By David Robinson

In a major Asian market game-changing deal, leading regional brokerage house Simpson Marine has won exclusive distribution rights for Sanlorenzo in Asia. This involves Simpson Marine ending its successful 28-year partnership with Azimut.

In other moves, Simpson Marine has also strengthened its association with Monte Carlo Yachts and has entered into a new deal with Viking Yachts. Significantly it also has a new strategic partnership through Sundiro Holdings Co Ltd, a leading Chinese manufacturing, mining and logistics company, becoming a shareholder. Sundiro has built a strong reputation for its commitment to innovation and quality, and shares Simpson Marine’s vision for the growth of the international yacht industry. It is also a major shareholder in Sanlorenzo.

In a press statement, Simpson Marine said the new partnerships were designed to capitalise on long-term regional growth and meet customer demands across the Asia region. “The yachting industry in Asia is evolving rapidly and sometimes we have to make strategic decisions to stay ahead of our competitors,” said Mike Simpson, founder and managing director. “Today’s announcements signal the start of what I believe will be an exciting new chapter in the history of Simpson Marine.”

The new deal with Sanlorenzo starts in June 2015. “Recognised for their outstanding ‘made to measure’ Italian design, Sanlorenzo is now the number two shipyard in the world for yachts over 24m (78.5ft),” Simpson adds. “The distribution agreement includes Sanlorenzo’s full range of custom GRP motoryachts and steel and aluminium superyachts from 23.1m-61m (76ft-200t) for the Asia Pacific region. This strategic move will provide a fresh impetus to the development of Simpson Marine’s superyacht business, a key future growth area in the Asian market.”

Massimo Perotti, chairman of Sanlorenzo Spa, says: “Sanlorenzo represents a history and a future in which passion for quality, elegance and exclusivity become a common heritage. Having had 10 years of presence in the Asian market, we are pleased to see that our heritage and ‘made to measure’ approach is proving very attractive to customers across the region. Our partnership with Simpson Marine makes perfect sense – we share common values and vision and I’m excited for our shared growth through the region.”

Simpson Marine, in strengthening its partnership with Monte Carlo Yachts, will have an expanded dealership agreement that now includes mainland China and Taiwan, a natural extension of the agreement covering South East Asia that was signed last year. This partnership is further strengthened by a 10-year cooperation agreement between Monte Carlo Yachts and Simpson Marine for the joint evaluation of market opportunities and development of marketing strategies. Monte Carlo Yachts has become a much-valued brand in the Simpson Marine portfolio.

Carla Demaria, president of Monte Carlo Yachts, says: “The Beneteau Group and Simpson Marine partnership is built on our mutual commitment to our customers and enhancing their lifestyles. As we head toward our 30th year of partnership, we are excited to be expanding the reach of our dealership agreement for Monte Carlo Yachts.

“Simpson Marine launched Monte Carlo Yachts in South East Asia just one year ago and we have seen outstanding results, proving that it is the best partner to represent the brand and lifestyle experience through mainland China and Taiwan, territories that we consider integral to our strategic growth. Together we will maintain and extend the standards of integrity and excellence we have set for the industry over almost three decades through the ongoing cooperation with the Beneteau Group,” added Demaria.

Simpson Marine’s existing dealership agreements with Monte Carlo, Beneteau Sail, Beneteau Power and Lagoon remain unchanged and Simpson Marine will continue to represent these leading and very successful brands.

Recognising the great potential for game fishing in many parts of the Asia Pacific region, Simpson Marine has also signed a long-term agreement with Viking Yachts to be their exclusive distributor in mainland China, Hong Kong, Taiwan and South East Asia. Viking is the world leader in the game fishing boat market – a fast-developing, niche market in Asia, where fishing is a popular recreational activity and increasing numbers of active boaters are taking up the sport.

Simpson Marine says the parting of ways with Azimut is an amicable decision following an increasing awareness that the two companies no longer share the same vision and strategy. Azimut would like to pursue partnerships with single-brand dealers around the region, while Simpson Marine’s vision is to continue to grow as a multi-brand dealer with a network of connected offices throughout Asia.

“As the Asian market develops and grows, and Asian buyers become more knowledgeable and venture further afield to neighbouring countries, we believe there will be an even greater need for a trusted multi-brand dealer that offers a comprehensive range of yachts and services throughout the region,” says Simpson.

“Over the past 30 years Simpson Marine has evolved within the industry; driving growth and innovation to be the largest yacht dealership in the region,” he adds. “As we look ahead to the next 30 years, we see a lot of opportunity on the horizon – particularly in the mainland China market. With the support of our new partner Sundiro Holdings Co Ltd, a public listed company that is committed to becoming a major player in the yacht industry, Simpson Marine is ready to elevate its leadership to the next level.”