Canadian dealers and exhibitors that attended the 2009 Montreal Boat and Watersports Show, held in Montreal January 29 to February 2, reported consistent sales and successful sales leads, according to the Association Maritime du QuÃ©bec (AMQ).
“Even though the current economic situation is not the best, this year's show exceeded our expectations,” said Yves Paquette, AMQ general manager. “A lot of exhibitors reported that their sales at the show have increased over last year. Some exhibitors didn't know what to expect, but when they came to the show, they were surprised at how well they did.”
According to Julie Nadeau, communications director for Quebec-based Performance Marine, a dealer for Legend, Regal, Chaparral, Baja, Meridian Yachts and Four Winns, said they have “hit their target for sales at the show and expect its 2009 sales to be in line with 2007.”
“I would say aluminum boats and the smaller fibreglass boats did very well,” said Paquette. “Models in the 25-30-foot range experienced a slight decrease in sales. Even though there was a decrease in attendance of 12 to 14 percent, dealers reported quality buyers. A lot of people who visited the show wanted to buy. Our exhibitors were very pleased.”
Michael Bissonnette, Suzuki Canada's district sales manager for Atlantic Canada, reported consistent sales as well as several follow-up purchases after the show.
“We sold several outboards out of our booth and a lot of fishing boat packages. That seems to be our niche right now in Quebec. A lot of the comments I have heard were that we had a lot of people that were interested. The fishing boats, and the entire fishing segment was good. It was not better than last year, but it wasn't worse than last year.”
Bissonnette further explained that the engines that were selling during the show were portable horsepower models and engines that were selling a week after the show were in the 70, 90, and 115 horsepower range.
“The atmosphere was good,” said Bissonnette. “We are looking at increasing our sales again this year. By how many percent I am not sure.”
Quebec-based Princecraft Boats also reported positive results during the Montreal event.
“The show for Princecraft was excellent,” said Simon Perreault, director of marketing for Princecraft Boats, Princeville, QC. “We have grown our market share compared to last year. In terms of units, we did nearly the same volume as we did in 2008.”
Aside from a vast array of boat models on display, the show presented several activities that also attracted the crowds. The event's first fashion show, hosted by the AMQ in partnership with Yamaha Motor Corp., displayed all the latest boating and seasonal attire while insightful presentations and seminars on travel destinations also took place.