Azimut Benetti Group | Turkish site closure | Italian Production | business News on

30 Янв 2014 | Author: | No comments yet »
Benetti 115 boat

Azimut Benetti takes the lead to rejuvenate Italian building profile

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The Azimut Benetti Group has taken steps to protect its Italian heritage through the retrenchment of much of its production to Italy. This includes transferring the production of Azimut vessels from Turkey to Italy and the closure, as of 29 October, of the group s Groppello site, which will result in the loss of 180 jobs. A reorganisation of the Azimut headquarters in Avigliana is also expected, where Italian media reports have claimed the workforce of 1,100 will be reduced.

It is hoped that the site closure and workforce reduction will offset the likely rise in labour costs associated with a move back to Italy for Azimut production. In a statement released to the media Azimut Benetti said:

At a time when Italian companies are oriented towards delocalisation in order to stay competitive; when a lot of businesspeople are giving in and selling up to foreign investors; when the Chinese are buying Italian trademarks to add a touch of class to articles made in China the Azimut Benetti Group has decided to concentrate its production in Italy. The logic behind this strategy is defending the identity of yachts Made in Italy and reinforcing the Group s roots in the land where its product is conceived, designed and built.

The statement is indicative of a growing opinion globally that sections of Italian shipbuilding have lost their seemingly untouchable triple-A rating , with the Italian ideology diluted by economic pressures and foreign takeovers. It is understandable then that, as one of Italy s leading proponents of fully custom superyacht building (under the Benetti brand) the group is keen to differentiate itself from the projects of emerging nations, where cheap labour costs can carry negative connotations.

For revered designer Andrew Winch however, the quality of Italian building remains as high as it ever has:

Our experience when delivering projects from Italian shipyards has always been very positive. The last projects we delivered from Italian shipyards were the beautiful motoryacht Carcharias and the award winning motoryacht Xanadu . Carcharias . a unique semi-custom Pershing 115, was designed with the client s love of speed, luxury and style in mind. Built to the highest of standards she has been enjoyed by her owner since her delivery and epitomises the chic style of Italy. In addition, Xanadu with her classically inspired interior was developed from the client’s love of the Italian Riviera.

Benetti 115 boat

Benetti’s 50m QM of London is a shining example of the yachtbuilding talent that has been established in Italy over the years.

But Winch also conceded that the top-end of the Italian market had come under sustained pressure from robust German and Dutch markets. It is becoming more apparent that Italy faces strong competition from other European shipyards, Winch explained. As our projects have grown in size, we have seen a trend to build projects in both Germany and Holland where facilities are able to accommodate yachts from 70m and upwards.

And the success of the German model at the top end of the market, coupled with the challenges facing Italy, were acknowledged by Azimut Benetti’s chairman Paolo Vitelli, who admitted:

The yacht is an object of desire, a dream, a myth, and we want to sell this dream, this myth, made in Italy; but to do this, we must make our factories competitive and efficient to counteract the growth of production in emerging nations. The Germans have managed to do this in the automotive sector. We re even better at it than they are, and we can do it too, if we want to.

Outlining the strategy for meeting this challenge, Vitelli said: In order to implement this project going against the flow, our workers must capitalise on their pride, team spirit and sense of responsibility. To achieve our goal and increase productivity we need to reduce our structural costs, shorten the chain of command and, in the short term, eliminate a few positions which, however valid, are redundant in our organisation .

Related Links

Andrew Winch Profile | Andrew Winch Website

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