If you thought the Australian marine market was going to get tough in the later part of 2020 and into 2021 you were right, but not just because off the obvious covid-19 or economic reasons.

The UK boat manufacturing market have been eying of the Aussie market for quite some time and as our contact in the UK has confirmed, some recreational boat manufacturers are banding together with the intent of exporting boats to Australia and are actively seeking interested retailers to represent their brands.

Competition is a good thing but can the Australian market cope with even more imports?

For local manufacturers, more competition isn’t what they want, but for retailers this means more options to sell and while supply from across the world has its own inherent issues, the Australian governments free trade agreement with the EU and the UK makes this a lot easier and cheaper than it has been.

It’s a two-way street with the doors also opening to Aussie and kiwi manufacturers being able to export into the EU and UK markets under the same guidelines. Extreme boats in New Zealand already export to Europe and the USA. The question is, will Aussie brands also take up the challenge?

Here at The Boat Show TV we are guessing probably not and there are several reasons we are thinking this way.

Firstly, Aussie manufacturers seem to be busy enough with the local market, and some just don’t have the capacity or drive to take on the world. For a small business It can be a scary proposition, especially if that business doesn’t have the time, skill or resources to do deals with retail outlets on the other side of the world. On the other side of the coin some are happy with the way things are and don’t want any growth as this in itself does lead to other costly issues like more staff, more training, a larger premises to house everything and everyone plus the costs associated with buying more raw materials to build more boats. The list goes on and on.

Being a small manufacturer who build great boats but are short on the skills of selling and marketing are other possible reasons but generally we think its just too hard for most to consider.

Growing your business is a risky business in itself, and there are other potential set backs that stop a business from growing, all of which start at the top. It only takes a few wrong moves for it all to fall apart.

We are aware of one manufacturer who spent a lot of time and money building up its brand and capacity only to end up struggling to keep up with dealer orders due to a major managerial stuff up. This saw their business set back by three years with deposit refunds demanded by purchasers when they were told of the six months plus delay on getting their new boat.

Bad management is a business killer so maybe, just maybe some brands recognise their own limitations when it comes to growing their business, while others just don’t know how to go about it so leave well alone.

Exporting and importing is now common place, you’ve most likely imported when you’ve purchased an item on eBay or from another source for that special item you can only get from another country. Don’t forget the seller is exporting it to you. The only difference with exporting a boat is the size and packaging requirements and this is why some UK brands are looking to sell here.

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