The pair told us how Simpson Marine had expanded from its establishment in Hong Kong to soon cover the rest of the region, including perhaps surprisingly the less developed markets of countries such as Vietnam, Philippines and Indonesia.
‘We’re being seen as the pioneers in Asia, I think it’s true to say. With being in there first and trying to be at the early stages of developing a market – for me personally the interest was always actually opening up the market, introducing yachting to more and more people,’ Mike commented.
Of the firm’s recent milestones, we were also keen to touch on the arrival of the MonteCarlo Yachts 96 earlier this year; owned of course by Beneteau Group, and just one of many brands represented by Simpson Marine in the region.
The Monaco Yacht Show is not the only boat show which Simpson Marine make it a point to attend; indeed Nick and Mike told us that they always have a strong presence at the Thailand and Singapore Yacht Shows, though the dynamic here is much different to the larger shows in Europe and America. Rather than an opportunity for sales, Mike tells us these events ‘act as a showcase’ instead.
‘We need to do it. We’ve got to be there, people have to see us, and we have a big presence there,’ Mike elaborated.
On the subject of the multiple brands represented by the firm in Asia, Nick Stratton predominantly focuses on Sanlorenzo, as Sanlorenzo Asia Sales Manager for the group. We asked him how business was for Sanlorenzo and what the future held for the brand.
‘We’re seeing a lot more yachts come into the region, I think with people recognising that a smaller shipyard with lower production levels can produce a slightly better quality yacht, a bit more bespoke to their needs,’ Nick told us.
This is not to say that Sanlorenzo’s range is limited by its lower scale of production, as Nick explains; with the Sport Line, Explorer line and the SD Line to name just a few. In terms of upcoming news, Sanlorenzo will also be seeing a new head office for the south open in Singapore’s ONE°15 Marina by the end of the year.
Ultimately, in terms of the future for the Asia market, the duo stressed the unique and diverse appeal of the region as making this a particularly difficult question.
‘Asia is so diverse in its different countries… so I think it’s probably a never ending cycle. But certainly areas like Hong Kong, Singapore and Thailand are fairly well established as markets, with the infrastructure coming in.’ While Nick conceded of course that the region is an impossible one to compare to Europe and its long-established culture of yachting, there are certainly opportunities there to be exploited.
We will be keeping our ears very close to the ground for future developments from this innovative firm, as they continue to thrive in what is undeniably a very intricate and unique emerging market.