Interview with Filippo Bovio, Quick USA
A travel to the States and the Miami International Boat Show can become the occasion to know the American face of an Italian company. This is not being confronted with a sort of alien to the parent company. But if key features and business philosophy are the original ones, the star-spangled version of a company which has left the Mediterranean shores to land on the other side of the ocean cannot fail to show some interesting features.
With a catalogue of over 5,000 items, Quick is a leader company in Italy and worldwide in manufacturing accessories for sailboats and yachts, including gyro stabilizers, windlasses, bow and stern thrusters, boilers and much more. Quick USA Managing Director Filippo Bovio showed us the American face of his company.
52 years old, native of Padova and with a business degree, Filippo got the States in 1988, where, after an interesting series of management experiences, he finally held the position of Managing Director at Quick Usa.
“When, in 2006, our company entered the American market – he told us during a break after a long series of client meetings at the boat show – our need was to provide the yachts arriving in the States with our equipment on board with the right assistance. The first strategic choice was successful and we therefore formed a partnership with Brunswick which, even during the hardest years of crisis, has always resulted into a solid production intended for the American market”.
What inspired you to open a physical subsidiary?
Growing figures, of course. Market demand was growing and, with it, the need for a permanent presence. Hence the choice to open an office in Baltimora and a warehouse to guarantee a 8-month storage and make items immediately available.
And you started to see the differences between the American and the European market, right?
The American market is certainly different from the European one and we had to accept that. First of all, the American yachting industry is dominated by motorboats and is generally oriented towards day cruisers or even larger boats, often used in the same way. This inevitably affects the type of products this market can absorb. In short, while Quick is a leading company in Europe in manufacturing boats between 50 and 90 feet (and above), in the States the most significant volumes come from boats between 50 and 60 feet in length.
A profound understanding of the local market and its trend is therefore essential to keep a 8-month storage, isn’t it?
It is highly important to foresee the market’s direction and make careful predictions. This means to work closely with shipyard in order to have accurate, always up-to-date projections.
What’s Quick in the States today?
It’s a company which has tripled the number of its employees over the last 12 years; it has a 2,000-square-meter warehouse and covers the territory through four business managers distributed in as many areas: South East, North East, South carolina and Mid West, in addition to a Pacific-based one. And, above all, it’s a company which, since 2015, has registered a 12 % annual growth, which is twice the growth achieved by the American yachting industry.
Speaking of predictions, which products, in your opinion, will better contribute to the development of Quick in the USA?
The most established products of our catalogue, such as windlasses, will certainly keep a lare market share. However, I think that two products in particular will lead the local market. The first one is our electrically-operated bow thruster which, equipped with no brushes, prevents the system from overheating, guaranteeing a more prolonged use. The second, and probably the most successful one is represented by our line of gyro stabilizers. In the States, where boats tend to sail more than their European counterparts, the culture of stabilizers is far more rooted and I believe that the evolution we’ve applied to our products in this segment will be highly appreciated on this side of the ocean.