Azimut Yachts, part of Italy’s Azimut-Benetti Group, is a leading builder of luxury yachts from 11.8 metres to more than 36 metres in length. Azimut-Benetti Group is the largest yacht manufacturer by number of units and length of yachts under construction listed in the Boat International Global Order Book, a position it has enjoyed for a number of years.
History of Azimut Yachts
Azimut Srl got its start in 1969 when Paolo Vitelli, as a college student, opened a sailing yacht chartering business in Turin and was soon asked to be an Italian distributor for several boat manufacturers. During the 1970s, Vitelli gradually moved the company into boat building, beginning with a joint venture with Ameriglass to offer the AZ 43’ Bali, a 13-metre, mass-produced fibreglass recreational boat that quickly gained popularity. The launch of a 32’ Targa in 1977 and a 105-footer in 1982 secured Azimut’s place as an international manufacturer of production yachts.
Over the years, Azimut has maintained market leadership through design innovation and diversification. A striking example of its design DNA is Azimut’s use of large, frameless hull windows to connect guests aboard its yachts to the sea outside. Its yacht model series feature progressive, contemporary styling and aggressive performance. Azimut motor yachts also are known for their modern, high-tech interiors.
In 2013, sister yacht and entry level brand Atlantis was merged into Azimut Yachts, putting five luxury yacht series together under the Azimut marque: Flybridge, S, Magellano, Atlantis, and the Azimut Grande superyacht collection, with Verve being added in 2016.
In 2019, Vitelli, now chairman of the Azimut-Benetti Group Board of Directors, marked Azimut’s 50th Anniversary with celebrations in Dubai, New York, Cap d’Antibes and Avigliana, including a presentation at a Sustainability Talks held at the NASDAC Impact Summit in New York and the display of an Azimut S6 in Times Square during the city’s Design Connections Week. In 2019, Azimut reported 50% of its sales in the Americas, 29 % in Europe, the Middle East and Africa accounting for 14%, and Asia Pacific with 7%.
In 2020, Marco Valle, who has held various positions with Azimut-Benetti since 1996, including CEO of Azimut since 2016, was promoted to Group CEO, overseeing both brands. In total, the Group builds yachts from 12 to more than 100 metres LOA. He is charged with keeping the identity of each brand intact and distinct while fully respecting the signature characteristics of each shipyard.