by Jeni Bone
Sanctuary Cove is Riviera’s home show, and the ideal occasion to review the year and its highlights. CEO John Anderson presented his impressions of the past year, and outlined the marque’s achievements, challenges, international advances, local innovations and plans for 2011/12.
A real ’family boat’, the 53 was toasted on the opening day of Sanctuary Cove.
'It would take a whole day to update you on what has happened over the past year,' he began, and proceeded to introduce the Riviera senior team across all departments, along with their credentials and expertise.
In 2010, Riviera produced 52 boats. This fiscal year, that number will rise to 86 – a 65% increase from May 2009.
'Hopefully, this coming year, that number will rise by 30%,' said Anderson, adding that in the past 24 months, the company’s dealer network has sold 225 new Rivieras around the globe. 'This is huge, considering the GFC and its impact on various markets.'
Anderson revealed that the company had unprecedented success in Miami, Fort Lauderdale and other shows.
'We know we have the right product and the market likes it. We’re hoping to sell more. But we’re patient. The fact that we have the right product is the exciting bit.'
Currently, there are 26 boats on the production lines at Riviera’s Coomera operations. Another major change since last year is the growth in the 50ft+ segment, with Riviera signing a contract for a 75, a 70 off to its new owner in Europe in June, and three of each of the 58 Sport Yacht and 61 Flybridge Series II moving out soon.
'The fact that we sell $2m-6m boats and this segment is growing, is a vote of confidence in Riviera.'
The key to adapting to the changing market in an era of high Australian dollar and shifting consumer sentiment, Anderson said is 'constantly evolving and creating new products'.
'We are lucky to have exceptional dealers around the world. They love our boats and they pass that on to our customers.'
Riviera’s two world releases at this year’s Sanctuary Cove International Boat Show were the 53 Enclosed Flybridge with IPS and the 61 Series II Shaftdrive – both extremely well received with dealers and consumers.
Described by Head of Design, Neil McCabe as 'like nothing before', the 53 is positioned as a 'social boat' – roomy, open, exceptionally spacious and luxurious, with an array of options that can be customised to suit owners. 'This is a project that took three years in development,' said McCabe. 'From boat shows, customer feedback, events and our dealers.'
At the Sydney International Boat Show, Riviera will launch the 44 Sports yacht Series II, with a new hardtop and cockpit arrangement.