Stuart Graham Marine Sales Manager at Garmin has a unique perspective on the marine industry, having worked for Oceantalk, Raymarine, Navico and now, Garmin.
Speaking from SIBS last week, Graham said the show was a 'corporate exercise' for Garmin, which has only been officially independent from GME since 1 July.
'We are pushing customers to retailers like TR Marine, Blakes and Hunts Marine. So far, they seem to be going very well.'
Unlike the other marine tech companies he has worked with, Garmin is 'an engineering company, first and foremost', according to Stuart.
'We’re not solely a sales and marketing company – we engineer products in all areas – fitness, cycling, automotive, marine – and as a consequence, we can draw from all these areas to improve and innovate our product range.'
Under the tagline: 'Follow the Leader', Garmin is positioning itself as the brand that specializes in 'novel applications of GPS', said Graham.
'We cover heaps of areas and are lucky to have many, many loyal customers. We have people who bring in a GPS or other product that might be 10 or 15 years old and say ‘I’ve had this for years and it’s still working. What can you show me now?’ They’re that passionate about the brand.'
New this year to SIBS, a Cabo 40 yacht in the marina completely geared up with Garmin products, the rights to which Graham explained 'were won by a competitive pitch process'.
'It’s a premier game fishing boat and we’re proud to have been chosen to fit it out with two 15-inch touchscreens, a 12-inch in the tower and autopilots.'
Matt DeMoss, Sales & Marketing Manager at Garmin said SIBS was 'an excellent experience' for the company, and for his first SIBS in the role, 'very, very good'.
'People tell me the traffic was down on previous years, and our stand seemed to have periods of being fairly quiet then really busy, but for my first Sydney Show, we are very pleased.'
Retailers reported strong sales in the Garmin product line. Garmin had its NSW Sales Manager to assist and observe, and he too commented that sales were above expectations.
Importantly, DeMoss noticed that SIBS was 'equal to any show I’ve been to in the US'.
'It was a well-run, quality show and a great start for Garmin.'
As well as launching the GSPMAP 5015 touchscreens at SIBS, Garmin had reduced the prices across the range.
'When GME was the third party, there was an additional price on products. We realize the impact of grey imports into Australia and have done a lot of repositioning on price-points.'
Some products have come down 30%, while others as little as 10%. 'There was no across the board pricing system with GME, so we have had to assess and reduce each category to suit the market, its competitors and up to near parity with the US.'
More at www.garmin.com