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Riviera's global exports defy industry trends

by Stephen Milne on 26 Aug 2011
Riviera's director of brand and communications Stephen Milne says Riviera continues to export despite challenging market conditions Stephen Milne
Riviera, Australia’s largest and most awarded pleasure boat builder continues to export defying industry trends with its latest shipment of 10 new boats with a retail value of USD$12.3 million, shrink wrapped in heavy duty plastic and ready for shipping next week to varying ports around the globe.

Riviera will export one 4400 Series II Sport Yacht, two 5000 Sport Yachts, two 38 Open Flybridges, two 43 Open Flybridges, one 51 Enclosed Flybridge, one 53 Enclosed Flybridge and one 61 Open Flbyridge to Riviera’s global dealers based in Miami, Puerto Rico, Panama, Sarasota on the west coast of Florida, Seattle and the Seychelles. All boats are retail sold to owners.


This achievement is certainly no mean feat given the current economic climate, the strong Australian dollar, lack of gov ernment support for the wider manufacturing sector and fierce global competition.

Riviera’s brand and communications manager Stephen Milne said the new 53 Enclosed Flybridge was bound for Florida and the Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show in late October where it would be showcased for the first time in the United States.

'Based on the acceptance of this new model in Australia where we have confirmed 17 orders since its world release in May this year, we believe the new 53 will be very well accepted by the United States market because of its uniqueness,' Stephen said.

'The new 53 features a full-beam master suite plus two other guest cabins, two spacious and luxuriously appointed bathrooms, large flybridge that is a real sky lounge, huge saloon and generous sized cockpit with aft galley and opposing lounges. Every proportion of this boat is generous from the storage space below the cockpit to the extended living areas above – there is nothing else like our 53 that is currently on the market.

'We call it the Riviera space ship because of its huge internal space and its space-age technology with joystick docking control, forward facing propellers and fuel efficient IPS pod drives, resin infused hull construction and digital switching.

'People have long recognised Riviera’s strong build quality given the harsh Australian boating environment and the marriage of this robust construction and engineering with industry leading design and aesthetics is why the Riviera brand is very much in demand.

'There is a tremendous confidence in the Riviera brand, people are still buying boats in Australia and around the world, we continue to export despite challenging market conditions. Our production capability is now solid following a successful Sydney International Boat Show, so there are only a very limited number of new boats available for pre-Christmas delivery. This is good news for our 400 strong staff.

'Our dealers have a very limited number of stock boats around the world so we are in a good position coming into our summer season.

'We are marching into a raft of boat shows nationally and internationally over the next eight weeks with Riviera well represented at Auckland, New Zealand in September; Mandurah, Western Australia in October; Gold Coast Marine Expo in November; and in October Riviera will be represented at Fort Lauderdale, Florida; Genoa, Italy; Cape Town, South Africa; and in November Barcelona, Spain. There is significant boat show activity for Riviera in coming months and we anticipate these shows will add to our order bank for the first half of 2012.'

Riviera’s chief financial officer Neal McCulloch said it had been a difficult time for Australian manufacturing and export over the past few years as a result of the economic landscape and more recently the high Australian dollar.



'At the height of our manufacturing success, prior to the global financial crisis, Riviera exported almost 50 per cent of production generating tens of millions of dollars in export revenue each year,' Neal said.

'Riviera for 25 of its 30 year history has been the largest exporter of luxury pleasure boats from Australia and currently with our limited resources we are doing all we can to continue to drive and grow our export sales, but it’s indeed disappointing that both the state and federal governments provide no assistance in helping us maintain our strong export base.

'Australia must protect its skill and job base for us to be a truly balanced economy. Australia needs a vision for the future that shows an economy based on a growing services sector, a healthy mining sector and a dynamic manufacturing sector.

'I believe this would go a long way to help neutralise the effects of the so called two-speed economy we are currently experiencing.

'The government needs to have a greater focus on how Australia adds value to its export industries so that we are not just an exporter of raw materials but an exporter of finished and sophisticated goods.'

Mr Milne said Riviera’s export sales had grown over the past two years with EU$6.3 million in exports to Spain and France and a further USD$4.1 million to Russia, USA and Turkey in the past six months. This latest shipment of 10 boats leaving the Riviera factory next week bound for the Port of Brisbane and Port Botany in Sydney to be loaded onto ships as deck cargo and shipped to their final destinations.

Riviera offers 20 different models from 36 to 85 feet across four model series Flybridge, Sport Yacht, Offshore Express and Motor Yachts.

For more information, please go to www.riviera.com.au

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