Telwater main office in Coomera

Telwater News

Marine Business

Damien Duncan - Telwater Marine Business

Witnessing the constant decline of the United States economy, the influx of imported brands and the strength of the Australian dollar, I believe the Australian marine industry needs to re-evaluate how it operates to compete head-to-head with these pressures.

In particular, I see the increase of imported marine products the most challenging for Australian companies.

The Australian marine industry employs thousands of people and injects millions of dollars into the Australian economy each year and we need to ensure its sustained growth.

Over the last 10 years Telwater has experienced substantial growth through Quintrex and Stacer but until recently we had become complacent resulting in us having to re-look at ourselves, streamline our processes and become more effective and efficient.

As a company we have introduced new products to compete head-to-head with popular imported models and have promoted our heritage and experience as Australia's leading aluminium boat manufacturer, however more needs to be done by the Australian marine industry collectively.

I understand that American manufacturers need to continue production and they are focusing on export due to the decline in the domestic market but it is disappointing to see imports affect some of Australia's leading fibreglass brands.

Customers are entitled to a choice which means Australian products needs to be competitively priced and promote their point of difference to gain the sale. We need to promote products as built by Australians, for Australians to suit Australian conditions.

Grow Boating is an initiative that I can see providing a united front for the Australian marine industry in the future and I believe everyone should get on board.

Like the American version of Grow Boating, the Australian initiative will be able to lobby for better infrastructure including the building and maintenance of ramps and marinas, monitor the number of imports and provide a means of measuring the marine industry.

Currently there is also a lack of positive boating advertising in national mediums and through Grow Boating we could advertise the boating category to the masses, growing the number of people getting into boating for the first time. This will ultimately increase the size of the market and give all manufacturers, domestic and international, opportunities to grow.

If all Australian marine manufactures support Grow Boating, we can also compete as a category for the leisure dollar and achieve what the caravan industry has very successfully achieved.

Most importantly, Grow Boating could be the key to growing the number of Australians enjoying the boating lifestyle which in turn will sustain long-term growth for the Australian marine industry.

 

Damien Duncan
National Sales & Marketing Manager, Telwater