Fairfield, CA-based Walker Bay Boats announced it came out of the Toronto International Boat Show with a 27 percent increase in dollar sales. While actual unit sales were down from 2009, the deluxe console and luxury models sold in increased numbers, generating the largest increase in sales year over year.
“The 2010 Toronto Boat Show was the first opportunity for us to get a feeling of where the market is at and what we can expect for the remaining shows,” said Chris Carroll, Vice President of Sales for Walker Bay. “Although attendance was noticeably down the quality of the consumer was extremely good.”
Console RIBS saw the biggest growth in volume sales, increasing by over 200 percent. “We were extremely impressed with consumer reaction to our Genesis Console RIB. Customers concerned about excess weight at the back of their boat have responded very favorably to both the low weight and price-point. Not to mention that it is one of the most stylish small RIBS on the market.”
In addition, the luxury style Generation RIB's saw a significant increase in both customer interest and purchases. “It is interesting to note that these boats are at the upper end of the pricing spectrum, and yet they saw some of the highest growth among our various lines,” reflected Carroll. “It proves that the high-end consumer still exists, perhaps finding it easier to purchase a new luxury RIB than to purchase a new mother ship. These customers truly appreciate the luxury styling and top performance associated with the Generation class of RIB's.”
Jamie Small, with Oakville, ON and Midland, ON-based CO2 Inflatables, Walker Bay's exclusive dealer in Ontario, noted that the Toronto show has historically set the pace for the season. “It's a buying show. Consumers arrive having done their research and prepared to buy. And the quality of the consumer this year was second to none. If this sets the standard then we are truly on pace for record-setting sales.”