Brexit, possible outcomes for the nautical industry in Italy and Europe

EU referendumSince the United Kingdom left the European Union, the capital market has been affected by an inevitable instability. The pound has fallen in value, Standards&Poor’s is considering downgrading the UK, Morgan&Stanley changed the outlook on the British debt from stable to negative, the Stock Market in several countries has been severely affected, among which the Italian one had the biggest decrease (-12,5%). Here are some of the opinions shared by experienced nautical managers and journalists about what will be the effects of the Brexit on the Italian and European nautical industry and market.

Michele Ricci, Solaris Yachts’s CEO believes that the high-end market will not suffer for the Brexit. Those who already own capitals to buy a Solaris Yacht will not be influenced by a temporary instability after the vote. “Anyway, the British market is only a very small part of our business.”

Fabio Planamente, of Cantiere del Pardo disagrees: the instability will have some effects at least in the near future.  “Some of the clients will want to wait until the situation gets back to normal to rationally assess the consequences of the decision of the British before addressing the boating issue. I believe that we have to expect a slow-down in the selling until september, october.” According to him, serious consequences will only occur if the European Leaders are not able to keep the EU community united.

Gianguido Girotti, of Beneteau, is principally worried about the British currency. “For us, the British market is an important one, and the fall in value of the pound will cause our boats to be more expensive than a week ago for a citizen of the UK.” For the rest of Europe, it will be a temporary difficulty and, in six months, the market will be back to its usual dynamics. “The transition towards the exit of Great Britain from the European Community will be a long process, and it is in everybody’s interest that it is the less traumatic s possible. I believe things will not change much.”

Federico Martini, CEO of Sirnew, a company importing Sirena Marine’s vessels in southern Europe, and Chairman of the same shipyard belonging to the Kıraça Group, said: “As importer, I believe that the effects of the Brexit will be limited in time. Our clients are people owning capitals they need to take care of and, events such as the Brexit generate instability and uncertainty, which will lead some of them to stop buying for a while. I am sure that however, in six months already the situation will find its balance and things will be back to normal. It is a pity, because this season has seen a good increment in selling of our brands in Italy, and this pause comes unexpected. As a shipyard, on the other hand, we are worried about the situation in the UK, where we usually sell well. In our opinion it will be the UK to pay the highest price of such silliness and, certainly, we will have negative effects in selling in that market.”

Gianni Costetti, CEO of Navalia, an Italian charter company, commented: “I believe that the worst consequences concerning the charter market will be for the British, who, with a depreciated currency, will have a reduced purchasing power. In Italy the flow of chartering from the UK is very low and, even if it decreased,  the fact would not affect significantly on the national charter market. Something different would happen for other countries such as Greece or Spain, who, more than us, have been able to develop a tourism from across the Channel and that will now suffer the most from the depreciation of the pound, unless it starts again to gain value in the near future.”

Antonio Vettese, previously director of the “Vela e Motore” magazine, collaborator of the Sole 24 ore and ex consultant at UCINA, gave a different insight on the Brexit: “I personally believe that the British nautical Industry will benefit from the exit from the European Community. Great Britain is a strongly liberal country which doesn’t like to make laws on everything as it happens in Europe. The Nautical Industry in the UK, with a greater freedom, will take advantage of the situation to give more benefits to those who choose the English flag and for the professional equipment which won’t have to respect the EU regulations anymore. In general, and especially concerning superyachts, England will become a more attractive country and we will have even more English flags in the Mediterranean Area.”