by Ivor Wilkins
Aquapro International Limited, New Zealand’s largest and longstanding manufacturer of inflatable boats and RIBs, is to strengthen its sales and distribution activities by merging with its parent company RFD New Zealand Limited.
This move will be very positive for the many longstanding Aquapro customers in New Zealand, who will be able to take advantage of the wider distribution network RFD New Zealand Limited is able to offer for post sales support and service.
RFD New Zealand Limited is a specialist marine safety distribution company, which has been well known in the New Zealand marine industry for more than 20 years and has service and distribution operations throughout New Zealand. Aquapro will now have an augmented presence in those locations.
Sales activity in New Zealand is expected to increase through the enlarged sales team.
RFD (Australia) Pty. Ltd. which has service and warehouse centers in Melbourne, Sydney, Brisbane and Perth and has distributed the Aquapro product through their dealer and service network for the past 11 years will continue in this role.
As part of this move, Aquapro will be undertaking some restructuring and it will close its Auckland based manufacturing plant on the 31st March 2005.
Several key Aquapro staff will transfer across to the RFD team. Aquapro will assist remaining staff to seek alternative employment. Whilst it is disappointing that Aquapro will not be continuing to support manufacturing activities in New Zealand, the strong New Zealand dollar combined with the lower offshore wages cost has forced this move.
Paul Goddard, founder and Managing Director of Aquapro says, ‘This move will provide a stronger base for Aquapro going forward and customers can only benefit.'
RFD New Zealand Limited is committed to maintaining the quality of the Aquapro product range, which has been the hallmark of the Aquapro offering.
Mark Clothier, the Managing Director of RFD (Australia) Pty. Ltd and RFD New Zealand Ltd. says, ‘The Aquapro quality combined with its unique design can only add to RFD’s significant reputation.'
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10:08 PM Fri 25 Feb 2005 GMT
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