Contentious issues between marine dealers and manufacturers have existed for as long as I can remember. And I have been in this industry for many years. I do believe, however, that Now is the time! That’s right… now is the time, during this economic duress, for both dealers and manufacturers to forget about the contentious issues of the past, that so often negatively affected business relationships, and start working together for an industry renaissance.
I am still naïve enough, at 72 years of age, to believe that this can happen. Dealers and manufacturers can and must work together to rebuild this industry and bring it back to good health. And if we do work together, with this common goal in mind, it could bring good… no… great things to us all.
I believe the economic morass has changed the game. It has brought us back to Square one: dealers need manufacturers—and—manufacturers need dealers… more than ever. It’s that simple. And, I don’t believe the balance of power has swung in one direction or the other. We are now all in the same boat as a result of the economic chaos. The only real way out, the only direction that dealers and manufacturers can choose… must choose… at this point, is Cooperation with a capital “C.” To think and act otherwise is to place the future of our Industry and our individual businesses in dire jeopardy.
Soooooo – For starters, we must start writing Dealer/Manufacturer Agreements together; “bonding” more than ever, and stressing two-way loyalty, and fairness for both parties. No more one sided agreements!
Have I always been this naïve? YEP, pretty much so. I have long yearned for the old “handshake” days, when there was two-way trust. I always thought it could happen again if we really wanted to make the effort. And now our common enemy—the economy—has changed the game.
I’m ready; have been; and I hope for the sake of all Dealers and all Manufacturers (who survive this morass) that everybody is ready! It is absolutely true that out of adversity comes opportunity—and, as they say, “opportunity is knocking.” Let’s all answer the door— now! NOW IS THE TIME! Let’s work together for the good of all.