Buyers of new Donzi and Fountain center consoles and sportboats will be working directly with the builder in Washington, N.C., rather than through a dealer. That’s the word from Johnny Walker, the chief executive officer of Baja Marine, the parent company of Donzi, Fountain and Pro-Line powerboat brands
“We are taking Donzi and Fountain sales back in house,” said Walker. “That customer, who could be spending as much as $500,000 for a boat, really wants to have a close relationship with the manufacturer. They want to come to the plant to see the boat being built. They want to talk to the builder about everything going into it.
“We will allow a certain amount of brokerage, so to speak, for our Baja and Pro-Line dealers,” he continued. “They can broker Fountain and Donzi sales—that’s a side benefit to being a Baja or Pro-Line dealer. As for the dealers we do have, they will still be able to broker Fountain and Donzi sales. They just won’t have to carry inventory.”
Walker said that the company is making two other big moves to start 2014. Donzi Classics, meaning the 16-, 18- and 22-footers, will now be sold by Baja dealers and built on the Baja production line.
“I don’t see it as a huge volume, but there is some demand and it makes sense to sell the Donzi Classics through Baja dealers,” said Walker. “It also makes sense to build them on the Baja line with the smaller Baja models, rather than sandwiched in between much larger Donzi models, which wasn’t efficient.”
The second development is the introduction of Powerboat Headquarters, the company’s in-house consignment and powerboat restoration department, which is an addition to its existing service facility. Complete restoration services will be offered to buyers and sellers of pre-owned models on consignment with the company.
“Let’s say you want to sell your boat but don’t want to put a penny more into it, and there’s a buyer for it but he wants the upholstery redone,” Walker explained. “We can offer that service to the buyer at a reasonable price, and the entire transaction is easy because it happens in house. Or maybe the buyer wants to restore the boat before he sells it. Our goal is to help complete the sale and transfer that boat from one loving owner to another.”
Editor’s Note: Baja, Donzi and Fountain models will be on display next week in the Pro-Line exhibit at the Miami International Boat Show.
(Above photo courtesy/copyright Tim Sharkey/Sharkey Images.)