by Jeni Bone
Iconic Sydney dealership, Andrew Short Marine has gone into liquidation, only days before the second anniversary of Andrew Short's death in a yachting accident.
A devastated Matthew Short, who joined the family firm to assist MD, Kylie Short following the death of his brother Andrew in 2009, confirmed the company was no longer trading after shutting its doors for the final time last Thursday.
Matthew Short said that the demise of this iconic company was due to 'the loss of Andrew in the yachting tragedy' among other factors.
'Andrew was a hands on operator and was exceptionally good at his trade and was unable to be replaced. The Global Financial Crisis saw ASM with extensive and expensive 'trade in' stock and aged new floor stock which could not be sold at anywhere near the' trade in' values given on sale of the new boats.'
Added to that, the prevalence of the 'Grey Import' market with cheap USA distressed stock purchased over the internet, which Matthew said 'has all but killed the domestic market for second hand boats'.
'Then there is the exceptionally high interest rates charged on floor plan combined with the over priced stock compounded the problem of viability,' he continued. 'Financiers were unsympathetic to additional loans as required at a critical time when a shortfall in funds was evident months before it came to reality. This is understandable in our current economic climate.'
All these issues were compounded by what Matthew described as 'the stigma of people associating ASM as being in receivership, when ASM wasn't in receivership'.
'That finally diminished the company's ability to trade on as the public lost confidence in the company, plus the departure of key staff at critical times leaving a void within the company.'