Italy became the first European nation to enter lockdown as a result of the virus and is now emerging with caution and looking for a way to bounce back. Thanks to a well-coordinated organisation and commercial strategy, the Azimut Benetti Group shipyards are ready to return to full-time capacity. Plans are in place to immediately begin making up for lost time, and the Group has expressed its pride at how it has used “trademark dynamism, creativity and innovation” to be in a position of strength after such a challenging situation.
Giovanna Vitelli, Vice President of Azimut Benetti, made a buoyant address as the Group returned to production. “We are fortunate in that we are not only a strong company, but also have substantial credibility at an international level,” stated Vitelli. “We want to draw on this as we play our part in upholding the precious ‘Made in Italy’ values and demonstrating that our country is on the road to recovery.”
While the last few months of lockdown has disrupted production, this has not impeded the Group from making progress for the future. As Marco Valle, CEO of Azimut Yachts, explains: “We never stopped. In fact, during lockdown, our international standing held us in good stead, allowing us to close contracts amounting to 30 million euro in orders, helped in no small way by our proactivity in geographic areas not yet affected by the pandemic. This enabled us to continue with our exports which is, of course, a key lever of Italy’s economy.”
Benetti CEO Franco Fusignani echoed this satisfaction. “It hasn’t been easy,” said Fusignani, “but we managed to keep business going with no serious setbacks. Thanks to our facilities being located in different regions of Italy, we were even able to continue with production focussed on April and May deliveries and at the same time ensure maximum protection levels for our workers through the adoption of all the safety procedures, enabling us no to have any Covid cases at all. Our refitting company Lusben closed a number of contracts to take the total number of boats being managed to 46, as well as providing accommodation and support to captains and crews in Livorno.”
The Group has also used the period to make significant contributions to the digital sphere. Both Azimut and Benetti Yachts have hosted online webinars and interactive courses to provide training while people have been confined to their homes. Azimut has also launched the Azimut Yachts Virtual Lounge along with the Azimut Yachts e-Boat Show to offer an alternative mode of holding appointments and generating interaction.
As for the immediate future of Azimut Benetti production, the shipyards are positive that they will remain on track for the summer deliveries of Azimut’s Magellano 25 Metri and Benetti’s Oasis 40 Metri. We are pleased to see the esteemed Azimut Benetti shipyards return to production and look forward to seeing more timeless Made in Italy masterpieces.