Editor’s Note: Robert W. Baird & Co. issued a client newsletter to investors following the September boat sales report from Statistical Surveys Inc. The following offers a summary of the results.
September powerboat retail flat. U.S. consumer purchases of powerboats were unchanged in September versus last year, according to Statistical Surveys. Demand for aluminum powerboats (+4%) outpaced demand for fiberglass boats (-3%), continuing the trend of better performance in the lower-priced segment of the market. Retailers are on pace to sell 156K powerboats in 2012, up 12%.
• U.S. powerboat retail flat in September. U.S. powerboat retail was roughly flat in September. Sales trends decelerated to +6% in Q3 after growing 12% in the first half of 2012. The month of September falls in the offseason for boat sales, and accounts for 6% of the annual market. U.S. powerboat retail is up 12% YTD in 2012.
• Mix still favors smaller boats. Smaller boats continue to perform better than larger boats, consistent with our expectations. We believe consumers have more equity (or less negative equity) in smaller boats, driving better trade-in activity.
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