Dorset-based maritime equipment specialist Marine Components International (MCI) has appointed a new UK sales manager to help support existing customers and drive growth ahead of an expected easing of Coronavirus lockdown measures.

Chris Downing is re-joining the company as its UK sales manager, having previously spent three years at MCI as a technical account manager. Mr Downing, who also has 17 years’ sales experience in the motor trade, will be based at the firm’s Poole headquarters.

MCI provides specialist import, warehousing, distribution, sales and technical support for marine equipment manufacturers including Bennett Trim Tabs, Groco marine hardware, Duarry liferafts, Anchorlift, Rocna Anchors, and Dr.Shrink shrink wrapping. The company has remained open for business throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, helping its clients to trade through the crisis.

Mr Downing said: “MCI’s extensive range of products, healthy stock levels and considerable technical knowledge have allowed us to act as a dependable network for customers during this difficult period. I am excited to be re-joining the close-knit team in Poole and am looking forward to speaking to clients, supporting their needs and getting out and about once restrictions begin to be lifted.

“Our suppliers have also put the right strategies in place to ensure that when lockdown measures are eased and marinas are allowed to reopen, the necessary products will be available. I certainly expect to see an increase in sales as people prepare to get back out on the water and enjoy their leisure time once again.”

MCI managing director Andy Scott added: “We are very pleased to be welcoming Chris back to the team. His vast sales experience and knowledge of our longstanding clients, including Princess Yachts and Sunseeker International, will no doubt prove invaluable as we continue to grow the business and seek new opportunities and partnerships.”

Despite the widespread disruption caused to the maritime sector by COVID-19, MCI has experienced steady interest during the lockdown period from distributors and dealers across Europe.

Mr Downing’s appointment follows an announcement by MCI in April that the company has despatched a range of new orders for Bennett Marine trim tabs product to distributors in Norway, France, Poland, Denmark and Holland