Part 3 of the interview with the President of Allures, Outremer, Garcia and Gunboat Yachts
The Outremer range are fantastic and with ambassadors like Elayna and Riley on La Vagabonde, multihulls are more popular than ever.
How did the cooperation between you and La Vagabonde come about and what marketing effects are you seeing? Would you recommend others in the yachting industry to work with social media influencers?
- Elayna and Riley were sailing their Monohull in the Carribean when they met the Outremer 49 “Escapade” and were invited on board. They immediately fell in love with the concept. We invited them at our annual Owner’s rally, The Outremer Cup, and that’s how it all started! They finally decided to move for an Outremer and we helped them to build up their project as it was a big step compare to their previous boat.
Of course they gather an incredible audience which is amazing notoriety for Outremer. I’m sure all yachting industry companies have their social media plans, but there is only one “La Vagabonde” :)
Forming a group like the Grand Large Yachting Group seems like a European trend to counter the Recession in Europe. How is your business doing in forms of sales at the moment? What are your predictions for 2018?
- The challenge is to be efficient and cost-effective in order to satisfy clients. When you are a niche player, your market is tiny by definition. Our strategy is to capture the value of size by adding complementary and relevant niches. ‘Relevant’ means that these niches have to reinforce our global mission: helping people achieving their sailing project.
We kept a good dynamic during the crisis. Now, we fully benefit from the favorable market conditions. For the first time ever, we have posted a turnover above 30M€ in 2017 (33,5M€).
We will exceed 40M€ in 2018.
How do you see your position in the Scandinavian market and what is being done to attract sales to a very affluent region with much of the needs of your designs? In particular Garcia and Allures.
Allures and Garcia designs are made for Scandinavia. After a good start, the last years have been more difficult in terms of sales. The mood was obviously not for buying a lot of new boats in this part of the world. But we are ready to face the challenge and we are revising our representation policy to perform again.
We know the clients are very demanding, with high and specific expectations that we are sure we can satisfy.
We have written about the future of yachting in the magazine. Both about technology, but also about sustainability. What sort of technological inventions can sailors expect to see from the Grand Large Brands in the future?
- I believe the major trend is to facilitate sailing, particularly thanks to digital technologies.
At Nautic (Paris) and Boot (Düsseldorf) boat shows, we showcased the first actual connected boat. Kara, an Allures 45.9 acquired by the eponym Kara startup company, is equipped with numerous sensors (position, motion, heat, humidity, presence, voltage, etc.). The data are sent live to the cloud and compute in real time. This enables new value-added services for the client.
Moreover, it prefigures the next steps: first the intelligent boat and ultimately the autonomous boat.
Many of our readers are focused on environment matters and want companies to have a corporate responsibility plan. What sort of focus do you have on further improve sustainability of your building and design of yachts and do Grand Large Yachting have a corporate responsibility strategy?
- As a corporation, it is our duty to search for a balance between the economical plan, the social plan and the environmental one.
I believe boat builders and our client are especially sensitive the environmental concern as our passion is the sea. We care about its cleanness.
Allures Yachting won a price for is efforts to equip its boats and to educate owners as regards waste management onboard.
Besides, we carefully watch the research in the field of new materials (fiber, resin) and in the field of electrical propulsion.
I believe a true challenge is to have a complete evaluation of the environmental impact of a new technology along the whole life cycle. Some innovations may just consist in shifting the impact far from our eyes.
If one of Scandinavian Mariners Readers readers finds one of your yachts interesting and wants to know more, what models will be shown at boat shows in Northern Europe in 2018? And what if a family wants to go visit the yard and talk to the builders and designers, would that be facilitated?
To display yachts at boat shows we rely on owners, and believe it or not, most of our owners sail westward after their delivery in France. Thus, unfortunately, we don’t have any boat show planned for 2018 in Scandinavia.
The best way to see and even test an Allures or a Garcia, would be to come and visit us here at the yard in Cherbourg (Normandy, France). We are just a couple of hours from Paris where it easy and cheap to fly. We are always delighted to welcome sailors from all around the world, and what an incomparable experience to visit the yard, seeing yachts at different stages of completion, talk with the team and test sail. We exhibit every year at Düsseldorf Boat Show.