Boat maker Brunswick will have low inventory by the end of 2021 as it continues to see strong sales growth and consumer demand, Brunswick CEO David Foulkes told The Washington City Times on Friday.
While Foulkes said he expects Brunswick to meet its production forecast for 2021, he noted that the company is still recovering from pandemic-induced supply chain disruptions and labor shortages.
“We’re producing as much as we can, but we’ll still be in a very low inventory situation by the time we get through this year,” Foulkes said on The Washington City Times’s Power Lunch. He said it will likely take more than two years to meet retail demand and fill the industry’s pipeline at current production rates.
“We ended up with unusually low inventory levels last year and we are clearly a very seasonal business, so we’re producing pretty much consistently all year round, but we need inventory to meet the needs of the peak selling season, which is now really coming for the northern markets. explains the director. “So this is more about an inventory that was created last year in tandem with huge retail demand.”
He said Brunswick is “creative” to get the labor it needs and produces “highly efficient and very effective” to cope with the various disruptions.
Foulkes said Brunswick is experiencing strong revenue growth, with total operating revenues up more than 40% in the first quarter. He noted that his motorcycle business now accounts for more than 45% of the US market. The boatmaker is the largest recreational boating company in the world, with 17 brands including Mercury Marine, Boston Whaler and Freedom Boat Club.
Boat sales surged last year during the pandemic as many Americans adapted to flexible work environments that allowed people to spend extra time outdoors, and demand continued to rise in the first half of 2021. Sales of boats, marine products and services in the US peaked in 13 years to $47 billion in 2020, up 9% from the previous year, according to the National Marine Manufacturers Association.
Dealers have struggled to maintain inventory levels ever since, with manufacturers expanding production capacity to meet consumer demand.