Here's a timely story for the long holiday weekend. Fiberglass boat maker Brunswick Corp. is taking a page from the automotive playbook, trying to beef up sales by promising to make payments for buyers who lose their jobs. The company has been suffering through a prolonged sales slowdown as wary consumers hang onto their money, rather than spending it on a recreational boat. Lake Forest, Ill.-based Brunswick began closing fiberglass boat plants earlier this year to try and restructure for a smaller sales base. But with the boat industry's biggest sales season about to begin, it's now starting to sweeten the pot with a "payment protection program" that will make up to nine months of payments if a boat buyer loses a job within a year after buying a new boat. It based its program on similar offers from automakers including Ford Motor Co. and General Motors Corp. The deal applies to Bayliner, Maxum and Trophy brand boats purchased between Memorial Day weekend and the July 4 weekend. "People are understandably anxious in this economy," said Andy Graves, president of Brunswick's U.S. Marine and Outboard Boat Group division, in a May 22 news release. "We're helping our dealers remove an important barrier to sales and reduce their inventories, while also offering true peace of mind for our boat customers." I'm not so sure that copying from the automotive playbook is the best strategy right now, but perhaps it will help. Have they tried "Buy a boat, get a check"? Thanks to Rhoda Miel, our staff reporter in Detroit, for tracking down this item.
Boat makers now offering 'payment protection'
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