"This story should not just be about our new office, but more importantly about the development of the Chinese and wider Asian market, which is the reason we invested in this office," said Kan.
According to Kan, superyachting in China is increasing at speed, and will only continue to grow. "I think at the start of the year a lot of people were sceptical about the potential of the superyacht sector in China, thanks to a government that was seen as not that being supportive of rich people," he explained. "Factors such as the proposed widened consumption tax have not had the influence that was expected and yachting in China is getting bigger and a bigger."
"Market demand is getting much more visible. It is still not like Europe, the USA, Russia and the Middle East here, but I can assure you it is going to explode. Silver Yachts is here at the right time, and I am excited for what the future holds." Kan went on to explain that he believes that the Silver Yachts business model is particularly suited to the Chinese market. "Most yards do not build yachts of this size on spec, but the reality is this model works very well for Chinese clients as most of them don’t want to be heavily involved in the build process – they say ‘you are the professional, you build the boat!’ They just want the end product and they don’t want the wait time."
Recognising all this potential was a key reason behind the opening of the new office in Hong, which is home to a marketing and sales team led by Kan. “Hong Kong is a convenient base for both location and logistics, as people coming from outside China don’t need a visa, and it is easy for the Chinese to come over to Hong Kong – there are easy links to all major Chinese cities." Kan is now hard at work promoting the shipyard around the region, building on the company's presence at So! Dalian earlier in 2014.
Back in Australia work continues apace on the new build projects. Hull 4, 77m Silver Fast, is nearing completion and is actively for sale. A sistership to the 2012-build Smeralda she features her own unique interior and will be capable of a staggering 29 knots underway.
Kan also confirmed that work on Silver Loft (Hull 5), which boasts a very different look to her predecessors, will begin in September 2014. Styled to be used as either a yacht or support yacht, Silver Loft is something completely different and is intended as a showcase of the variety the yard is capable of.