RIB manufacturer claims 33% sales growth during first US dealer meeting

Highfield Boats, which lays claim to being the world’s largest manufacturer of aluminium-hull rigid inflatable boats (RIBs), held its first US dealer meeting on August 13-15 in Holland, Michigan. More than 80% of its sales distribution network was in attendance as the company shared news of recent double-digit sales increases.

“Highfield USA sales grew 50% last year and our business has doubled in the past two years,” said Tom Watson, general manager, Highfield Boats USA.

Julien Carussi, general manager of parent company Highfield Boats, based in Weihai, China, reported that overall company sales had increased 33% over the past 12 months.

Highfield Boats executives outlined the company’s global progress, factory growth and expansion plans, including an increased focus on console boats. The dealer meeting showcased new models in the Classic, Classic Deluxe, and Deluxe series, and dealers had the chance to sea-trial seven of the totally redesigned 2020 Deluxe series RIBs.

The new 2020 Deluxe models range from 11ft-15ft in length. Highfield says that all feature a proven design that includes a lightweight aluminium hull made of premium marine grade materials. Standard features include Orea by Pennel & Flip hypalon tube fabric (Velmex PVC optional); Flush-mount non-return valves; High-tensile chromated & powder-coated aluminium hull; Lockable bow locker; Self-draining deck and integrated transom supports

The new models will on display this autumn at the Annapolis Boat Shows, (Oct. 3-6 and Oct 10-14) and the Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show, (Oct. 10-Nov. 3).

Dealer Awards

The event also saw Highfield Boats USA recognise eight of its dealers for their outstanding sales results in 2019. “Our dealers are some of the best in the country,” said Tom Watson. “Highfield’s incredible success and growth since its founding in 2011 has been a direct result of their drive, energy and belief in the Highfield brand. We were proud to recognize eight of them during our meeting.”

The dealer award winners were:

· Top Dealer of the Year - Nautical Ventures

· Admiral’s Club Award: Outstanding Sales Achievement (more than $200,000) – Monahan’s Marine Inc., Coral Gables Yachts, Tradewind Inflatables, Maritime Solutions, Annapolis Inflatables, Waypoint Marine Group

· Most Improved Sales - Sandy Hook Yacht Sales

· President’s Award (Highest Sales for the Past 5 Years) – Monahan’s Marine Inc.

· Patriarch Award recognizing his leadership in founding the Highfield brand in North America - Domenico Fossati.

Highfield’s state-of-the-art production facility is located in Weihai, China. Under European management, the facility covers more than 100,000 square feet, employs 200 staff and has adopted the latest technologies. The manufacturer has dealers and distributors in 38 countries.