So how was the Dubai Boat Show?
Overall attendance was the same if not more than last year and specifically for us it was a good show. This was the first year we had a boat in the show, while previous years we only had a display. Having the actual product there was an important step for us. By the third day word had gotten around to go and see the Lazzara LSX75. The quality, design and presentation of the boat were a draw and something everyone commented favorably on. The overall interest in our product mainly focused on the LSX line in the 75, 92 and new 75 fly. And that interest came from around the region, Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, Lebanon, Qatar and Abu Dhabi. We have several great prospects and I am confident we will have 1-3 sales directly from this boat show.
Uncertainty, the same problem that is plaguing our industry as a whole, is also prevalent here. Questions about whats going to happen with various boat companies, where is the bottom of this economic downturn, what will my boat be worth in another 2-3 years, etc. All of those objections that we heard at the Miami Show were in Dubai as well. That’s something we continually will have to fight. We’re tackling it head on by doing several things. First, we limit production so we aren’t fighting our own inventory or hurting our pre-owned market. Second is developing new product with the cutting edge technology so that it retains a higher resale value. Third, producing product that is more economical to use and maintain like our LSX line or our new LMC line, all of which use pod drives that are much cheaper to run.
There is a surplus of boat inventory, too much. Most of the “new” boats on display were 2008 models and some were even 2007 models. This is not only a huge problem for the region but for the industry as a whole. One of the regions most prominent dealers in our size yachts has 40 units worth nearly $100 million in stock! And there story is no different from any other volume builder/distributor around the world. It’s one of the reason Lazzara Yachts mission statement says our “goal is to build a few, high-quality, innovative yachts”. It’s hard enough to sell new yachts let alone competing against your own new models that are 1-2 years old.
Thats it for now, I’m in Washington waiting to get back to Tampa. Next up is the Palm Beach Boat Show March 26 – 29th. Stop by and see us.