Car and boat, two worlds very close


Cars and boats, apparently two worlds very distant, in particular from a commercial point of view.

I think this because I use boat for passion while I work with the car.

Later on I was at the other side, working in the nautical field, when the joke became a job so I discovered… the other world.

Some years ago – six/seven not so much – the world of yachting seemed the automotive one but fifteen years before: trade policies, objectives, seasonal promotions, incentives, order management and customer satisfaction index were advancing massively.

There were also a shift of managers coming from the automotive that emphasized this process; more and more often I happened to meet at the salons or among the Shipyards contacts people coming from the “automotive”.

This process, still in ongoing, has done well to the yachting field, which was effectively so distant from the automotive world for what concerns the size companies, capitalization and number.

In Italy, where the Companies were and are mostly at artisan level but also in Europe where enterprises were limited to France and Germany.
Nowadays, at least at commercial level, the two worlds are very similar.

Policies sales, incentives to dealers, management and planning orders, collateral management are essentially the same.

The only differences are market numbers and dealer potentiality.
With the exception of very few business realities, the shipyard dealers of mid-range, both sail and motor, is made up of companies with two/three employees and sales volumes counting five-ten boats per year.

Average turnover of one million euros.

As well as, or more than the car field, the product is full of optional and personalized in structural way (number of cabins, number of baths, motorization) that means, apart costs, it is a product difficult to book and sell in stock.

Convincing the customer to buy a car of that color but with the navigator that he didn’t want is different to sell him a boat with 2 cabins and one bath if he wants 3 cabins and 2 baths or offer him a diesel 400 hp to go sailing if he needs just the half hp.

However a world so different, today it has some commercial behaviors totally similar to the automotive ones: the shipyard push on dealers, boat in stock, the Km0 (here called Miles zero), the used products, the margins extreme for everyone, but you have to sell if you want to stay within.

If you are interested, in the next post we will deal with market segmentation, shipyard builders, sales and sales policies, used products to understand how much automotive there is in the nautical.

Translated by Federica Izzo

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