Future of Superyacht
What will the superyacht segment in the 40 – 42 meter range look like in the future?
Let’s take a closer look at the automotive industry: If we take timeless designs in the luxury segment, we can identify the following typical car manufacturers, who certainly play the first fiddle in the top segment: First and foremost the high-end brands Rolls Royce followed by Bentley, Ferrari, Aston Martin, Bugatti as well as the manufacturers Mercedes, BMW, Porsche which are slightly below it in the segment and some others more…but I would like to limit myself to 3 brands for simplicity’s sake.
What makes these manufacturers so unique? All 3 manufacturers have experience in series production for the highest demands. And all three manufacturers have one thing in common: they have found a design language that carefully approaches the next generation. Everyone on the road recognizes these cars by their shape. We call this model maintenance. Take the Porsche 365 – that was the first production Porsche ever. His DNA is still in the latest Porsche 911, but even a Rolls Royce is unmistakable. Between both brands are 350K-500K €. Apart from that, there will always be people who can afford a unique piece, like the Rolls Royce Swep Tail, a milestone in automobile construction, which actually belongs back in the museum because it is so unique. Cost: 12.5 million euros.
What does this have to do with yachts? Modern yacht yards should be able to achieve or aim for a quantity of 25 – 50 pieces for yachts up to 40 meters. Innovation, technologies, research, process optimization, cost reduction, supplier advantages and model maintenance can only be driven forward massively through this number of units. Not to forget the service and maintenance of these yachts.
You can’t? Get out of here! Rolls Royce or Bentley demonstrate it to us every day. You can immediately purchase a „standard model“ – if the quality of workmanship is still standard – or contact the „Bespoke department“, then you will receive „a Picasso“ on wheels, which can sometimes cost 1.5 to 2 million. Depending on what you want. But even if it is hard to imagine – the production, even with a „Bespoke“ version, is now a process with precise processes. The standards of High-Skill Workers & Artist – there is no other way to describe it – are so high that the question is no longer how this is done, but how high your abstraction ability is with regard to imagination, what ideas you have in mind, or what your very own taste is. Today’s millennials, which can afford luxury yachts, are fundamentally different from the old guard, the captains of industry and the business bosses. They don’t want to wait three years, they want those yachts now! And with a standard and zeitgeist that meets the needs of today’s smartphone and cloud computing generation.
And does it always have to be „Full bespoke“? To get back to Rolls Royce: Meanwhile models are offered at the dealers, which were arranged by the „Bespoke team“ in Goodwood. And one model more beautiful than the other! You can also trust the top yacht designers, especially with regard to the interiors, with a clear conscience. Apart from that – when you buy a yacht on spec, you are faced with perfect facts – either the yacht pleases or not.
Watch these YouTube videos from Bentley Motors to see what I mean:
or Rolls Royce:
What’s more: Of course, the trend towards building larger yachts continues unabated. But all in all, the 40 meter mark is an ideal size for shipyards, designers and customers. Yachts are made of one piece, they are available relatively quickly, offer sufficient space and are profitable in the production process. This is also extremely important for customers: knowing that a shipyard is financially stable when a design can develop into a series that can also sell successfully on the market creates trust for the customer. Semi-Custom is the keyword.
Where most shipyards definitely have some catching up to do: Today’s cloud computing options would allow the customer to put together his yacht according to his wishes. And this will also be demanded of the customer in the future. The models can be put together by Rolls Royce or Bentley on their websites, to name but 2 examples. So what’s wrong with a yacht’s furniture being white and its colour applications being designed by the customer to be within the bandwidth set by the designer! It doesn’t matter whether the customer wants a red or orange application if it matches the design. There’s plenty of room up here. The web configurators of the automobile manufacturers speak a clear language as to where the train is going. One pioneer who has entered into a „liaison“ with Porsche is the Monaco-based company Dynamiq. (http://www.bedynamiq.com/)
To the configurator:
In the premium segment, however, people are often afraid of using these tools. Because you follow the old idea that you are now giving information to the competitor or the client might think that the shipyard is not exclusive enough if you are not received personally or if the team does not dance to the customer in person. But believe me, even the yacht owners want to put together „their“ yacht in terms of colour and interior, for example, in complete peace and quiet with their family, wife or girlfriend on a weekend when it may even be raining. It may well be that this particular yacht in the colour the client prefers simply looks stunning. A colour that the shipyard or the designer would never offer: Let’s have a lipstick – pink! (I tried this colour on the yacht Dynamiq GT 115 and it looks fantastic! So why not? But exactly this „gimmick“ can lead to the customer calling the sales team. This is important because most of them are talking about amounts in the tens of millions – every sales contact is important!
This also means that the shipyard can very well win a customer who wants to have a „full custom“. Because the client knows that the shipyard can also handle the construction financially. A factor not to be underestimated.
So the central question is: how do we get the design, bespoke, production, innovation and sales process from a Bentley or Rolls Royce into a yacht of tomorrow? The automotive industry offers a lot of space and opportunities for the yacht industry, which must be used.
I hope, I could convince with my first blog entry as a creative „troublemaker“…
Your Michael Konetschnik
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