SEA RAY BOATS AND THE COSTCO AUTO PROGRAM
TO REACH 40 MILLION CUSTOMERS WITH EXPANDED ALLIANCE
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
KNOXVILLE, Tenn. Feb. 12, 2010 Sea Ray Boats announced today that effective immediately it will expand its strategic alliance with the Costco Auto Program in key metropolitan areas throughout the U.S. This exclusive agreement will give Costco members in major boating markets special pricing on select Sea Ray Sport Boat and Sport Cruiser models, plus up to $3,000 in rebates from Sea Ray.
The original program launched on the West Coast in April 2009 and has resulted in attracting buyers who are not only new to Sea Ray, but new to boating as well, according to data supplied by the Costco Auto Program. We are very pleased with the program results thus far, especially taking into account that nearly 70 percent of the buyers are new entrants into the sport, said Mike Burke, vice president of sales and marketing for Sea Ray. These incremental sales are a result of Sea Rays award-winning dealer network. Their hard work and intense customer focus continue to satisfy the most discerning customers.
The expanded program will be offered through out the US (except Alaska) and Puerto Rico. Costco members who wish to take advantage of the special pricing available to them can get information from the Costco Auto Program via costcoauto.com or by calling 1-800-816-5177, which will put the member in touch with the nearest participating Sea Ray dealer. To assist with the transaction, these dealers will have their dedicated Costco Member Contacts work closely with each and every Costco member to ensure the experience exceeds their expectations.
This alliance between Sea Ray and the Costco Auto Program differs from those that some other boat brands have with other retailers. Specifically, in this arrangement, the dealer is an integral part of the process, not a service-only afterthought, so buyers get the full sales and service treatment of Sea Rays industry-leading dealer network, said Burke. Sea Ray has won more National Marine Manufacturers Association CSI awards for customer satisfaction than any other boat builder, and has been recognized by J.D. Power & Associates five out of the last eight years in the Sport Boat and Sport Cruiser segments.
Likewise, Costco leads its retail segment in superior quality and customer service. Taking care of our members is at the core of who we are as a company, said Jon Zweig, senior director of business and financial services for Costco Wholesale. This alliance with Sea Ray is a natural extension of that. Both companies share similar values, and when we can expand the offering and provide members amazing savings and service on an exceptional product like Sea Ray Boats, its an opportunity we couldnt pass up.
Along with its annual AquaPalooza® celebration, which is free and open to the public, the expanded alliance with the Costco Auto Program demonstrates how Sea Ray continues to invest in future growth. Quite simply, our goal is to develop the most unique and effective marketing programs in the industry, touching current customers and boaters, and pulling new people into the sport, said Burke. With the Costco Auto Program, that means offering Costco members exclusive benefits and the chance to enjoy their leisure time with the worlds number one choice in pleasure boats Sea Ray.
ABOUT SEA RAY BOATS:
Founded in 1959, Sea Ray Boats is the world's largest manufacturer of superior quality pleasure boats. Sea Ray is headquartered in Knoxville, Tenn., and operates as part of the Boat Group division of Brunswick Corporation. With more than 40 models ranging from 17 to 61 feet, Sea Ray makes a boat for every lifestyle each built with a unique commitment to quality, craftsmanship, and excellence throughout. Additional information about Sea Ray is available at searay.com.
ABOUT THE COSTCO AUTO PROGRAM:
The Costco Auto Program is operated by an affiliate of Costco and headquartered in San Diego, Ca. As a leader in the auto-buying industry, the Costco Auto Program consistently ranks as the top member-based program available today. By offering low, prearranged pricing and first-class customer service, the Costco Auto Program sold more than 215,000 vehicles to members in FY 09 and has acquired more than 2,300 participating dealerships nationwide. Hand-selected dealerships offer new and Factory-Certified Pre-Owned vehicles (certain vehicles may be excluded), have paid a participation fee and have been selected based on aggressive pricing, proven success in customer satisfaction and high inventory levels. Costco and its affiliates do not sell automobiles or negotiate individual transactions. costcoauto.com
ABOUT COSTCO WHOLESALE:
Costco Wholesale Corporation is a Washington corporation publicly traded under the Nasdaq ticker symbol "COST", with its home office in Issaquah, Wash. Costco operates an international chain of membership warehouses, mainly under the "Costco Wholesale" name, that carry quality, brand name merchandise at the lowest possible prices. Costco is open only to members and offers three types of membership: Business, Gold Star (individual), and the Executive membership. Costco currently operates 566 warehouses, including 413 in the United States and Puerto Rico, 77 in Canada, 21 in the United Kingdom, seven in Korea, six in Taiwan, nine in Japan, 32 in Mexico and one in Australia. The company also operates Costco Online, an electronic commerce website, at costco.com and at costco.ca in Canada.