GE Capital to make ‘rental operator’ credit line available
It’s been a busy spring for Yamaha. Hot on the heels of announcing an industry-first certified pre-owned program for personal watercraft, the manufacturer has announced an attractive new financing program for rental operators, as well as the completion of a $3 million dollar expansion to its jet boat manufacturing plant in Vonore, Tenn.
The financing program is aimed at helping dealers increase WaveRunner sales to rental outlets, offer a faster turnover of rental fleets and provide a natural flow of units into the recently announced CPO program. In conjunction with GE Capital, Commercial Distribution Finance, dealers will now be eligible to open a completely separate “rental operator” credit line, structured to allow rental operators the flexibility of making six equal payment installments. WaveRunner models that a dealer designates for sale to rental operators can go on this flooring plan, eliminating the need for rental operators to pay all at one time and offering more flexibility in both managing cash flow as well as the ability to increase the size of their fleet.
This program allows the rental operator to essentially pay off their units with the cash they generate during the first six months of rental operation. Yamaha says operators will also now have the financial resources to flip their WaveRunner inventory prior to the expiration of the one-year factory warranty, which should limit an operator’s out-of-pocket expenses. Those same units can also be traded in to the dealer while there are still less than 200 hours on their engines, making them eligible for the CPO program.
As to the jet boat plant expansion, it comes at an interesting time. Sea-Doo recently exited the jet boat market. Meanwhile, Yamaha itself has continued to dominate not only the category, but also lay claim to the best-selling models in the broader 16’-to-25’ family runabout market.
Announced in July 2012, the expansion consists of a new 30,000 square-foot building constructed on seven acres of land in Vonore that became operational in mid-April. The expansion gives Yamaha the space for an additional boat hull and deck assembly line, which the company says will allow production capability improvements upwards of 20 percent. Yamaha has hired on an additional 100 employees over the last 12 months to staff the new facility.
“Over the past five years Yamaha has invested almost $10 million in plant expansions and improvements,” said national marketing manager Bryan Seti. “Today we lead one of the most sophisticated recreational boat manufacturing operations in the world; and it comes at a time when demand for our products has never been higher.”
Sea-Doo, Yamaha return with demo programs
Both Sea-Doo and Yamaha have returned with their demo programs for spring and summer 2013. The popular programs take a grassroots approach by allowing interested consumers, whether they own a PWC or not, to try various models out on the water.
While similar in goal, the two programs take markedly different approaches. The Sea-Doo Test Ride Tour again takes on the look of a traveling road show with dual product teams handling near constant weekend events on both coasts. Demo staff set up the three-day-weekend events, educate visitors on the product and allow guests to enjoy a test ride. Local dealers who support the event are then able to talk further with interested consumers.
Attendees have the opportunity to win a Sea-Doo GTI Limited 155 and MOVE Trailer in the Sea-Doo “I Brake For…” sweepstakes. The contest, designed to encourage consumers to share moments or destinations they would “brake” for, is also open to those unable to attend events at ibrake4.com.
A total of 23 weekend events are currently planned before the end of July.
As for Yamaha, its demo program will once again follow the National Demo Days format of last year. As opposed to a traveling demo program, Yamaha takes a more intimate approach between consumer and dealer by allowing dealers to host their own demo day, or days.
Consumers must pre-register for the events at YamahaOnTheWater.com, where they will find a list of participating dealers and dates. It’s up to individual dealers whether they choose to make the demos more of a public event or instead keep things one-on-one with the consumer. Last year, Yamaha says over 2,200 demos were conducted nationwide.
“Our Demo Days events are an excellent opportunity for potential buyers to experience Yamaha products firsthand and get to know their local Yamaha dealer,” Seti said.