MIAMI: Prestige Yachts has eye on U.S. market share

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MIAMI - At a press event Wednesday, the leaders of French boatbuilder Prestige Yachts laid out ambitious plans to grow market share and become a major player in North America.

“We have a dream,” product/marketing director Jean-Francois de Premorel told a gathering of mostly American press at the Miami Beach Resort and Spa Wednesday afternoon. “And part of that dream is to become a big player in your big market.”

The builder has labeled 2012 the “year of acceleration of Prestige.”

Prestige, part of the Beneteau Group, began a concerted marketing effort in the United States less than two years ago and has 11 dealers nationally. The company says it has sold 35 yachts worldwide — in Europe, Asia, the Middle East, Australia and North America — in less than three years.

Prestige is displaying the 440S, 500S, 500 Fly and 60 Fly at the Yacht & Brokerage Show in Miami Beach on Collins Avenue.

New Prestige yachts that will debut in 2012 are the 550, 550S and 60S, featuring propulsion from twin Cummins QSC 699-hp engines, coupled with Zeus 3800 pods and a Seakeeper 7000A active gyro stabilizer. The 55-foot yacht will have an MSRP starting at $990,000.

— Rich Armstrong