According to a press release from Shogren Performance Marine of Waukegan, Ill., the company will no longer carry the Fountain Powerboats line of sport boats and center consoles. The top Fountain dealer in the country for seven consecutive years—Shogren reportedly sold nearly $40 million worth of new Fountain models—Shogren has decided to focus on the Nor-Tech line of custom performance boats and center consoles.
“It was a great seven years,” said Scott Shogren, the owner of Shogren Performance Marine, in the release. “Reggie and Wyatt Fountain brought me into this industry and taught me a lot, which I will always respect and never forget. I wish the new Liberty group (owners of Fountain Powerboats) the best of luck in their endeavors in the future.”
When I spoke with Shogren late this afternoon, he declined to comment on why his dealership would no longer carry Fountain Powerboats. He did offer praise for Fountain’s contribution to the overall industry.
“These types of industries need a personality,” said Shogren. “Whether you like Reggie Fountain or not, you have to appreciate him. You have to understand what he’s done for our industry. He’s created conflict for sure, but he’s also stimulated sales for other manufacturers. He pushed other manufacturers to build faster products and better products.
Shogren said he believes that the go-fast powerboat industry has shifted in the direction of custom boats, which command higher prices than their production-boat counterparts but are built to order rather than en masse.
“The mass-production side of the industry is very challenged because very few banks are providing floor-plan financing for sport boats,” he explained. “A production sport boat manufacturer requires a certain production volume to keep its facilities operating, and that has become more challenging.
“A number of sport boats are financed, and with the banks being not so friendly it’s tougher to get loans on these boats,” he added. “Also, with so many repos in the field over the past two years, the prices have been driven down. There’s a perception of value out there now that makes it tough for production manufacturers to build new boats and sell them at the correct prices when repos have been selling for 50 to 60 cents on the dollar.”