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Cannes Yachting Festival is the first autumn boat show and the ideal occasion to chat with a boating expert and take stock of the almost-over year and projections for the next one.
We met Paolo Ilariuzzi, Sales Manager of Suzuki Marine Italia and we took the occasion to let him tell us what he thinks about boating world and outboards. We interviewed him at Zar Formenti’s stand, where the Japanese shipbuilder is exhibiting most of its range, such as new Zar 85 SL.
What are your feelings after the first contact with Cannes? “ We’re optimistic, the boat show increasingly improves in terms of number and quality of exhibitors. The event is clearly growing”.
But the most important event is always Genoa Boat Show… “Yes, it marks the end of a season and the beginning of a new one. The boat show is the starting point of the new year in Europe for both Suzuki Italia and our Head Office”.
A great satisfaction for you : ” Yes, of course, it is the result of previous seasons, too, when Genoa was the most important boat show in Europe but this is also because our head office recognizes the importance of the Italian market, to the point that they have chosen Genoa to launch two new motors, in absolute worldwide preview“.
Motors which are still top-secret: “ Yes, we haven’t revealed anything yet, it will be a very interesting surprise for anyone. The appointment is for next September 20, when visitors will have the possibility to test them in sea both on ribs, fiberglass and aluminium boats.”
Will you launch any new partnerships? “ We develop trade relationships with many shipyards every day, first of all thanks to our precious Dario Mezzano. But now, we prefer not to bind with single companies through “exclusive” packages. We sell motors and we think we must separate the two”
What do you think about the future?
” In Italy lots of things have improved over the last few years but there’s still the matter to refresh our market: customers are always the same, we need to attract new shipowners, maybe young people and young couples, like in the past. We have to work all together in this direction”.
You’ve said “all together”. By the way, what do you think about the rivalry between Nautica Italiana and Ucina?
“ A trade association should represent interests and projects of the whole field. A disjoined association is unproductive for anyone. What makes me sad is that the conflicts among trade associations amplify the rivalries among single companies. A dangerous war, bad for anyone, especially for “small boating”. We need a more mature management concept”.
How do you consider your competitors? ” Like crisis, competition can be an incentive to improve. When I joined the company, we had to face a very difficult situation, we had to create a very strong identity, different from all the others. Our more direct competitor is Yamaha, with which we compete every day in terms of product, research, news. Mercury, on the contrary, is our benchmark in terms of trade aggressiveness, they’ve a typical American reactive approach. Without forgetting Honda, Selva, Evinrude and Tohatsu. We constantly compete with them with the common interest to help the field grow“.