just get the blueberries another time and asked for a rain check. That’s when things went south!
This is the third and final blog, for now, concerning the new Interagency Ocean Policy Task Force created by the White House (see Dealer Outlook from Feb. 18 and Feb. 23).
In last Thursday’s blog, I began examining the new Interagency Ocean Policy Task Force created by the White House and charged with developing a new national policy that “ensures protection, maintenance, and restoration of oceans, our coasts and the Great Lakes.”
Part 1: Remember the days when we guys would push the gas pedal to the floor and “burn rubber” when the light turned green? It would draw lots of attention, but we were often trying to get somewhere too fast.
Encouraging results continue to come in from major winter boat shows. The latest from opposite corners of the country — Miami and Seattle.
For some time we’ve believed our nation’s credit unions could be an untapped source of funds for small businesses like boat dealerships. Apparently they do, too. Although it hasn’t made headlines, credit unions are currently conducting a campaign to lift a cap that restricts their ability to lend to small businesses.
Bookstores are loaded with titles these days declaring the country and economy will never be the same. This great recession has changed us forever, authors proclaim — our “new normal” will be as frugal shoppers and savers.
We’ve had enough reports from our January boat shows to know they’ve been better than expected. Great news! Even better, reports from virtually all shows indicate a definite improvement in prospect quality over last year when show visitors wouldn’t even talk to us!
I read and consider every comment readers make to this blog. I’m grateful for your involvement. And, when readers disagree with me and offer a different point of view, I’m all for it because it makes this blog more valuable.
I don’t know which came first — airline mileage programs or the bank vanity cards. But, there’s little doubt a vast array of businesses, large and small, have followed with their own kind of loyalty programs. That’s because they work!
I’m always looking for encouraging news to include in this blog. Like you, I’m fed up with pessimistic reporting these days! But, I admit as I boarded a flight to Cleveland last week, I wasn’t expecting to find much good news.
Took my grandsons to H & R Trains in Pinellas Park, Fla. last weekend. It’s a store filled with Lionel and other brands. There were demo trains running, whistles tooting, train videos playing with lots of sound. The whole store had an excitement to it from the moment we walked in.
It appears the only bad winter boat show may be the one a dealer isn’t in!
Where have all the marinas gone? It’s a question we don’t want to be asking in the future. But we just may be if we don’t get to work on an issue that’s critical to our industry’s long term future. It’s saving the rapidly disappearing “working waterfronts” in America.
Kudos to the MRAA Board of Directors — they have adopted a series of recommendations presented by the Advisory Council of Marine Associations.