US-based National Marine Manufacturers Association president Thom Dammrich presented a speech at the recent SCIBS industry breakfast.
Dammrich's talk focused on the US recreational boating industry and its recovery after last year's economic blues. Marine Business caught up with Thom after the breakfast for further insights on the US and Australian industries.
Dammrich told Marine Business, US boat sales are still declining, but at a slower rate. He also predicts the decline will bottom out sometime in 2010.
“We are hoping that at retail level, we will sell the same amount of boats as last year. We're running a little bit behind that at the moment, but we're heading right into the main selling season in the states,” said Dammrich.
“It's a much different consumer today, they are coming to boat shows ready to buy, with a much greater willingness to send money.
“We see it in the data when pay roll earnings are up, and savings are down, so spending has increased. Boating will get its fair share.”
Dammrich said the recovery is being fuelled by boats in the sub-30 feet category.
“It's interesting because I spoke to a boat manufacturer here yesterday who wanted to start exporting to the US market,” said Dammrich.
“I looked at his product line and it was all 28 feet and under, and I thought, this guy is perfectly positioned to the heart of the US market.”
Stay tuned to Marine Business Magazine's July issue which will feature the full interview and more news from SCIBS.