Marion, South Carolina, USA – May 12, 2017
On the occasion of the 30th anniversary of the Marion plant, Groupe Beneteau reaffirms the importance of the North American market in its growth strategy and unveils its plans for 2017-2020.
A historic anchor on the American soil
In 1984, the French boatbuilder Beneteau celebrated its 100th anniversary and decided to embark on the American market. Two years later, on October 20, 1986, Beneteau opened its first production plant in Marion (SC), which laid the foundation of its presence in the United States. The plant is still contributing to Groupe Beneteau’s leading influence throughout the Americas with over 8,700 Beneteau and Jeanneau sailboats produced since its establishment. Over the past 30 years, Beneteau and Jeanneau have become the dominant brands on the American sailing boat market.
The Groupe headquarters for the Americas is located in Annapolis, Maryland. It operates a second plant dedicated to powerboat production in Cadillac, Michigan. The Groupe’s Four Winns, Glastron, Wellcraft and Scarab brands are produced at that plant. Today, Groupe Beneteau Americas employs over 700 people in the United States.
North America at the heart of the Plan: ‘Transform to Perform 2017-2020’
With a contribution of 30% to the Groupe’s revenues, the North American market is one of the pillars of Groupe Beneteau’s growth. The Groupe, via its subsidiary for the Americas, has reinforced its commitment in the United States, the world’s largest boating market. Groupe Beneteau Americas will play an increased role in the management of all brands’ activities in North, Central and South America.
In this context, the Groupe has announced today the following actions:
• The extension of its powerboat range that is built locally and delivered to the American market to better serve its distribution channels;
• The repatriation of the production from the Brazilian plant to the United States;
• Significant investments earmarked for the training and skill development of its 700 US employees and modernization of manufacturing plants in the United States.
Beneteau leading the way
“Innovative by Tradition”, Beneteau is bringing yet another best seller to market. At the United States Sailboat Show in Annapolis, Beneteau will present a new Oceanis, with variations of configurations and equipment to satisfy the most demanding sailers, cruisers or racers.
Committed to easier and more affordable sailing for the many, Beneteau recently announced a new five year exclusive agreement with SailTime. Members of the SailTime boat club will enjoy new Beneteau boats in the United States for a fraction of the cost of owning one.
On the powerboat side, watch out for the new models in the Swift Trawler and Gran Turismo ranges that will respectively debut at the Fort Lauderdale and the Miami International Boat Shows. The GT40 is already winning awards in its category, while the new GT is announcing a revolution in the US market of express cruisers… Get ready!
2017, a year to remember at Jeanneau and Prestige
From the sailboat division, the Sun Odyssey 349 proudly built in Marion epitomizes fun on the water. With its easy to use sail plan and resolutely modern lines, it will bring to its owner unforgettable smiles! On the other end of the spectrum the grand launch of the Jeanneau Yacht 51 this past February in Miami will be remembered by all. This new classy lady entered the exclusive world of Jeanneau’s top of the line sailing yachts.
From the powerboat division, 2017 will go down as the year the full line was exhibited at most powerboat shows. From the company that now occupies the second spot in sailboat sales, these new powerboats are a force to be reckoned with.
Finally from the Prestige Yachts division, in just 5 years, the brand is now firmly anchored amongst the top selling luxury motoryachts. After having taken the market by storm in the 50 to 55 foot segment, eyes are now firmly set on the larger yacht segment.
About Groupe Beneteau
As the boating industry’s global market leader, Groupe Beneteau, through its Boat division’s 11 brands, offers over 200 recreational and professional boat models serving its customers’ diverse navigational needs and uses, from sailing to motorboating, monohulls and catamarans.
Leading the European leisure homes market, the three brands from the Group’s Housing division offer a comprehensive range of leisure homes, lodges and pods that combine eco-design with high standards of quality, comfort and practicality.
With its international industrial capabilities and global sales network, the Groupe employs 6,500 people, primarily in France, the US, Poland, Italy and China.