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Princess R35 launch confirms a r/evolution in yacht industry

by Princess Yachts 27 Sep 2018 07:59 UTC
Princess R35 © Princess Yachts

Two years ago Princess Yachts promised a revolution. We promised to be even more successful as a business and to excel in our relationships with our customers, employees, distributors and our shareholders. Our ability to launch innovative and beautiful new products and offer exceptional customer service would define that success.

This week, in front of new yachts that redefine what is possible in design, innovation and quality, Princess is delivering on that promise.

Product launches

We have launched seven new yachts already in 2018, and announced three more new yachts that will arrive over the next 3 months. During 2019 and 2020, we will launch a total of fifteen yachts. To put that into context, we launched four new yachts in 2014 and 2015 combined, and ten combined over 2016 and 2017.

This aggressive product expansion takes monumental effort and commitment from our nearly 3,000 employees in Plymouth and our partners. Their focus is on three core areas as we accelerate the launch of new yachts: speed of innovation through all the production lines; yachts showing even greater attention to quality and perceived quality; and ensuring yachts are more developed when they hit the market than even we have done historically or than competitors do now. This is the foundation to our revolution.

To grow the business creatively and sustainably, we looked for opportunities for new classes that no-one else imagined, and sought to make every yacht more desirable in every existing Princess class, improving every yacht's architecture and use of space or making it perform better in the water through technology and innovation.

In making yachts more desirable, we increase profitability and re-invest into future products through even more innovation and quality. The new S78 is a perfect example. It's a virtuous circle proven out by an anticipated production of just under 300 units in 2018 and record advance orders through to 2020 totalling more than US$1 billion. 2018 revenue and profit are expected to hit record levels for Princess.

Princess R35

Innovation is paramount to this plan and the R35 defines innovation. It features the revolutionary use of a world-first active foiling system, Princess AFS, aerodynamics inspired by the performance road car and Formula 1 industries, and the use of carbon throughout. Combined, this delivers enormous performance gains across comfort, predictability, usability and efficiency, while reaching speeds of up to 50 knots. And a unique experience on the water for pilot and passengers.

Crucially, the performance opportunities are accessible to all levels of experience and over a wide range of dynamic situations. Where traction control and electronic stability control systems in automotive opened up supercar ownership to a wide range of customers, so the Princess Active Foiling System will revolutionise sports yacht ownership for existing connoisseurs and customers who have never owned a yacht.

Princess yachts

The next game-changing yacht that flies the flag for the Princess attitude and vision today is the X95 - the 'superfly' that redefines yacht architecture. Princess is renowned for innovative architecture in hull design. With the X95 we are going to take this to the extreme, re-thinking large flybridge yachts with a quantity, size and blend of indoor and outdoor spaces that is truly phenomenal for a 95 foot yacht.

But the R35 and X95 are not just headline-grabbing one-offs. We will launch more yachts in the coming months that offer both Princess qualities and new innovations. Four have already been confirmed – the F45, V55, V78 and Y85 Motor Yacht – and we have more waiting in the wings. All will take significant steps forward in design, quality, space and architectural solutions, and specific technologies that offer distinct customer benefits. Our aim is that every yacht has something interesting and different to offer over its predecessor, over a competitor boat or as a new offering to the market.

The new F45 is a classic example. As the next in line of a much-loved Princess mainstay, how have we innovated to make a class-leading flybridge yacht even better? By making it elegant and beautiful in a size that normally looks awkward. Its form, shape and curves blend perfectly with the generous flybridge and an electrically sliding cockpit that adds sixty centimetres at the touch of a button to offer a larger entertaining space.

The new V55 follows the F45's example. Princess is already renowned for its V Class yachts that redefined interior space and performance thanks to the deep-V hull design. So, we have taken design cues from R35 to move it even further away from the competition in its design and style. It is both beautiful and innovative as it can be both transformed from a deck saloon to open yacht by dropping the patio door into the cockpit floor.

And design is to the fore in the Y85 Motor Yacht. Traditional Y Class yachts from Princess deliver exceptional levels of luxury, space and usability. For the Y85, and as an indicator for how this class of boat will develop, we re-designed the galley, so that with the press of one button and the resulting slide of a door, it transforms from an open sociable area, to a closed galley for greater privacy. The Y85 can therefore adapt to different uses and situations without sacrificing its ideal layout.

Heritage and manufacturing

But innovation does not mean we have forgotten our roots. Our history and heritage are as important to our brand as our desire to deliver new technologies and innovations. To that end, our small yachts are treated with the same respect as M Class yachts.

We can deliver on this promise because we make virtually all our components in Plymouth. The same women and men make all the parts. This makes all parts equal in quality, whether components for a 40M or an F45, and the results prove out this process: investment in the product and customer is key to our record orders.

Design and partnerships

What does that robust order book mean to us in reality? Predictability, profitability and strong partnerships. Most importantly, this is a team effort and there's a bit of everyone in every yacht.

Bernard Olesinski remains our core partner in both conception and design of all of our yachts, working closely with the Princess Design Studio and exciting new partners.

Our new partners bring in a different point of view and challenge the status quo. This is similar to how the major car brands launch new models, with different design teams competing to produce the best solution against a brief, but we provide that environment in a more collegiate working environment with partners working together, pushing each other. Not competing, but collaborating.

This is delivering amazing results that can be seen on the R35 and will be seen on the Superfly X Class, with Princess pushing the boundaries of naval architecture and design.

But core to every yacht is Olesinski's unparalleled understanding of what makes a Princess a Princess. They innovated many years ago for Princess, developing our various hull concepts, for example. We can now take that strong foundation and integrate Ben Ainslie Racing Technology's unique America's Cup racing knowledge and their team's Formula 1 experience to introduce foiling techniques and aerodynamic design innovation.

This is a great example of a design partnership – BAR Technologies can challenge Olesinski on their hypotheses for hull design, whilst Olesinski help BAR Technologies understand what makes a Princess a Princess, and the core values of a luxury yacht.

Pininfarina are then our guardians of beauty and elegance, ensuring that neither the form of the boat nor its functionality overshadow one another. Both must work together in harmony and this has been the essence of Pininfarina's design heritage since their first iconic car, the 1947 Cisitalia 202 – the automobile that changed the world of car design and sits on permanent display in the Museum of Modern Art in New York.

The result today is that all the partners, who have unprecedented histories and unwavering ambition, are upping their game as they work together. But importantly, the Plymouth-based Princess Yachts Design Studio choreographs all of this and sits at the heart of the relationships.

Summary

As we present the exceptional and revolutionary R35, our ambitious voyage remains on a course defined by a route as simple and effective as the R35 - this year we will increase production significantly over recent years, building up to 300 units to order, sealing our place as the world's leading luxury yacht brand by both production numbers and quality.

Two years ago we promised this, this week we have delivered on that promise, and in two years' time you will see a similar progress in our business. We have no intention of powering down from our position of strength.

The Cannes and Southampton yacht shows are a celebration, not just for a picture of Princess's future represented by the R35, nor just the celebration of what makes a Princess a Princess in the F70 or V60, but also as business platforms that deliver on our promises - the launch of the new product concepts we promised two years ago, the manufacture in Plymouth of up to 300 luxury yachts in 2018, and the financial strength we targeted earlier this year that will enable us to stand out in both the yacht industry and as a UK-based global design and manufacturing company making the world's best yachts and delivering the world's best customer service.

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