News Archive

North Carolina Boat Dealer Honored As No. 1 Triton Sales

Posted: 3/14/2002

Some economic gloomsayers may be hoisting warning flags that the U.S. economy is about to hit the brakes, but John Pope, the largest recreational boat dealer in North Carolina, is running full speed ahead with his marketing plans.

Peering into his forecasting crystal ball, Pope suggests, “We’ve got a great opportunity to build on our reputation as the biggest boat dealership in the state, if not the southeast.”

Pope’s BOATS UNLIMITED will launch a new 40,000 square-foot marine showroom and service center, located at U.S. Hwy 70 and Page Road Exit, on March 1st to serve the Raleigh-Durham area.

“We’re anxious to open this new facility,” says Pope, president of Triad Marine Center based in Greensboro. “It will be the largest marine showroom in the state. We’ll be displaying over 100 new boats inside, under ideal conditions for our customers.”

Triton Boats’ Earl Bentz honored Pope during the annual Bass & Saltwater Fishing Expo at the State Fairgrounds in Raleigh, NC on January 5th. The Triad Marine group, with dealerships in Raleigh and Greensboro, represent the No. 1 dealership for the Year 2000 in Triton Boats units sold.

“This is a very special moment for myself,” said Bentz, who as helmsman for Triton Boats has steered the four-year-old fiberglass boat manufacturer into the position as the no. 1 selling bass fishing boat in the country. “Our achievement is reflected in the association with Triton dealers – like John Pope – built on providing the best in service and products to the fishing public.”

As to the boat-selling season ahead, John Pope is optimistic, but guarded in his forecast. “We primarily service our local market – 40 to 50 miles around our dealers. The Raleigh area is a strong market and as near recession-proof as you can focus on in any economy.”

With that said, Pope is confident the new facility, which will replace the current marine showroom at 9009 Glenwood Avenue in Raleigh, will be a confidence builder for boat buyers.

“It’s a fact that in past economic down-cycles some dealers have gone under,” continues Pope, “but we’ve been in the business since 1978 and weathered past downturns and we’re growing our market share.”

Besides the No. 1 selling Triton hull, Pope’s dealerships offer a broad line of saltwater and freshwater brands. But according to Boats Unlimited manager David Perry, the bass fisherman is the “hottest market,” and “Triton is pushing all the hot buttons right now.”

Perry, a 12-year veteran in the boating business, points out, “Triton performance is the key. Get a customer to take a ride, and you’re going to seal the deal.”

“There are other things – like the inside layout, the fishability of the boat – the solid, dry ride and the reputation with Earl Bentz for a life-time warranty that are putting more of our buyers in a Triton,” acknowledges Perry.

John Pope, like many business owners, cheered the Federal Reserve and Alan Greenspan’s decision to cut the interest rate by 50 basis points. “The cuts will translate almost dollar for dollar into lower consumer rates,” opines Pope, “and with consumer financing coming down, it will surely help our market.”

“With more interest rate cuts by the Federal Reserve predicted,” points out Triton’s Earl Bentz, “we’re very optimistic about this season. Cheaper rates mean lower payments for the consumer. Some boat buyers may delay their final purchase – waiting for more expected rate drops – but the interest in new boats and models is very upbeat. The aisles were jammed during the Raleigh Boat Show with show goers eager to see what’s new for the 2001 boating season.”

“And, we stand behind our sales,” says Pope, “with the best-equipped and trained technicians. Our new facility will have eight service bays for even faster service.”

John Pope adds, “mark you calendars for March 1st; we’re planning a big Grand Opening party…come visit the new showroom at 1606 Page Road Exit. Everything’s indoors. Nothing’s going to rain on our parade.”

For additional information, contact David Perry at Boats Unlimited, 9009 Glenwood Avenue, Raleigh, NC 37612 or by phone at 919/781-7700.