A View from Here

Bill's Sisson's weekly Trade Only blog

Will dealers reap rewards from Brunswick’s package?

Brunswick has been meeting with dealers throughout the country, selling the benefits of its Dealer Advantage program. The question, now, is: Are dealers warming up to this package?

The giant boatbuilder says its incentive package will help dealers improve their
bottom line by offering them amenities, including retirement services, financing and

Recently, Brunswick said it will offer select dealers discount prices on GM vehicles.

Soundings Trade Only has been writing stories about this program in the past several issues and on its Web site.

Trade Only wants to hear from dealers.

What are your thoughts about this program?

Lois Caliri
Soundings Trade Only


11 comments on “Will dealers reap rewards from Brunswick’s package?

  1. peter siskind

    Not sure about Brunswick program.
    Sounds like a decent “value added” package.

    Bottom line is all about profit.
    Dealers need to find products they can move that are profitable and give value to their customers..

    Peter Siskind
    Home of the Sea IDog


    Another achievement perk for the haves. This is a tiered perk depending on how loyal a soldier you are. As dealers become fewer and further between something has to be added to sweeten the pot. Til major manufacturers “get it” and help nurture new blood and support smaller dealerships in isolated areas boating marketshare will continue to decline – -

  3. Randy Ramsey

    I have been very impressed with the programs that have been introduced and the possibility of other benefits the dealer advantage program may be able to offer. My impression is that Brunswick is committed to helping their dealers become more profitable, therefore making the partnership with the dealer organization stronger. The team that is working on the Brunswick Advantage and Dusty McCoy, seem open to suggestions that dealers and the advisory board have, and are genuinely interested in how the program can continue to improve. Our dealership is already participating and I would encourage other Brunswick dealers to do so as well.

  4. Randy Ramsey

    I might add that I am serving as a member of the advisory board for the Brunswick Advantage and have been impressed by the responsiveness and eagerness of everyone on the board and staff.

  5. Carl Johnson

    I too have had the opportunity to serve on the advisory board for this program. The programs are, in fact, tiered to provide enhanced benefits to Brunswick dealers that sell a larger percentage of the companies’ products. However, the beauty of this program is it does offer its benefits to all of Brunswick’s dealers…large or small, exclusive or not. There are many cost-saving measures that are easy to implement, on many things that most of us are spending money on already. It makes sense to use the buying power of Brunswick to leverage these services and benefits to as many dealers as possible. There is enough substance in the program right now today to merit a strong look from any current or propective Brunswick dealer and there are many more benefits forthcoming in the works. We are projecting to save thousands of dollars per year in participating.

  6. Andy Wolf

    There is no downside to this program.It doesn’t force you to do anything in the way you run your business,no matter what size business it is. There are only two ways to become more profitable; make more profit on what you sell or reduce the overhead that you have, or both. Brunswick’s program offers to help ,by reducing your cost of doing business. It’s that simple. On April 6th,2007 we have been certified as 5*[STAR]DEALER.
    WE ARE VERY PROUD TO BECOME THE 215 th. dealer in the nation to be accredited. We believe that anything that helps to make us a better business operation will make us more profitable.
    When will the other leaders in our industry take a step in this direction to help our industry and it’s retail dealers become more profitable?

  7. Jim Pinto

    Brunswick has and always will be for profit for its shareholders and directors. When you control the amount of market share they do, let’s be real. All they care about is bottom line. How many “Programs” to help dealers will there be? How many are really needed? How many incentives? What do they do? Does Brunswick understand or care about its dealers? Especially the engine only power segment of the marine industry. They have not realized what keeps boaters into boating. Yes, of course it starts with buying a boat, but more important is what happens after the purchase. How about word of mouth? That’s a great tool that’s free of charge! That is where Brunswick and many others fail to see the real world. Last year I did a phone survey to 25 local new boat dealers in my area and asked the following questions:” What is your # 1 profit center? What is your worst? And finally “what department would you get rid of if you had a choice? The answers will not shock anyone at Brunswick or any new boat dealer reading this. But they would shock every potential new boater. Boat sales were # 1 profit. Service was least profitable. And Service was the # 1 department most dealers would do without. Hey, I have an idea…Let’s form an organization that we can give a ton of money to, hire a top of the line marketing firm, hire directors of big money corps, yes even get Brunswick and the other boat builders to contribute and lets show the world why boating is so great. Lets show them why boating is better than RVing. Let’s show them….oops! I forgot we already have “GROW BOATING!” What was I thinking? I was just flipping thru many of my trade only marine dealer magazines and realized my mistake. God, it seams like every issue going back 5-6 years is talking about how the Marine Industry should take advice from the Auto Industry. How many articles does Ben Sherwood have to write? The joke is on the new unsuspecting boater. After he spends the money, time and devotes him/her self to the boating life, they find out the real truth. What does Brunswick care about them? As long as the new boat is sold, they win. As long as the new boat dealers feel their service departments should go away, Boaters lose. Not every New Boat dealer feels that way. They somehow are doing it right, and there are many. But what about the rest? What about the others that fly the MerCruiser Service flag? Service? After 15 years in the Marine Service Industry, it is very easy to see why “GROW BOATING” is needed. Why grow boating when you can’t grow marine mechanics? Why grow boating when it takes 1/2 the boating season to get your boat fixed? Why grow boating when you have to spend your life savings on the repairs? Why grow boating when the dealers can’t make any money with their service departments? Oh, what were we talking about? Gee I forgot the topic. Ah yes it was about Brunswick and some Dealer PROFIT incentive program for dealers. Yes, they are going around the country to see all their dealer “friends.” Last, when I spoke to a few of my “friends” at Mercury Marine before I closed the Service part of my business 3 years ago, they told me my Service only MerCruiser Dealership was not needed in the area. Yes, there “other” local dealers were doing a splendid job! And that my annual sales of over 1 mil, mostly in Brunswick MerCruiser engines, drives, parts and repower installations that kept many boaters in boating from all over the East Coast would not be missed by the boating consumer. They were confident that the other surrounding “New Boat Dealers” would be able to satisfy all their needs in the future. Have they kept the old boaters in boating or have they just replaced them with a new unsuspecting boater?

  8. warren lally

    Actions speak louder than words and Mr Pinto is correct ..The industry is sick on the inside and outside..WE have to fix the inside first ..start paying a reasonable wage for mechanics ..pay them enough to keep them there so they don`t want to LEAVE and stsrt their own buisness ..That is why most quality guys go on their own they are constantly insulted my manufacturers who refuse to pay warranty and then DROP their dealerships for no good reason .. They lay down the law on market share and then do not apply the law equally if at all !Second ..show me where the money going into grow boating does any good ..A couple of ads on TV ? It`s getting pissed away as we speak ..If you want to do anything good with that money ..dump some of it in the lobbyist`s + politicians pockets and get the gas prices down ..Right now our biggest challenge is not attracting NEW boaters ..It`s keeping the ones we have got !!!!! and keeping our industry afloat .. Gas pricing and waterfront access are the priorities !As far as quality dealers and employees in the industry the rule is simple ..start treating them fairly and pay them a decent wage ! They will STAY in the boat buisness ..Stop with all the meetings and comittee`s and DO something about it !

  9. Joe Lewis

    Reading all the above it’s pretty apparent we’ve got some issues and strong opinions in the boat business. Facing the facts, the current state of affairs in the marine industry has been years in the making. There isn’t a quick fix or a magic wand anyone can wave to cure our problems. I give Brunswick high marks for the effort bringing forth the dealer advantage program. I don’t know enough about the program yet to pass judgment on it’s value. I’m encouraged to see this all important first step addressing dealer profitability. It’s peaked my interest enough to learn more about the program and maybe even take on a Brunswick line. It will take some time to study. Seeing if any of the programs being offered translate into a real impact to our bottom line will be what we base our decision on. I like what I see so far and I’m going to do my “homework”!

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