573 East Butler Avenue
New Britain, PA 18901
Jack and Chuck Smith
Four-acre, off-water dealership founded in 1947, now owned by the Brothers Smith. “We started out as a marine dealer, but the only ‘marine’ anymore is personal watercraft,” says Jack Smith. Carries Bombardier and Arctic Cat ATVs, Ski-Doo and Arctic Cat snowmobiles, and Sea-Doo PWC. Largest-selling segment is the Ski-Doo snowmobile, followed by utility trailer and enclosed cargo trailer — more than 300 per year — then ATV. “This year in new snowmobiles we sold 150 Ski-Doo and 50 Arctic Cat, plus another 150 used sleds.” Smith Marine is a state-authorized trailer inspection station; 15 employees.
Sizzling at Smith Marine: the 400cc Bombardier Outlander four-wheel drive ATV, the two-up Traxter Max utility vehicle, and the Arctic Cat 400 4x4. “We have our own brand of trailers, called Mud Hens, after the old Jeep Mud Hens. Also, we carry Avenger enclosed trailers, Load-Rite snowmobile trailers, and ATC (Aluminum Trailer Company) snowmobile trailers.” Smith says the dealership includes “a huge trailer store for parts and accessories.” Smith customers use their ATVs for pleasure, “but a few use them to plow their driveways in the wintertime, or tow lawnmowers for fields.”
CUSTOMER BUYING TRENDS
Smith Marine pulls customers from Pennsylvania, Maryland, Delaware, and New York, but New Jersey has the largest contingent. “The next generation is starting to buy,” says Smith. “The kids are purchasing vehicles themselves. And personal watercraft sales this year have been awesome.”
The dealership is associated with an ATV club, but Smith says that sled groups “have pretty much petered out, because people go on their own. 90% of the snowmobilers from our area travel. They go to northern New York — Old Forge or Tug Hill — for weekends, or Canada. We need a similar setup for ATV riders, with lodging, restaurants, and marked trails.”
PARTS AND SERVICE
Smith Marine has six service technicians and two service writers (both women), plus two dedicated parts salespeople. “We are one of the original 40 Bombardier Top Gun dealers,” says Smith. “We’ve made huge changes—using a computer, we track all the labor all the time, and know exactly what the techs are doing. Everything is scheduled. In the showroom, everything is bar-coded and we have scanners.”
WORDS OF ADVICE
“Don’t sell cheap,” advises Smith. “Hold your margins — you have to stay in business.”
Just trying to get a ballpark figure on a 2003 Mud Hens trailer. Average condition. 2,100 unladen weight if that helps. Any information would be appreciated.