Fishing & Boating News

Grow Boating Extends $1,500 Subsidy for Dealership Certification Program

by: Lindsey Savin Johnson,

(Mar. 05, 2007 - Chicago, IL) Grow Boating Inc. announced it will extend the $1,500 subsidy it offered dealers last year to become certified under the Marine Industry Dealership Certification program through the remainder of 2007. This extension helps underwrite a significant portion of program costs, in an effort to foster its ongoing success. "Grow Boating's continued support of Dealership Certification has been a tremendous boost for the program," says Phil Keeter, president of the Marine Retailers Association of America and vice president of Marine Certification Inc., the governing body that oversees the Dealership Certification program. "By the close of 2006, 421 dealerships were enrolled in the program, 165 of which had achieved Marine Industry Certified status. And just three months into 2007, the number of certified dealerships has risen to nearly 200. Grow Boating's ability to subsidize a portion of certification costs for a second consecutive year will only continue attracting new dealerships to the program." The full cost for dealerships to become certified under the Marine Industry Dealership Certification program is $3,995 per dealership; however, Grow Boating's absorption of $1,500 brings the total cost for dealers to just $2,495. In addition to Grow Boating's contribution, 23 boat manufacturer brands have offered various incentive and financial support programs to encourage their dealers to pursue Marine Industry Certification. Several state and local Marine Trade Associations have also stepped up to the place to organize and host Dealership Certification Launch Workshops, the first step in the Dealership Certification process. Dealership Certification actively addresses one of the main issues affecting the recreational marine industry: Customer service. The Marine Industry Dealership Certification program was developed by dealers, for dealers and focuses on the areas affecting dealership quality—operations, facilities, professional sales/service processes, customer satisfaction and employee training/satisfaction. Any group of marine dealers interested in hosting a Launch Workshop for their area should contact Dealership Certification program manager Elizabeth McAllister at (312) 946-6500; For more information about the Marine Industry Dealership Certification program, contact Elizabeth McAllister at (312) 946-6500; Marine Industry Dealership Certification is part of the industry's Grow Boating Initiative, an integrated effort among organizations with an interest in the recreational marine industry to promote the boating lifestyle and improve the boating experience. A strategic set of programs focusing on all areas of boating including water access, dealer and product certification, marketing, and research is designed to increase participation in boating and improve sales of marine products and services.