In actuality, only 220 workers will be temporarily laid off until January 2014, in a process known as cassa integrazione. At the same time the Avigliana facility has been the subject of a €29 million investment, in what an Azimut spokeswoman called a “move towards greater efficiency”. She explained that Azimut reduced the original provision of 900 as greatly as possible. This strategy has apparently been approved by the relevant trade unions.
At the time of the Turkey and Groppello closures, in November 2012, Azimut Benetti claimed the group was reaffirming its rich Italian heritage:
The Azimut Benetti Group has decided to concentrate its production in Italy. The logic behind this strategy is defending the identity of yachts ‘Made in Italy’ and reinforcing the Group’s roots in the land where its product is conceived, designed and built.
“Only 200 workers are in this situation, compared to the original request of 900”, the spokeswoman said. “The emphasis remains on being ‘Made in Italy’ and optimising production in Turin. The investment will go towards new products, new technology and remaining competitive in the market”, she added.
But speaking to The Superyacht Group earlier this year, Azimut Benetti’s head of R&D, Giovanni Bizzarri said the group was investing heavily in research that could counteract the effect of prohibitive environmental legislation on the performance cruiser sector. If more stringent regulations were to impact the design of performance yachts, such as those made by Azimut, “We’d carry on building Azimut yachts, and we’d try to find the right solution”, explained Bizzarri. “Currently we don’t have that, so we have to continue exploring other avenues,” he said at the time.