After 35 years with Volvo, you joined Astondoa as Sales Director in 2016 when the yard was celebrating its 100th anniversary. How familiar were you with Astondoa?
I was very familiar with Astondoa. I had been doing business with the company for 25 years as it was one of the most important customers for Volvo Penta in the Spanish market.
What are Astondoa’s primary markets and what areas have you focused on?
The Americas has been the main market during the last five years. In the Americas, the United States is one of the strategic markets for the brand because we have an important presence in Florida, while Mexico is another key market in that region.
My strategy during these first couple of years has been focused on consolidating the expansion of the shipyard in the European markets where it already has a presence through our dealers, such as in France, Monaco, Poland, Italy, the Adriatic area such as Croatia, Slovenia, Serbia and Montenegro, as well as Germany, Benelux and Russia.
In Asia, Astondoa is present in Dubai, Lebanon and also in Singapore and Thailand, through Yachtside Asia.
Astondoa builds from 11-60m (37-197ft). Which of your yacht ranges do you think will appeal most to Asia buyers?
We think our Flybridge motor yachts from 44-80ft and the Century range of luxury yachts from 100-120ft are attractive for the Asian market.
What are your thoughts on the superyacht market in Asia? Is there potential for your Steel range and if so, where?
Of course. There has been a rapid increase in living standards in Asia and a new, growing middle class that can increasingly enjoy leisure and therefore recreational cruising.
As ICOMIA states: ‘For the past 30 years, most Asian economies have been growing and in the past 10 years the GDP in most countries has increased at an average rate of 5-10 per cent per annum, far higher than those of Europe and the USA.’
Which markets in Asia do you believe offer the greatest potential for Astondoa?
Right now, Astondoa is kicking off our presence with Yachtside in Singapore and Thailand. We believe those markets and China are the countries with the biggest potential.
However, our strategy is to consolidate our new presence in the market in Thailand at this moment and the expansion to other markets will depend on the results we achieve there.
Yachtside Asia opened its new Thailand headquarters in Bangkok in October 2018 and has since relocated its Phuket office to Boat Lagoon Marina. How important is it for Astondoa and Yachtside to have such a strong office presence in these two key markets in Thailand?
It is essential to have the presence of professionals in the key markets, both where potential clients work and also where they holiday and can use their yachts. From the beginning, Yachtside has directed a lot of their efforts to consolidating their presence with strong offices in both Bangkok and Phuket.
What led to Yachtside’s appointment as Astondoa’s dealer just over a year ago?
Yachtside is a part of the Be In Yachts group and Astondoa has already been working with them as a dealer for France and Monaco. We value the strong international focus of this company and also their experience in the management of yacht charters.
Yacht owners in Asia are very familiar with the leading brands from Italy, France, UK, Germany and Holland. Is there a challenge in promoting Astondoa, a Spanish brand?
Astondoa has been engaged in a process of internationalisation and renovation since 2016, when it celebrated its centenary. It was the right time for the company to change and evolve.
The Century range represents this evolution, maintaining Astondoa’s distinctive features while daring to include more modern lines, state-of-the-art technology and functional elements.
This evolution is supported by the promotion of our social media strategy, a greater presence in international boat shows, and much more.
Astondoa is Spain’s leading luxury yacht builder, but why are there not more global brands from Spain, considering the country’s rich sailing history and amazing coastline and scenery?
The last crisis affected several shipyards in Spain that were forced to close. Also, the nautical market in Spain is made up mostly by boats of small length. About 90 per cent of the yachts are boats of up to 8m (26ft).
Why do you think Astondoa yachts will be successful in Asia and what features should owners in Asia look out for?
Heritage, quality, bespoke design – and more than 100 years of building luxury yachts.