In the lead up to the launch of the Riva 50 metre project, scheduled for delivery in 2019 and soon to be the largest superyacht ever delivered by the Italian yachting stalwart, SuperyachtNews will publish a series of exclusive articles that consider the standout qualities that define the Riva brand and its products, as well as exploring the Riva Superyachts Division. In this first instalment, we explore the foundational business decisions that paved the way for Riva’s most recent evolution.
“The Ferretti Group is the parent company that provides the financial stability to each and every one of our brands and affords them the strength to deliver bank guarantees and assure our clients that, no matter what happens, we are solid,” starts Stefano de Vivo, Chief Commercial Officer at Ferretti Group. “We don’t have debt, which is a huge improvement on the past and is thanks to our investors. This means that the Riva brand, which has been around for 176 years, is now a lot stronger and we are able to go back to what made it so strong historically.
“In fact, during the 1960s and 1970s, Carlo Riva designed and built a number of 20m Rivas in Holland, as well as a number at CRN in Ancona. At the time, those 20m yachts were the 60m superyachts of today. What we are doing today, by building Riva superyachts and developing the 50m, is going back to the plan put in place by the brand’s spiritual founder. If anything, we are 60 years too late.”
The growth of the Ferretti Group has always been closely tied to the acquisition of strong brands within the yachting market. However, in the aftermath of the global financial crisis, the Ferretti Group, like so many other businesses, was rocked by the financial downturn and, as a result, was forced to cut back.
“When the crisis hit, separate companies were no longer considered to be cost effective,” continues de Vivo. “All the brands were squeezed together. However, the risk you run by doing this is that employees will suddenly be working for Ferretti, Riva and Pershing and what you end up with is Fershings, Privas and Rerrettis. The individual brands become diluted. When the business was restructured in 2014, a great deal was effort was focussed on returning the individuality of the brands. As the business grew again, employees became focussed on single brands, aside from those departments, such as purchasing and finance, where it is more efficient to have them working across the Group.”
Since 2015, Ferretti Group has been extremely vocal about the various investments that have formed the cornerstone of its progress. Between the years 2015-2018, Ferretti Group has invested €153.5million in its various brands, including Riva. Part of this investment includes the development of the Riva Superyachts Division.
“We decided to add the ‘superyachts division’ connotation because we wanted to differentiate between Riva’s composite and metal offerings,” continues de Vivo. “Vessels built within tof aluminium and steel. However, the exterior design is still going to be designed by Officina Italiana Design and be quintessentially Riva. It has to be built to a Riva specification standard, and so it is going to be much higher than any other Italian benchmark. Riva is not a custom brand, first and foremost a Riva is a Riva and the design must express this. However, there is more design flexibility within the interior because the project is a custom superyacht.”
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