Global Order Book: How Azimut - Benetti secured the top spot

4 January 2023 • by Katia Damborsky

For the 23rd year running, BOAT’s Global Order Book data has placed Azimut - Benetti at number one for both overall length of production and number of hulls in build. To learn more about an enduringly successful strategy, BOATPro sat down with Azimut - Benetti vice president Giovanna Vitelli.

Azimut - Benetti coming out on top of the Global Order Book is nothing new, but this year the group has boosted its figures by 1,390 metres and grown more than 30 per cent for the second consecutive year.

“This year we are in an even better position because the distance from the second has grown bigger,” explains the group’s vice president Giovanna Vitelli. “We are proud that it’s not just a matter of ranking, but it's a matter of continued progress.”

Vitelli credits four key pillars that underpin the group’s success: Product, fiscal strategy, management and services.

Evolution is vital

Azimut reports 22 units of its new Grande 26M have been sold since introducing it to the market in September

“Manufacturing yachts is what we know,” says Vitelli, and this is where she says the focus should lie. Technology and innovation are crucial to strengthening this area, and Vitelli considers sustainability one of the group’s key competitive advantages. “Our added value is that we’ve been talking about sustainability for the past ten years,” says Vitelli. “In the past, the world was probably not ready to hear this message.”

In 2022, the launch of the Grande 26M and 36M ushered in a new “Low Emissions” range for the yard. The 26M claims to cut fuel emissions by 20 per cent, while the 36M cuts emissions by between 20 to 30 per cent. 

Elsewhere, Vitelli credits Azimut - Benetti as being one of the few yards that offer full-custom builds as well as semi-custom models built on "proven platforms up to 70 metres". With lowered wait times and reduced costs, “building on platforms is a winning concept,” says Vitelli, but having the two divisions allows the yards to compete in two very different areas. “Part of our DNA is centricity of products,” explains Vitelli. “We took a risk, because we have experimented and we pushed boundaries, but the market has rewarded us.”

"The brand is king"

With semi-custom models ranging up to 70 metres, Azimut - Benetti can pivot its focus according to the market's needs

The second part of the group’s DNA is growth — something highlighted by the company’s €1.2 billion turnover in 2022 and its promise to invest​​ €130 million into the business over the coming four years. “We believe in growth, not by acquisition, which is more of a financial approach, but more of an internal growth,” explains Vitelli. “The growth has always been under the umbrellas of Azimut and Benetti, because the brand is king.” The company has weathered difficult times by relying solely on its own resources, according to Vitelli.

She points to low financing and global distribution as key components for the group’s upward trajectory. The “secret to resilience” has been having a fleet spread between 12 to 110 metres, allowing Azimut - Benetti to shift focus between large and small yachts according to the market.

Azimut - Benetti's key figures from 2022

Number of projects in build: 168

Total length: 5,991 metres

Average length: 35.7 metres

Balancing family and expertise

The Oasis 40M is one of Benetti's most popular models

At its heart, Azimut - Benetti is a family business, according to Vitelli. But the management structure is a “good combination” of people who have grown within the Azimut - Benetti family and people from outside the business, who bring their own perspective to the company. “Specific know-how is important in our sector,” says Vitelli, but acknowledges the importance of opening the door to companies who are more “mature” in different areas.

In September, Daniele Romiti was appointed general manager of the Azimut brand. Romiti came from an aeronautical engineering background. “He is helping us a lot in rethinking the industrialisation of the world below 80 foot,” confirms Vitelli. On the other side, CEO Marco Valle has been with the business since 1996. Toeing this balance is “unique” in the industry, says Vitelli. She believes that companies are often too intrinsically linked to one person, or there’s too much division between the operations and the product.

Attracting the next generation of owners

As yacht owners get younger, the group hopes to tap into a new generation of client

The profile of customers is changing, and Azimut - Benetti is actively looking to tap into a new client base. Alongside investments into digital and tangible assets, services is an important component of acquiring new clients and maintaining existing ones, according to Vitelli.

In the early stages of yacht ownership, clients are able to meet interior designers and browse linen, art and marble, all in one place, at Azimut - Benetti’s Design Lounges. When the time comes for a refit, Azimut - Benetti has the Lusben facilities on hand for clients to bring their yachts to. “Service will be the next chapter,” confirms Vitelli.

You can view the full analysis of BOAT International's Global Order Book here.

The data used in this article was taken from BOATPro, the world's leading superyacht market intelligence platform, which delivers real-time, accurate and reliable data. To access our pioneering fleet tracker, brokerage market insight, reports and much more book a demo with the BOATPro team.