Providing a “top-level service and products of the highest standards” are crucial to retaining new owners entering the superyacht market, according to Azimut Benettichief executive Marco Valle.
While the number of new owners entering the market because of the Covid pandemic is “good news” for the industry, Valle said these inexperienced clients require extra attention to prevent their “dream” from becoming “a nightmare”.
Speaking to BOAT at the Dubai International Boat Show, Valle said: “If you provide the right service and quality, they will remain boaters for life but if it is their first attempt and there is a problem, they will quit.”
Every effort should be taken, he said, to retain “this broader population” within the industry.
“When you have no experience, you think buying a boat is like buying a car,” Valle said. “It’s much more complex. It’s not a question of money, it’s a question of management.”
He revealed that “at least 40%” of US Azimut buyers were now first time owners. For this reason, regional dealers have become fundamental in hooking new clients and driving the yard’s expansion in different regions.
“Our local dealers are taking in the present market because it’s an emotional purchase where the social relationship is very important,” he said. “It’s not Amazon.”
Elsewhere, Valle said the yard has adapted its production practices to prevent industry-wide disruption caused by global supply chain delays and Covid-related staff absences. Delays in the arrival of engines and generators were one of the main “challenges”, with both components being “one of the first things you put on board in boat construction”.
To prevent further disruption, the yard changed its production phases “to allow them to be installed at a later stage.” While this change “was not easy”, it allowed the yard to “adapt to the new situation” and mean the group’s production is “safe and stable”.
Azimut’s 2022 order book is valued at €1BN while Benetti’s stands at €1.2BN. Valle highlighted the success of the 38m Azimut Grande Trideck flagship, of which 14 units have been sold since its debut at the Cannes Yachting Festival in September 2021.