Leadership: Lazzara Yachts In The Age of Globalization
With several pre-owned Lazzaras for sale in the Florida region and about 45 worldwide, it’s worth reviewing some recent developments inside this well-known luxury yacht builder, which look set to influence the entire industry.
Lazzara, a privately held company, specializes in semi-custom, pleasures yachts from 50′-130′. It has reputation for combining the innovative skills of U.S. manufacturing with European flair for stylish design. It’s a highly regarded boat builder, with many industry players looking to this boat builder for leadership in difficult times.
The biggest news coming out their US factory in 2011 was the January announcement that Lazzara had shifted direction and accepted capital injections from The Crest Group.
This announcement was a big deal, since it changes the dynamics of a traditionally family-run operation (although the original founding structure did briefly include 3 founding investors).
The recession crippled a number of U.S. boat builders forcing them to adopt creative partnerships and radical cost cutting to remain competitive.
According to Dick Lazzara, the partnership allows Lazzara to emerge from short-term survival tactics towards creating healthier long-term strategic goal, including new product lines and expanding overseas.
“We will also focus on new alliances to cut our construction and manufacturing costs, which will be a key goal in the next five years,” he said.
Mr. Lazzara recalled the heyday of the 1970s when Lazzara used to manufacturer sailboats, an industry “he says never fully recovered.”
Back then Lazzara, produced 100s of smaller boats and was ranked as one of the largest producers in the world.
The recent financial collapse has impacted the entire luxury motor yacht industry in similar ways, Lazzara no exception. However, Lazzara plans to be one of those boat builders who will not only survive, but also thrive.
“I don’t see the industry bouncing back to the levels in 2004-2007. People will continue to boat, but the business model for the last 10-15 years has to be completely rethought,” said Mr. Lazzara.
The Crest partnership takes a 5-10 year view of the luxury yacht market. Besides the obvious goal of expanding overseas — something just about all U.S. manufacturers in all industries will need to embrace — his most interesting comment relates to converting new people into the Lazzara family by building smaller “entry level” luxury yachts at a lower price level.
“In the 1970′s Lazzara produced 100′s of boats, albeit much smaller, but none the less we were one of the largest producers of boats in the world. I’ve always wondered if we could do that again,” said Rich Lazzara.
The recent release of the LMC 76’ luxury motor yacht may best reflect this new intent and direction.
At the 2010 Fort Lauderdale Boat Show, YachtForums.com eloquently stated that “in the midst of a rapidly changing shift in core consumer values, Lazzara realized a return to mortal-size, manageable live-aboards with big boat amenities was in order.” Yacht Forums were of course reviewing the LMC 76′.
In recent months, the company has also strengthened its marketing appeal by creating something called the “Lazzara showcase” which in their words is an attempt to model new marina showing rooms after the iconic Apple stores.
Their virgin attempt at fulfilling this promise involved setting up their showcase at the Bahia Mar Marina in Fort Lauderdale.
“Certainly there are some nice yacht showrooms around the world. Our idea was to create an iconic yachting showrooms that would be moored in premiere yachting marinas around the world,” said Rich Lazzara.
“I envision it being a destination for everyone involved in the yachting industry. Owners and clients for events can use the showcase. We can host crew seminars, training and parties. We can host mini boat shows, and cross marketing events with many other luxury brands. The opportunities are endless.”
In recent months, Lazzara reports receiving inquiries from places such as North Africa, Brazil and Hong Kong — something that was unheard of a few years ago.
The capital injection from Crest, will allow it to tackle these emerging markets and release new models that stretch beyond the traditional builds it offers in the 76-120 foot size range.
According to Trade Only Today, Lazzara has eight international dealers, but wants to triple or quadruple that number in the next few years. By producing more models, the company will be more attractive to potential dealers around the world.
Over the next 5-10 years expect to see new innovative new builds coming out of their factories and slowly making their way into the pre-owned and premium yacht charter markets.
Check out our worldwide search engine to review recently listed Lazzara’s. Also bookmark our hot deals page which recently highlighted a Lazzara 84′ that is priced to sell.