Jean-Yves Saussol says Blohm+Voss' business plan will focus on yachts of 80m and larger, a segment barely addressed by companies in La Ciotat in the past.

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Jean Yves Saussol

Jean Yves Saussol, CEO of La Ciotat Semidep

Jean-Yves Saussol, CEO of La Ciotat Shipyard, has told Superyacht Business that the company is confident that potential synergies with Blohm+Voss, the future occupant of the large dry dock onsite, could lead to more activity for all companies operating in the yard. His statement follows on from the concerns raised by Compositeworks and Monaco Marine about the future operation of the refit facility by the German company.

Commenting on how the operation of B+V would impact business for the rest of the occupants of the shipyard, Saussol says: “Blohm+Voss’ business plan will focus on yachts of 80m and larger, a segment barely addressed by companies in La Ciotat in the past. I therefore see no direct threat for the business model of existing companies in La Ciotat.

“Moreover, the development of a third major operator within the yard will secure the business, notably for subcontractors/partners. They will gain additional turnover, and will be less dependent on a particular client,” he adds.

Saussol told SB that 50 companies active in the local maritime cluster took part in a meeting held on July 7 and that the general view was more than positive about the installation of B+V.

“I personally consider that those companies will have many growth opportunities in the future within La Ciotat Shipyards. Unlike most refit yards in the Mediterranean, we still have a lot of space to welcome new activities related to the yachting industry,” he notes.

Commenting on its future operation in La Ciotat, Fred van Beers, CEO of Blohm+Voss, confirmed to SB that the shipyard’s clear intention is to work with local suppliers and employ local staff.

“La Ciotat and the Marseille Metropole have a great pool of suppliers and potential staff who are already specialised in the yachting business. This is a great advantage for us, but also for La Ciotat as we are planning to bring business and employment to the area,” van Beers concludes.