MIAMI 2017: Groupe Beneteau showcases brands in Miami

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Christophe Lavigne, vice president of engineering and customer service for the four American brands Beneteau purchased in June 2014, speaks today at the Miami International Boat Show.

Christophe Lavigne, vice president of engineering and customer service for the four American brands Beneteau purchased in June 2014, speaks today at the Miami International Boat Show.

MIAMI — Groupe Beneteau discussed its mix of sailboats and powerboats, ranging from 16 feet with its Scarab brand to 150 feet for its CNB semicustom line, at the Miami International Boat Show today.

The company brought seven brands to the show, with 49 models and 10 new model debuts, and also brought two brands to Yachts Miami Beach, with 12 models and two new debuts, Groupe Beneteau Americas CEO George Armendariz said. The group brought three brands to Strictly Sail at Bayside, including 18 models and four new model debuts.

Turnover in 2016 was a little over 1 billion euros, roughly $1.07 billion at today’s exchange rate. About a third of the company’s turnover is in North America, Armendariz told Trade Only Today.

Capital expenditures were $100 million for model year 2017 alone, Armendariz said. “Half of that was in new product,” he said. “This year, we will have 32 new products across all our brands. Some of them are here, and some you learned about at the presentation. Some are still in prototype phase.”

The rest of the expenditures were used for facilities, Armendariz said. That includes a new factory in Bordeaux, France, as well as a Poland facility that will be online in the coming 18 months.

Christophe Lavigne, vice president of engineering and customer service for the four American brands purchased in June 2014, said the company has been investing in the development of new products.

“With Scarab jet boats, we have something very unique and special this year in Miami,” Lavigne said. “For the first time, we asked millennial designers to design a boat for themselves. They used to design boats for their parents, but we have renewed interest in this generation. We told them — OK, we want to create something new, easy to use.”

The result was the center console jet boat, “a boat for people who value moments more than objects themselves,” Lavigne said. “We wanted simple boats that you don’t have to trim. That was the idea on the Scarab 195 Open.”

Read more about the group and its brands in an upcoming issue of Soundings Trade Only.

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