Australia’s largest luxury boat builder, Riviera, has wrapped up another successful year, both nationally and internationally, and is working around the clock to finish and deliver 36 new luxury vessels for their eager owners in time for Christmas.
Gary Haidley (left) and Matthew Hardingham putting the finishing touches to a new Riviera.
Riviera has had a hectic 12 months and is on track to build about 340 boats in the 2007/08 financial year.
Melbourne owner Graham Boyd watched the finishing touches being put to his new Riviera 51 Enclosed Flybridge.
'It’s a great boat,' he said. 'We are expecting it to arrive in Melbourne before Christmas.'
Riviera CEO Wes Moxey said the run up to Christmas was always a busy time for Riviera.
'We are heading into the main boating season and we have a number of very excited customers who for obvious reasons want to spend Christmas and New Year on the water in their new boats,' he said.
'Naturally we are doing everything possible to make sure we can achieve that for our customers.'
Mr Moxey said Riviera had achieved a number of major goals during 2007 which positioned it well for the year ahead.
He cited the ongoing expansion of the company’s USA and European dealership networks, the continuing roll out of new and improved models, the start of a $6.5 million expansion at its Coomera headquarters and an ongoing commitment to staff training as cornerstones of Riviera’s continuing success.
'Our new product development division has been very active throughout 2007 and our customers will see the fruits of their labour in the year ahead,' he said.
'Initiatives such as new hull designs and manufacturing techniques mean the vessels we produce are continually being refined and performance standards improved.
'We have never been a company known to rest on its laurels.
'We are constantly looking for ways to improve and develop our designs, from the drive systems to the interiors and also continually seek to enhance the experience of our customers.
'An extensive social program for owners including Riviera organised events and cruises and the after sales care we offer our customers, such as Riviera Assist - a 24-hour on-water service operation - all add to the experience of owning a Riviera.'
Mr Moxey said this year the company released six new models including four Flybridge designs, a 4400 Sport Yacht and the first of a new line, the 48 Offshore Express.
'The 45 Flybridge has been one of the standout models for 2007, with 35 of the vessels selling in the six months since its release,' said Mr Moxey.
Riviera also scooped a number of major boating industry awards during 2007.
The Riviera 4700 Sport Yacht was named Australian Boat of the Year at the Australian Marine Industries Federation (AMIF) Marine Awards. It was also named the 2007 Cruiser of the Year award at the Modern Boating magazine awards. AMIF judges also gave the Riviera 56 Enclosed Flybridge a safety award.
The Riviera 3600 Sport Yacht won the Best Motoryacht Under 40 Feet at the Christofle Asia Boating Awards 2007.
In 2008, Riviera will reach a new benchmark with the launch of the Riviera 70 Flybridge in August. Already the company has sold three of this new model, the new flagship of the Riviera range and the largest vessel ever produced by the company.
'Launching the Riviera 70 is a very exciting milestone for the company,' said Mr Moxey.
'This model will be the culmination of many years of design and will offer all the top-of-the-line luxury appointments.'
This year, Riviera also added to the range of boating options it offers, when it announced a new relationship with Grand Banks to distribute the iconic range of motor yachts through its Australian and New Zealand retail organisation R Marine.
This agreement follows the success of a similar relationship with the Princess brand which began in 2006. The UK built Princess vessels are considered the Bentleys of the sea and Riviera has secured significant sales since taking over their distribution.
Tim Sayer, Managing Director of Riviera’s R Marine retail organisation, said: 'This year we have sold in excess of 16 luxury Princess and Grand Banks vessels worth a combined $38.5 million.
'The relationship with these two iconic brands makes perfect business sense. They offer owners an alternative in terms of boating lifestyle and are synonymous with the Riviera brand in terms of quality build, craftsmanship and after-sales care.'
During 2007 Riviera also cemented its operations within the US market by purchasing a marina and associated boating facilities in Stuart, Florida. The company now employs more than 30 people to run its US service and aftermarket operations from that facility.
'This facility means we can offer our owners in the US the same top-line care that our Australian customers experience.'
Mr Moxey said the signing of an agreement with a distributor in China earlier this year was also a major coup and was part of the company’s strategy for structured growth around the world. The company has also appointed Dealers in Russia, Korea and Sweden and expanded its network in the Americas and the Middle East.
He said the company was searching the world for leading marine industry personnel and had recently appointed several key boating industry identities respected at an international level.
'On a day-to-day basis we are employing more quality staff locally and we have also stepped up our in-house school based apprenticeship training program which nurtures new talent,' he said.
The school-based apprentice program this year celebrated its 10th year and has helped more than 230 young men and women through their qualifications.
Mr Moxey said the Riviera team was looking forward to building on the achievements of 2007 and was prepared to move full-steam ahead in the New Year.
'We are confident that, despite the continually challenging market conditions worldwide, our geographical diversity and the extent of our range combined with our roll-out of new models has positioned us well for the year ahead,' he said.
'As always our focus will be on improving our systems, staff training and of course our products and ranges.'
To find out more about Riviera, visit www.riviera.com.au