With strong brands like Ferretti Yachts, Riva and Wally Yachts under their stewardship and a string of sales to their credit, Ray White Marine was duly recognised for their dedication and success at the recent Ferretti Group Dealer Awards. We talk with expansion plans with Brock Rodwell from Ray White Marine.
Ray White Marine has been representing the Ferretti Group in Australia and New Zealand for three years now. What has been your biggest challenge?
It was a gamble for us to take on this iconic Italian brand. We had done well with the British luxury brands over the last two decades, but the Ferretti Group’s products weren’t as popular in local waters. Price point and brand recognition were also challenging. Riva wasn’t well known here either, but we have been able to combat this with stunning new Italian designs, innovative technology, and eager clients who can see the value in a strong offer.
With a huge range of brands under the Ferretti Group umbrella – Ferretti Yachts, Riva, Pershing, Itama, Mochi Craft, Custom Line, CRN and the newcomer to the stable, Wally Yachts – which brand or model will the Australian and New Zealand market find the most exciting?
I am biased, but I would say Riva Yachts. They are absolutely stunning. Every client who has stepped on board our Riva range has commented on how unbeatable the interiors are. We have sold more new Rivas into Australia and New Zealand in the past two years than in the past decade. The large flybridge range is knocking it out of the park, and we are excited to have secured a build slot for a new Riva 90’ Argo coming to our shores in 2020.
The acquisition of Wally Yachts by the Ferretti Group was one of the biggest news stories to break earlier this year. How well known is the brand here?
Australians are so well travelled in markets like the Mediterranean and have seen the Wally designs in luxury yachting magazines, so the brand is well recognised. They are known for being pricey (due to the carbon-fibre design elements), but they are definitely gathering a following. I am currently negotiating two new orders for the Wally 48 tender for one client in Brisbane, and one in Sydney.
During Ferretti Group’s Global Dealer’s Meeting this year at the Monaco Yacht Club, Ray White Marine won the prestigious Best Sales and Marketing Performance Award. What did this mean to you?
It means a lot. We have turned a yachting group that is relatively unknown in the local market into an absolute frontrunner.
We have worked hard to get clients on board every model available to us and demonstrated how much of a powerhouse brand the Ferretti Group is on a global scale. I can only see the brand getting stronger.
At the 2019 Sydney Boat Show, it was announced that Ray White Marine was to become the exclusive local agent, representing Camper and Nicholson (C&N). Why have you decided to bring this brand into the Australian and New Zealand market?
We had managed some significant brokerage sales from the Mediterranean over the past five years so were approached by several large overseas yacht brokerage firms. The average size we had been selling was in excess of 80 feet, so the decision to collaborate with a credible superyacht firm was a natural one. We decided to go with C&N due to their pedigree – they are the oldest established maritime leisure company – and their extensive charter/yacht management expertise. Similarly, they were impressed with how we run our luxury yacht auction, so there are benefits for both of us.
What is next on your radar?
It has been a busy year for the brand in terms of both expansion (we have appointed a full-time charter broker in Sydney) and new vessel orders. Our main focus now is finalising our franchisee offices in and growing the C&N charter division of our company as we move into the peak summer period. Our scope is never ending.
We are also working on some large-scale marina developments and overseas-based luxury yacht auction campaigns.