Interview with Bruno Cathelinais, CEO of the Beneteau Group

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Interview with Bruno Cathelinais, CEO of the Beneteau Group

The interview was in French and has been translated by Google Translation.  There is a link at the bottom of this page to read the interview in French.

Interview – The Beneteau Group in search of two new brands

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Bruno Cathelinais , CEO of the Beneteau Group , reviewed the group’s news for ActuNautique.com !

ActuNautique – When autumn shows and the beginning of this year , Beneteau has shown great dynamism , with many new features, such as the Flyer 6, the Oceanis 38, the MC4 , the latest Prestige … Bruno Cathelinais , innovation Is the martingale to the crisis?

Bruno Cathelinais – This is one of the recipes to cushion the effects ! And it is also one of the fundamentals of business: it is important to stand out, to renew itself , it is a purchase accelerator. In times of crisis, it is even more true. What you mentioned in the introduction is great : there many Paris made by brands such as Flyer 6, which after 30 years of success is renewed . We thought about doing differently , to think outside the box , bringing much added value to our customers. It is always a huge risk , but the first seems very favorable reception , a segment where all the boats look a little too !

Beneteau Group has recently announced its results in 2013 . How was the last year ?

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BC – 2013 was the first year since the beginning of the crisis , where we Reusi to balance the change from the traditional perimeter, which continues to decline, and areas of development that we launched in the early 2010s , growing !

In 2013 , we had 2 % growth , demonstrating the relevance of the choices made. The 2014 season should see growth accelerate this already because for the first time in 5 years, the global yachting market should rise again ! There will be geographic disparities , however , but in 2014, the market is expected to grow by 3 to 5% , our ambition is clearly to do more than the market!

Why such an ambition ? Is this reasonable?

BC – This is quite reasonable , and altogether logical consequence of our innovation strategy! During the crisis, we have invested heavily when the market as a whole , désinvestissait . We find ourselves in a good position to restart can be faster than our competitors ! It is clear that if we had responded to the crisis by adopting a purely economic point of view , we would have reduced our investments. Our financial structure then allowed us to opt for a crazy strategy , going against the cycle. A little crazy, but that allowed us to imagine the world of tomorrow and anticipate ! As the Chinese say , in a crisis, there is some risk but also some opportunities ! The risk was great, saw the market decline , as large as the opportunities that could emerge before us.

In this strategy, there is the development of your offer in the field of motor boats. Initially, the Beneteau Group is the world leader , sailing , however, which is a niche market. Since the beginning of the crisis you view will become the world’s number one boating . Or are you to date in this plan work?

BC – A sailboat in three of the world is a sailboat Beneteau group. This is our pride, our history ! Of course we must maintain this position and develop. This enables our brands to expand globally and this only strengthens our engine strategy , because of the large complémentrité our product offering. Our market is divided by two , we doubled our territory, both geographic and product! The big decision we made , in addition to emerging countries , has been attaqer North America in motor decision that we would never have taken if there had been no crisis … The die was clearly deconstructed , there was an opportunity to return. We went ! To do this, we needed first of all make boats that appealed to Americans. It took us accelerate product development , finding new competences . Very soon , America will represent 25% of our turnover. Today everything happens so fast !

60% of group sales generated in Europe and 20 % in North America. What are your goals for 2020 ?

BC – It is not because we are attacking North America and emerging markets need to forget Europe ! The Europe faces economic difficulties , certainly, but it is and will remain a strategic market for our group, knowing that it will also emerge from the crisis and it will bounce back. If we place in 2020 , ie after the European bounce, the idea is to make a third of our sales in Europe , one third in North America and third in the rest of world, including emerging .

The parity of the Euro is it not a problem for sell boats in the United States and China , not to mention customs barriers , I think here in Brazil?

BC – It has long been suffering from a strong currency in Europe, in a somewhat paradoxical , because of the weakness of the European economy , but I think the ECB and the Fed does not have the same ambitions , the same road maps. If that were the case , one would arrive at different parities ! But nor can anything! For a long time the water industries have become accustomed to this. We have a production unit in the United States for sailboats. If the motor becomes as important as what we have in mind , it is clear that we will have a factory there to be responsive to changes in exchange rates , which are quite unfavorable to Europeans.

According to financial analysts , it fails two brands of panel Beneteau group to address the most all markets it covers. Are you interested in a rachant of Fountaine Pajot , present in both sailing in the engine? Other rumors point of contact in the United States or in Poland , with Sunreef . What can you tell us ?

BC – What is true is that as part of our strategic plan, we plan to 2020, growing up in the engine. We currently have 6 brands. The goal is not to have a score to accumulate brands become big! Our strategy is rather to give each brand a maximum potential while having a minimum number of brands. Compared to our global ambitions , we have 6 brands today , we would have 8, it would make sense !

Both could miss , just make sure you choose ! They must have a meaning, or because they are important today, because it may become eventually . So I can not answer your question but they must have a high degree of significance !

In luxury yachting ?

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BC – In … ship! Especially brands that could have global recognition. Each of our brands must have a global strategy !

In France , the current fiscal uncertainty is a real obstacle to the purchase of vessels . What do you ask our leaders to that level , as a manufacturer ?

BC – It is true that uncertainty is not a good thing ! In France , the situation is difficult , everyone knows. It started two years ago . It was known that in other European countries, who have practiced more vivid than we austerity plans . Obviously, in the first time , these plans lead to recession or slower growth and it is very difficult, especially for areas like ours ! By cons , what we see today is that these countries have taken steps earlier that we are either in recovery or have recovered . So far , France is lagging behind in this field. But the world as a whole is now returning to the Croisance , and this growth necessarily affect France, particular boating , structurally very exporting sector !

Distribution the boat suffering a lot now . There are countless companies in the backup process. After five years of crisis , they do not necessarily have the means to restructure. According to you , what can you actually do to help the downstream sector of the sail, and what does the Beneteau group in this area?

BC – When there is a crisis in the marina, the first affected are producers. Then comes the turn of distributors. Why distributors not they are affected first ? Because they make several trades : new boats, boats , services, maintenance, rental , fittings … It is true that when crises last , distributors are affected. We are currently witnessing an ongoing restructuring of the distribution. In our case , we are very attentive to our networks. It was restructured networks in Britain , Spain and Italy , with a decrease in the number of distributors around 50% , given that these markets have experienced a much more severe crisis than what was known in France . For our distributors , it is important that our brands have outperformed the others, to enable them to make a difference when signing purchase orders ! Traditionally, we are very close to our distributors , it agise monitoring them or accompanying them , knowing that we had very few losses in our network entities have all been liquidated again!

There are two years old, you open a plant in Brazil to bypass a local tax to importation nearly 200 %. But since then , the market has stalled , Brazil through an air hole. Do you regret this investment?

BC – An industrial investment ever made for the next day, but always for a generation. South America is a market will develop. Currently , there is uncertainty about the monetary policy of the Fed. Some decisions may negatively impact the local economy, and there cause an economic slowdown. At the moment, it’s difficult, but you can not change the direction of history: it will sell tomorrow more boats in South America, that it is never sold so far !

There was one year , then you show the MC4 MC5 . The industrialization of these two models seems to have been very long , making piaffe your impatience distributors ! Why the delay ?

BC – I think first of all that we announced too quickly , because we have been waiting a long time ! We probably wanted to please our network, show him that we were moving ! Then our requirement level was maximum , the MC5 and MC4 are mini- yachts ! Production has been started, when we were sure to guarantee the quality required in the specifications . All this logically extended time , but it is now behind us , because both models are now in production on our Saint Gilles : MC4 , MC5 , and why not … MC6 !

How you anticipate 2014 for the Beneteau group , in terms of boating ?

BC – We expect more than 5% growth, a result which should be positive clairemet , signing our return to profitability !

And an acquisition ?

BC – An acquisition , why not, but that is the real question …

Read the interview in French:  http://www.actunautique.com/article-le-groupe-beneteau-en-quete-de-deux-nouvelles-marques-122088027.html

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Michael James
Michael James
Michael James has been with Murray Yacht Sales since 1995 and is in the the New Orleans office.

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