Same-store marine dealer sales decreased by just over 5% last month

Same-store marine dealer sales decreased by just over 5% in October, according to the latest report form CDK Global Recreation. The decrease follows a September gain of a mere 0.2%.

The information is gleaned from daily sales reports file by CDK’s 1,400 marine dealer clients.

The information could be among the first indicators reflecting an anticipated sales slowdown in mid-2019, that was discussed by National Marine Manufacturers Association (NMMA) president Thom Dammrich during his State-of-the-Industry presentation at the 2018 IBEX show.

For Jack Ellis, managing director of Info-Link, a company providing market data to NMMA, no one can accurately predict the future of the marine industry, but adds trends and history indicate a possible downward turn.

“We might see a little more growth, but not at the levels seen recently,” Ellis told IBI in an interview.

Ellis points out that at the end of 2018, the marine industry will have enjoyed eight years of continuous, uninterrupted boat sales. “And we’ve never done that before,” he said, “never, ever since the beginning of recreational boating, so we’re starting to bump-up against a saturation point,” Ellis added.

The CDL Global report shows parts and service sales were down by around 2%, while unit sales on a rolling 12-month measure fell just over 12%.

“The biggest concern,” Ellis said, “how long can we beats these odds? When do we reach the point of saturation where the people who want to buy a new boat have bought a boat.

“That’s probably our biggest threat; once demand is satisfied and until it comes time to replace those boats,” Ellis said, adding, “we don’t have that pent-up demand we had coming out of the recession.”