The positive sentiment for the year that has just begun confirms the ability of Italian brands to seize the opportunities offered by growth in the Americas. Focus on the customers of the future: Millennials
Miami, 18 February 2016. Nautica Italiana, the association affiliated with Fondazione Altagamma and grouping together the high-end Italian companies from the entire sector — Industry, Services and Territories – gathered a very positive sentiment from its members at the prestigious US boat show, Yachts Miami Beach, which naturally also includes the South American market.
Several brands in the Nautica Italiana association that are among the top players in Italian shipbuilding — whether large yachts, inflatable boats or accessories — chose the Miami International Boat Show to showcase their latest models and new projects, developed based on cutting-edge technology, materials and styling approaches on which the Italian industry has been constantly working.
The prestigious Miami International Boat Show was strategically chosen for the increasing opportunities offered by North and South American markets. According to data released on opening days by the NMMA (National Marine Manufacturers Association), the American boating industry has continued to grow with a strong 6% increase YoY over the past five years, and is expected to maintain this trend in the upcoming years. This growth that saw as many as 88 million people sail for an overall spending in pleasure boating that in 2015 exceeded $37 billion. The NMMA data also showed that 95% of the boats used in the USA are manufactured locally.
Lamberto Tacoli, Chairman of Nautica Italiana, stated: “Based on the sentiment of Nautica Italiana’s members, it is this last figure that shows the greatest opportunities for our industry. Indeed, according to 2015 trends and 2016 forecasts gathered by our members, the USA is a market with a strong growth potential, where a high appreciation and deeprooted passion for boating offer great opportunities for the high-end Italian companies.”
In fact, the remaining 5% of boats not produced in the USA chiefly includes large yachts that are manufactured by the largest Italian companies, who are ready to increase their presence locally. Italian companies are thus targeting the highest-end market that seeks quality, design and the excellence typical of Italian products. Likewise, top manufacturers of inflatable boats and accessories can seize the multiple opportunities offered by the remaining 95% of the market (largely filled by smaller boats, under 30ft) to expand their business. According to NMMA, the typical buyer for this range of models is the middle class: a segment with an income below $100,000 per year that increasingly seeks quality and design – a need that Italian brands can meet.
Giovanna Vitelli, Vice-President of Nautica Italiana, added: “Both in terms of visitors and the growing number of exhibitors, the Miami International Boat Show was the litmus of a market that can grow in very interesting ways worldwide.
The interest for all-Italian products by the North-American public, as well as Latin-American visitors, was clear and, fortunately, we have seen it turn into sale and purchase agreements of all sizes. In addition, since the purchase process is less impulsive in this part of the world as well, many of our members are going back home with open negotiations that will be finalised in the following weeks.”
Director Corrado Salvemini, representing the accessories sector, stated: “There has been an excellent flow of visitors in the accessories section of the Show and in the section of smalland medium-sized boats. In demand for accessories, where all-Italian products can play a major role, we saw a confirmation of the recovery trend of the market for this type of boats. Which is also why we can say that the Show opened up excellent opportunities for our industry over the coming years.”
Therefore, after some difficult years, the market has shown the first signs of a recovery, as confirmed by an increase in orders for 2015, driven by growth in the USA and Europe. The presence of Nautica Italiana’s members at the Miami event is also important to gather new elements to support the strategy developed for the industry. In detail, the needs of a younger target group are being explored.
As shown by NMMA that traced the 2014-2015 trend of North American markets and 2016 trends during Boot Düsseldorf, the average age of boat owners is approximately 6 months older each year. Attracting new generations to the boating world is therefore essential for the industry’s future.
In this sense, Nautica Italiana, working together with Fondazione Altagamma — with which it is implementing the Nautica 365 project to promote and expand the industry — is ready to seize and develop the important guidelines that emerged in the Foundation’s recent study, True Luxury Global Consumer Insight. Carried out with the Boston Consulting Group, the study clearly shows that the luxury market over the next few years will continue to grow, but consumers will be more discerning and the new big spenders will be Millennials.
The survey highlights that overall there were 400 million high-end consumers worldwide in 2015, who spent a total of €845 billion, including unbranded products but excluding cars and yachts. This is a significant and strategic challenge for the nautical industry.