Since last December, Piero Napolitano has been commercial director Jeanneau for Italy. He joined the large French group after a long experience starting from providing assistance services to racing boats, when he was still a university student in Naples, passing through experiences with the Casarola group and some brands of the Ferretti group up to the management of the Riva Cannes Boat Service, the office on the Côte d’Azur that takes care of sales and assistance of Riva yachts.
Substitutes Andrea Cragnotti, called by Jeanneau to cover the role of Sales Director EMEA, which leaves Napolitano an excellent legacy with numbers all in positive sign. “In fact it will be hard to keep up with those results”, jokes the newly appointed manager, who continues: “Also this year the sales results have been higher than last year and so we have reached a turnover that has exceeded 10% of the results of 2008, the last year before the crisis that has depressed the whole economy and the boating in particular.
What changes now in Jeanneau?
“For the moment I would say nothing, in the end we are always under the gaze of Andrea, even if more from above. It’s too early to make strategic choices and the results say that those taken so far have been right.
“We have seen a significant increase in our market share in outboard engine models and in sailing, and we have confirmed the results achieved with inboard models and in the Prestige range.
Can you give us some numbers?
“In Italy, of 205 boats sold to private individuals, 130 are outboard units, 55 are inboard, 15 are Jeanneau sailing and 5 are Prestige.
Whose merit is it, as well as that of the management?
“I’d say it’s a merit contest. There is certainly the work done on the boats. One of the characteristics of Jeanneau and Prestige is not to cut the bridges, even aesthetic ones, with the past; we improve a model, we make it evolve, but we do not revolutionize it”.
And this pays off?
“Prestige has become the leading global brand for motoryacht sales between 40 and 60 feet and the second in the 60 to 80 foot range. I’d say it pays.
So nothing new?
“There will certainly be and you will see them soon… innovation, design and much more will complement and complete the existing ranges. This means that a Jeanneau, sail or motor, or a Prestige will maintain the value even when used. And that gives you confidence. Then we work on customer care. We’re interested in consolidating before we even win new customers. We take an inclusive approach, we like to keep our doors open and get as many people into the Jeanneau world as possible. Finally, it’s thanks to the network of our 25 dealers.
Why are they good sellers?
“Mostly because they are considered competent and reliable professionals. A customer who has to change boat, a few weeks ago told me: ‘I received two quotes from two dealers with a price difference of about 5%. The one who sent me the highest figure is a historic Jeanneau dealer. If we share this difference equally with the dealer and I am happy to pay them the extra difference because I know that she is well invested in the service she can offer me. And if a customer comes to consider the value of what he buys before the price, it means that we are working in the right direction.
How do you differentiate your products, only by size?
“Not only that, but also by use. For example, a fishing enthusiast will have different needs from those who simply “go by boat”. For the former, function is fundamental, for the latter, comfort and design are more important. To be more specific, for the second one the joystick is something not to be renounced, because it takes away many thoughts during the mooring phase, while for those who go fishing it is more important to have the space to devote to the activity of fishing, so it will look more at the layout than at the accessories”.
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