Vincenzo Poerio shares his view on Benetti
Vincenzo Poerio has been with Benetti for twenty years. In this time he has gained the best viewpoint to look both back over the company’s past and foward, to its future.
We meet with Poerio at Benetti’s enormous shipyard in Livorno.
We bought this shipyard from the Orlando family, Sicilians who were granted the land in recognition of the role they played in the unification of Italy back in the 1800’s. Next year will not only be the 140th anniversary of the foundation of the first Benetti shipyard, it will also be the 10th anniversary of the acquistion of this area.
Certainly, both milestones deserve celebrations.
We will have two different kinds of events: the 140th anniversary will be celebrated with an exclusive event in Portofino where I hope we will see as many of our owners, their families and their yachts as possible. Here in Livorno, and Viareggio, we will have open days where the 800 people who work here can bring their families. One event is for our owners, the others to reach out for these cities and keep our relation and energy flow positive.
In a historical year for Benetti, what differences does Poerio see between ‘then’? and ‘now’?
Part of the differences are the numbers: from 1960 to 1985, when the shipyard was called Benetti Yachts, 150 yachts that averaged about 24 mt LOA were built. Now that Benetti has become part of the Azimut-Benetti Group in about the same time period we have built other 150 vessels, difference is, they now average 45 mt LOA.
A remarkable difference that speaks out about notable changes underlying the company structure.
The first years I was here there was a lot of building to do, details to take care of. Now we have to maintain what we have achieved and grow on our strenghts. This is a company that will remain in the game for a long run, not to make an easy profit. Sure, we are here to make our daily bread, but united we can achieve much more than what we would be able individually. This unity is our strenght, it’s what gives the Benetti team an invisible energy and invincible drive.
We also have the differences that underline the world of yachting today. Yachts aren’t getting bigger only because technology is allowing them to; it’s the market that is different. The economy as well. Today’s client for a costum megayacht has consolidated his wealth and is standing on a solid base. He or she usually come from a country that has a mature and stable economy. The typical Benetti Costum client doesn’t come to us to purchase a yacht that is already in existance, they come to construct one together with us. They’re people who have achieved much in life. They come to us with ideas and expectations that are a challenge and a stimulus. When we meet their brief and perfect every detail, making no concessions to compromise, their success becomes ours. Quality is our only rout to that success.
We all live in an ever-changing world, but surley the world of yachting changes even more quickly that the rest.
Let’s put it this way: yachting is where at least other ten industrial sectors intersect. Electronics, mechanics, building materials, even paint. The materials that go into building a yacht change and improve constantly. We have to be flexible and adaptable to stay abreast of change. It would be so easy if we could just create one product that works and then sit back in order to do the same thing in the same way forever. However, at Benetti this is never going to happen. Personal needs, market requirements and technological advancements are always going to keep us on our toes. Personally, I didn’t start working because I was interested in boredom.
How does the future look in this brilliant sunny day in Livorno?
We are looking towards America -says Poerio gesturing toward the open sea- in more ways than one. Nearly half of the larger boats in the world today are in the United States. This is the type of country with a mature, stable economy with yachting infrastructures already in place where we can find our next megayachts owners. This shipyard with coverd sheds, a huge dry dock area and berths for sixty yachts, has the space we need for the next step: after sales care, service and maintenance. Megayachts are intricate. You can’t just sell one, brake a bottle of champaign on the bow and say “Arrivederci”. We don’t want to leave our clients to fend themselves. Our maintenance and refit services are already excellent and we are looking to improve them further.
Benetti yestarday, today and tommorrow.
My greatest pleasure is seeing the respect and recognition that the Benetti brand has earned. One hundred forty years is only the beginnig.
Texto: Benetti Yachts ± Photo: Benetti Yachts