Marine Industry Expects Sales Increases in 2013, Says GE Capital Survey

  Marine Industry Expects Sales Increases in 2013, Says GE Capital Survey

GE Capital forecasts 8 percent growth in U.S. marine industry

Business Wire

CHICAGO -- February 28, 2013

In light of an improving consumer outlook, more than half (51 percent) of
marine industry survey participants say the best time to increase inventory
levels is right now to be fully stocked for the spring selling season,
according to results released today by GE Capital, Commercial Distribution
Finance (CDF).

“Overall, our data indicate sales are improving, costs are down and earnings
are up at the dealer level,” said Bruce Van Wagoner, president of CDF’s marine
group, a leading provider of financing to marine dealers. “We believe that
2013 will look a lot like 2012 — slow and steady growth in a smaller,
healthier market.”

Forty-three percent of survey respondents said they expect sales to increase 5
percent to 10 percent this year, while 30 percent said they expect sales to
increase 10 percent to 15 percent.

CDF’s forecast, unveiled at the Miami International Boat Show on Feb. 13,
calls for the marine industry to grow about 8 percent in the U.S. in 2013. “Of
course, positive news on some of the most critical economic factors could kick
up consumer demand and drive industry performance beyond current
expectations,” Van Wagoner noted.

Forty-two percent of survey respondents said that consumer demand was their
greatest business concern, down from 64 percent in 2012.

When asked which trend will have the largest impact on the boating industry
this year, 32 percent of respondents pointed to the popularity of low-cost or
“base” models, up from 23 percent last year. Thirty percent of respondents
expect long production lead times, compared to 21 percent last year.

Aluminum boats, fiberglass fishing boats and recreation boats are the top
three types, respectively, that the industry believes will be in demand this
year.

“Low stocking levels may result in lost sales but, today, shipments are
generally aligned with demand,” Van Wagoner said. “Many dealers ask for market
intelligence to make better informed decisions about brand, segments and
stocking levels so they can be sure to stock the products that their customer
base wants to buy.”

For more than 50 years and through all business and economic cycles, CDF has
offered new and pre-owned floorplan programs that enable marine dealers to
stock a broad selection of products. Inventory financing, also known as
floorplan financing, is an important element of a successful
manufacturer-dealer business model. Manufacturers and distributors benefit
from enhanced product flow and increased sales opportunities, and dealers
obtain improved terms and credit availability, and increased sales
opportunities.

GE Capital’s survey was conducted Feb.13-15, 2013. The respondents are a
variety of marine industry participants, including manufacturers, dealers and
distributors.

About GE Capital, Commercial Distribution Finance

GE Capital, Commercial Distribution Finance provided nearly $31 billion in
financing for more than 40,000 manufacturers, dealers and distributors across
North America in 2012. Programs include inventory and accounts receivable
financing, asset-based lending, private label financing, collateral management
and related financial products. Customers have access to exclusive online
tools and analytics to manage their accounts and inventory. For more
information, visit http://www.gecdf.com/ or follow company news via Twitter
(https://twitter.com/GEInventoryFin).

GE Capital offers consumers and businesses around the globe an array of
financial products and services. For more information, visit www.gecapital.com
or follow company news via Twitter (https://twitter.com/GECapital).

GE (NYSE: GE) works on things that matter. The best people and the best
technologies taking on the toughest challenges. Finding solutions in energy,
health and home, transportation and finance. Building, powering, moving and
curing the world. Not just imagining. Doing. GE works. For more information,
visit the company's website at www.ge.com.

Contact:

GE Capital, Americas
Lisa Tibbitts, 203-956-4582
lisa.tibbitts@ge.com
 
Press spacebar to pause and continue. Press esc to stop.