According to data published in The Superyacht Annual Report 2014 Azimut remains the most prolific builder of 30-40m superyachts in history, and by some margin (169 deliveries compared to nearest competitor Broward’s 107). But its star has fallen somewhat, with half the number of orders in the book as competitor, Ferretti Custom Line, and 17 less than market leader Sanlorenzo. Those currently in build are an Azimut Grande 100, an Azimut Grande 116 and the aforementioned Azimut Grande 120SL.
There have also been structural changes at Azimut with a reduction of the workforce and the appointment of group CEO, Ferruccio Luppi as the division’s CEO. Luppi has been brought in for his financial nouse, rather than any swingeing changes to the Azimut strategy.
But as the flagship of the Azimut collection, the launch of the 120SL can serve as a powerful message to the production market. Speaking exclusively to SuperyachtNews.com Azimut Grande brand manager, Luca Cristino acknowledged the challenges that current market conditions had created. “At the moment it’s quite difficult in the area of 30-40m”, he said. “It’s probably slightly better than the mid-range but it is still a buyer’s market.”
Cristino said the company was combating this by investing in the design of new models, with work well underway on a 35m yacht. “This is a good market because you can sell it anywhere in the world and the figures remain interesting. You can probably build between two and three units a year, and while the market has downsized, it is still very interesting.”
Selling ‘production’ models remains the difficulty, Cristino says. The trick is to sell the customer a “backbone” so they feel they are getting the custom experience; it’s the only way to distinguish oneself from the crowd.