This was recently told to an assembled group of TIARA dealers at the annual dealer meeting here in Holland, MI. It's not new or is it exclusive to Tiara Yachts. Boat dealers are asked to buy boats on "spec" for inventory, hoping to be able to sell them for a reasonale profits are often told that they need only put all there eggs in OUR basket to be successfull. It seldom works.
A boat manufacturer cannot be all things to all boaters. Some have tried, lord knows they have tried, cruisers, motoryachts, sport fisherman, center consoles, dual console, multi-purpose bow riders, until finally we get one of those shoulder shrugging models where the only reaction is HUH?
Even Tiara Yachts, an excellent manufacturer, has it's Pursuit Fishing Division. So maybe they mean we want to be your only boat manufacturerS.
Then there is traditional style vs modern style. Not here to tell you what is best just what IS. Each manufacturer has it's own style. It comes from ownership, designers, area of expertise and more often than not localtion of the plant.
What we get from Maine is different from what we get from Miami.
But back to being your only manufacturer. Can it work? Yes I think it can, but boat builders have to crack the mold (not that mold) and start a new partnership relationship with their dealers/agents/brokers/service centers to earn confidence so these independent business people will break walls down to get their boats!
Then and only then will builders get to be "only manufacturers" to their dealers.
It is easy to say that the pleasure yacht industry is in the doldrums. For some it is. For others, if these are bad times, let's keep them rolling.
Why the difference? Not easy to analyze yet not too hard for us to look at the facts to determine the polar opposites of those selling boats and those surviving and trying to sell boats.
First, there is not one reason, but multiple.
We always say the 3 BASICS apply to any boat sale. 1. Brand name that is desirable. 2. Condition (must be immaculate). And 3. Price. If a vessel is not "priced right" it will not sell whether new or used.
Many new boat manufacturers cannot see themselves in numbers 1 or 2. After all, we are desirable, aren't we? And our boats are new so condition is, well, new.
Logical argument. But when you "manage by walking around" you have to accept that your boat building company may not be doing all that is possible in this economy to produce the right boats.
How many times have I heard that "it took us a year to straighten out all the factory mistakes"? In fact, on some brokerage lists that is a positive for getting a used boat. The listing will state "all the new boat bugs are out." What kind of message does that send to a prospective buyer? Why should that even be a discussion, but it is. Oh and by the way, one will never spend more for a boat than when it is new.
Price is always tricky. But always a factor in the purchase of a pleasure yacht. Perhaps we should use the term "perceived value" whenever we discuss the price issue. As long you the buyer "perceive" value, the price gets paid. Simple as that.
We know that boat prices do not go up. Oh we kid ourselves into thinking that the prices have stabilized or that values are good because the supply is low, but reality is and I know that this will be a shock to some of you, "boats go down in value." It's how you maintain them that determines how much they go down.
With used or brokerage boats, the same 3 basics apply. Used boats present a special situation because of, supply, condition, and price. Here one has to determine that the brand is desirable #1, plus that the model of that brand is desirable. All manufacturers have produced their "Edsel" (that was a car named after Henry Ford's son, produced in 1958, 59 and 60 that was an epic failure). It maybe the easiest question to answer. Call the manufacturer and ask how many of this model did you produce? Low number=low desirability. Stay away unless price is SUBSTANTIALLY lower.
Also with used boats, a survey will help determine value AND you have the option of really negotiating price unlike new vessels that have a fixed margin which is very hard for a dealer to go below.
So why are some boats selling well and others can't buy an order? There is no one answer, but multiple reasons.
Use a good yacht broker that knows the market for their area and will help you. It's quite easy to separate the "salespersons" from the helpers with just a few minutes of conversation.
Call us, we are helpers: Starboard Yachts Inc. (616) 796-0505.