Elandra Yachts of Australia is joining the ranks of international builders seeking a share of the U.S. market, citing the strength in the market and the U.S. dollar, which makes the yachts more competitively priced, compared to domestic products.
The company appointed Michael Usina as president of Elandra Yacht Sales in the Americas to fast-track the company’s international growth.
Elandra Yachts founder and managing director Luke Durman said the partnership was sealed after Usina came out for the Sydney International Boat Show this year and was “thoroughly impressed” by the quality and value of Elandra’s boats.
“Michael is a much respected veteran of the marine industry in the U.S., and with his appointment to trade under Elandra’s American company we are on track for our projected growth,” Durman said in a statement. “The Americas is strategically a very important market and we have always had the intention of launching there, but with the strength of the U.S. dollar now to the Australian, it has strengthened our resolve to be there.”
“We already have an exceptionally valuable boat in the Elandra 53, but the softer Aussie dollar makes it [an] even better value for the Americans, who engage in similar coastal cruising to the Australian market and are after long-range, fuel-efficient, seaworthy and spacious boats,” Durman said.
From his Florida base, Usina will coordinate direct factory representation with a select group of American dealers to secure sales of Elandra Sport Yachts, which will be custom-built and shipped from the company’s Gold Coast plant on the east coast of Australia.
The first sale to the United States is scheduled for delivery in mid-2016. The brand’s Elandra 53 model will be at next year’s Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show.
Usina said he believes Elandra’s yachts rank as the finest product he has seen in the 30 years he has been in the industry.
“My first impressions of Elandra were very positive. In fact, I believe it may be the finest boat that I will have been involved in representing and promoting in my career,” he said. “The level of quality that is apparent in its manufacture, the fit and finish, the detail and the choice of materials — everything that has been executed in that first boat I saw from Elandra was world-class.”
He said the quality and design of Elandra’s yachts, which features a generous beam and internal volume, are ideally suited to American buyers, who particularly value craftsmanship and spaciousness.
Elandra projects expected turnover of 65 to 70 percent from U.S. sales over time.
The company said it is in a period of rapid growth and has committed $3.5 million to R&D during the next 2-1/2 years. Development is under way on new models, including a 50-foot and a 60-foot-plus model.