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FLIBS 2017: Groupe Beneteau announces 38 new models

The Prestige 520 had its North American premiere at the Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show.

The Prestige 520 had its North American premiere at the Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show.

Groupe Beneteau announced 38 new models across its brands at the Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show, said it had record investments for a new product line and announced the Ship Control system.

With record investment of nearly $55 million in product development, the group’s 10 brands — Beneteau, Jeanneau, Lagoon, Prestige, Monte Carlo Yachts, CNB, Four Winns, Glastron, Wellcraft and Scarab — announced the new models. The total compared with 29 for the 2016-17 season.

The brands had 60 boats on display at the Fort Lauderdale show, including 13 new models.

“The North American market is of key importance for all our brands and we are proud to present our newest models to the American public in Fort Lauderdale,” George Armendariz, group CEO for the Americas, said in a statement. “Our teams at Groupe Beneteau Americas, as well as our dealers, demonstrate the winning spirit that drives the group.”

The group held a media event at the show to reflect on the initial results of what it is calling its transformational plan.

Launched two years ago, the group’s plan, “Transform to Perform,” has resulted in momentum around five objectives for 2020. The group seeks to maintain leadership in the sailboat market and strengthen its positions in powerboat segments; introduce innovative products and services; expand its range of services to boost convenience and simplify use; launch a digital transformation in industrial and commercial operations; and create a greater synergy between research and development and the industry.

With those initiatives, the group hopes to achieve faster-than-market growth, revenue from ordinary operations of 8 to 8.5 percent and more than 250 million euros (about $290 million by today’s exchange) in liquid assets by 2020.

Fiscal 2016-17 saw the group’s revenue reach more than $1.4 billion. Boat revenue climbed 12.2 percent, reaching more than $1.19 billion in sales.

At the Cannes Yachting Festival in France in September, the group unveiled its Ship Control system, the result of 15 experts working for two years in extensive collaboration with long-term partners.

Combining multiplexing technology with digital ergonomics, Ship Control is a universal interface accessible from the navigation screen or a tablet. It allows the owner to control all of the boat’s functions and is available on Beneteau’s Gran Turismo 50.

“We are very proud of the innovations unveiled at boat shows this fall. They are proof of our brands’ operational excellence and the passion that drives our teams to offer enhanced, cutting-edge products,” Armendariz said.

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