MIAMI 2014: Azimut Benetti sees growth in the Americas

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Benetti Yachts CEO Vincenzo Poerio addresses media members at a Thursday luncheon in Miami.

Benetti Yachts CEO Vincenzo Poerio addresses media members at a Thursday luncheon in Miami.

MIAMI — The Italian builder Azimut Benetti Group stressed the importance of the Americas to company growth at a press luncheon Thursday.

“Forty-five percent of our turnover for both brands is in the Americas,” Azimut Benetti press officer Giovanni Bogetto said.

Azimut Yachts deputy general manager Ugo Garassino said Azimut sold 16 boats at last year’s Yacht & Brokerage Show in Miami Beach. He said the builder expects to sell at least 20 this year, the “majority in the 40- to 60-foot range.”

The Azimut Benetti Group is exhibiting 18 yachts along Collins Avenue, three of them making U.S. debuts: the Azimut 84, the Benetti Vision 145 and the Benetti Classic Supreme 132.

“There’s a lot of activity in the American market. It’s very positive,” Garassino said.

Benetti Yachts CEO Vincenzo Poerio said his company has sold six yachts from 105 to 210 feet in the past six months in the North American and South American markets.

“We currently have 38 boats under construction and are producing about 15 boats per year,” Poerio said.

Garassino said Italian builders such as Azimut, which entered the North American market in 1983, have learned a lot in those three decades.

“You can’t change the mentality of hundreds of millions of people. You have to adapt to their mentality,” Garassino said. “We understand much more about the American market, but we are always learning.”

He noted Azimut’s distribution partnership with MarineMax as integral to adapting European designs for the North American market, which favors hardtop over open designs. The Azimut 84 on display was designed for the U.S. market through a collaboration with MarineMax.

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