Are specialty equipment manufacturers the light at the end of the tunnel? In a recent SEMA Financial Benchmarking research report, 70% of manufacturers reported an increase in year-to-date sales through June 2010. This optimism seems to continue through the fall months as 64% of the manufacturers expect sales to improve by an average of 17.5% through August, September, and October.

However, retailers and distributors do not share that nearly unbridled enthusiasm. In the same market research report, 48% of retailers report an increase and 52% of distributors report increase in year-to-date sales for the first half of 2010. Their trepidation continues through the fall as only 45% of retailers and 50% of distributors expect an increase in sales from August through October.

Each of the three segments did agree that “poor sales” are the most important business problem. For manufacturers, they were also concerned about “government requirements and red tape” as well as “competition from large businesses”. Retailers shared “competition from large businesses” as a secondary concern. Distributors however reported that “competition from the Internet” as their secondary threat.

Data is based on the June SEMA Financial Benchmarking survey. Follow this link to learn more about the SEMA Financial Benchmarking program. Businesses participating in the Financial Benchmarking program receive access to finished reports before they are made available to the rest of the industry. Participating is easy!

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