Fishing & Boating News

Genmar to lead industry in later model year introduction

by: Troy Bergstrom, Genmar Holdings

(Apr. 19, 2004 - MINNEAPOLIS, MN) It has been previously been announced by Irwin Jacobs, Chairman & CEO of Genmar that the Genmar product lines were to move the introduction of the Model Year to a date later in the year. Below is a letter from Irwin Jacobs to all Genmar dealers discussing the introduction of the 2005 Model Year.

"It was previously announced on November 4, 2003, that Genmar was going to take the industry lead for a later Model Year product introduction starting with 2005 for all of our boat companies. At that time I also stated Genmar was committed to holding one dealer meeting for all our boat companies in September 2004. When I sent out a dealer survey to all Genmar dealers asking for your opinions, I received from those dealers responding to the survey a 99% response in favor of a later Model Year introduction as well as supporting one dealer meeting in September 2004.

In order for this major industry change to be successful for both now and in the future, it was going to be absolutely necessary that not only Genmar's dealers support this effort but that several, if not a majority, of the other boat manufacturers and their dealers support such change in order that Genmar's dealers not end up with a potential selling disadvantage. Common knowledge among the industry is clear; the other boat manufacturers and, for that matter, the majority of the dealers, including a very substantial portion of our Genmar dealers, are not planning on supporting the change for the 2005 Model Year. Therefore, Genmar has no other choice but to introduce our 2005 Genmar boat companies' products earlier than the previously announced August 1, 2004 introduction. Each of our boat companies' brands will be announcing their 2005 Model Year introduction plans over the next several days. They will be consistent with past practices of competitive new Model Year introductions in order that our dealers do not lose any market share by waiting until August to sell and promote 2005 product.

Let it be clear that Genmar will continue to encourage the Model Year change to early fall rather than summer. However, it is impossible for us to go this alone without the necessary support of the industry and our dealers. Hopefully over time, in our collective efforts within the industry, we can accomplish this. We are not in any way giving up or reducing our efforts to attempt to make change. Conversely, you and the industry will see our increased efforts over the next year to hopefully effect a later Model Year introduction for the 2006 Model Year product.

In regard to our dealer meeting in September, I am truly looking forward to having everyone together at the same time and to be able to see all our Genmar companies' products. I see no reason to make any changes in the timing of our dealer meeting, particularly since we all agree our dealers should be at their dealerships selling boats during the summer. I look forward to seeing you at our Genmar All-Family dealer meeting in Las Vegas in September 2004. "