How may reasons are behind the birth of an enterprise? The word itself is open to a dual interpretation. On one hand, it embodies hard heroic implications; on the other one, it can simply refer to the creation and deployment of a product.
This is why, coming back to the question above, reasons can be decidedly disparate: pride, ambition, financial interests and calculations, innate skills… However, when love is the real driving force of enterprise, it often results into extraordinary stories like the one we’re going to tell you today.
Rio Yachts was established in 1961. Those were the times of the Italian Dolce Vita, when all dreams seemed to be possible and economic boom was ready to come true. It was in this background that an Italian entrepreneur, Luigi Scarani, and his wife, Anna Maria Ziliani – a teacher who gave up her career to follow her husband – laid the foundations for a story which is going on still today. To understand what this company means today and which philosophy it follows to build its boats, this story needs to be told. With no rhetorical artifices but focusing on the main ingredient that has allowed it to grow over the last 50 years: love.
Luigi Scarani is a dreamer, a child of his times, a person who always desires to make his dreams come true.
The first name of the company was “Avionautica Rio” since, especially after Luigi’s brother, Carlo, joined the business, it devoted itself to glider manufacturing. One of the first creations was the popular M100S that the enthusiasts of this sector certainly remember. With the same severe technique-oriented approach, the company built its first beautiful luxury mahogany motorboats with Chris Craft and Rolls Royce engines along with striking names such as Colorado, Panarà, Bonito and Espera (and Rio, of course), all inspired by lakes or South-American realities.
Giving up her teacher career to stand by her husband, Anna Scarani decided to offer her considerable contribution and became the public relation manager of the company. Since then, she and her family adopted a very particular working approach. Because the Scarani were a couple able to establish personal and, sometimes, even friendly relationships with their customers. Purchasing a Rio Yachts boat meant to join both a family and a network of relationships where the boat was the final fruit of a series of encounters and discussions where th customer’s needs were identifies even through personal stories. Anna was always there to set the pace as well as the modalities of the relations with the outside world, press, markets: in a word, everyone.
During the years of the Italian economic boom, the shipyard built the iconic Rio 310, an ABS “boat for anyone“ which quickly became the marine counterpart of the Fiat 600 with over 50,000 units sold. On the wave of growth, the company expanded internationally by establishing the first contacts with the French, Spanish and South-American markets.
The shipyard developed its “work vessel” division supplying Italian armed forces with many patrol models.
Between the 80’s and the 90’s, increasingly larger models made their first appearance on the market and launched innovative technologies and design, always in the respect of the traditional leitmotiv: with Luigi, the dreamer, planning future and Anna devoted to propose it to the world.
Some years ago, Luigi left us, even though such a personality cannot fail to leave permanent traces on its path, and Anna currently spends most of her time with her grandchildren.
However, nothing has changed in Rio Yachts. Luigi and Anna’s son, Piergiorgio, took over the helm of the company keeping the style invented by his parents absolutely unchanged. Meanwhile, of course, markets have continued to develop and expand. And Rio Yachts is growing with them, especially in the States, where its boats have become the symbol of Italian Style. The shipyard indeed builds extremely elegant boats featuring sober luxury design and an incomparable customization level.
It’s precisely the US market that highlights the successful Rio Yachts customer focus. As Piergiorgio Scarani witnesses to us, the Americans are pragmatic and use their boats, even the largest ones, with no crew throughout the year. The shipyard therefore designs every detail of the boat with the customer himself, such as the usability of systems, interior design and arrangement, the type of optional equipment the customer already chooses during the planning phase.
Essences and furniture often come after the owner has created his boat according to his personal needs.
Furthermore, continuous use implies the need for efficient fast post-sale assistance and services and that is what Rio Yachts is organizing in its new sale points. The same boat sold in the European, American, Brazilian or Chinese market will be substantially a completely different boat since owners have different culture and needs.
Customer focus and relationship along with the mutual growth involving the shipyard and its clients have always been the key elements of another important phenomenon Rio Yachts knows very well: customer retention.
Those who are lucky enough to own a boat usually don’t buy just a single boat in their life. As their career, family and needs change, their boat, too, can change.
Rio Yachts has managed to go along generations of boat owners who have decided to renovate their relationship with the shipyard systematically.
2017 is the present and it will see the launch of two important novelties: the Granturismo 60S, designed following the request of a prestigious American customer, and the Spider 40, an open with racing performances and breath-taking lines that, needless to say, wants to ” meet our customers’ request – Piergiorgio Scarani explains – for a fast, simple-to-use boat where to have fun with family and friends”.
Meanwhile, the future plans of Rio Yachts include the manufacturing of larger boats and a new Fly series.
Article also available in: English