A Q&A with Giovanna Vitelli
Published: Thursday, 27 June 2013
Giovanna Vitelli is the Magellano Brand Manager for Azimut Yachts
Q: How do you feel about the success of the Magellano brand in Asia-Pacific so far? Do you feel that demand for this combination of style plus expedition capability has an audience in the Far East?
A: The Magellano Collection of Azimut Yachts seems to be the perfect answer to the needs of customers in the Asia Pacific area. It combines an innovative Italian design with the typical features of the trawler, providing pleasant comfort also in long cruising, and long range. It thus allow to comfortably entertain and enjoy fun on board. For these reasons, Magellano boats have been particularly successful in sales in the area.
Q: From the view of the Azimut-Benetti Group, can you say or identify any new areas of interest in the Asia-Pacific, as markets?
A: New areas of interest where we want to focus more and more are South Korea and Indonesia
Q: The Azimut brand has become a benchmark brand in Asia over the past few years. What are the next steps for the Azimut range (in all categories) to ensure that this status is maintained?
A: We have introduced all the range in the region, by appointing new dealers of our smaller boats, Atlantis, in more areas. But the most important strategy, which is today already in place, is to provide direct support of the shipyard to the client in terms of service. We are the only European shipyard to provide directly the service, with all the connected benefits for the client.
Q: Azimut seems to be experimenting a bit more with designs in the mid-range these days, with some new center console boats from the Atlantis range, the new 55S, and of course the whole Magellano concept. Can you say where Azimut is headed next in terms of designs and engineering? What can buyers look forward to?
A: For the future, we are focusing on new hull shapes, innovative propulsion systems on megayachts, new lamination materials, especially (those that are) carbon based.
Q: What are your thoughts on the recent purchases of Ferretti and now Sunseeker by Chinese companies? Do you feel that this will change the market dynamics in China for Azimut? Do you envision Azimut doing a similar-styled deal in future?
A: We do not envision a similar-styled deal for us in the near future.Our yachts are luxury products that combine the heritage and the know how of the best Italian design and yachting tradition. In this new scenario, especially in China we are proud now to be the only “pure” European yachting brand, which is still selling not just a brand, but an authentic original tradition.
Q: As Benetti and Azimut have begun working more closely together through the Azimut Grande line, and as you’ve had a chance to work through the various areas of Azimut Group, can you identify other areas of synergy that you’d like to see in future?
A: We want to focus more and more on the clients’ needs and to structure our internal organization as a consequence. Azimut Grande is a recent example: since the client is the one of a megayacht, the organization must be the same of Benetti, with a dedicated team including a dedicated architect and project manager.
To be more close to clients, we plan to strengthen our direct presence as a Group in local markets.
Also, on the technical side we continue to develop common studies through our R&D department, especially on materials, propulsion and hull design.
Q: On the Benetti side, what do you feel is the best approach for reaching potential Asian buyers in the superyacht category? What seems to be most successful for the Azimut-Benetti Group so far?
A: The market is more and more demanding, therefore today facts are what generate the sales. Clients give us trust, not only because we produce beautiful products, but also because our products are reliable, we grant high quality standards and we are a professional Group. Asian buyers more that everywhere else are very careful on these aspects and here the word of mouth is our best advertising.