As the European market for luxury yachts is slowing, British yachtmakers have their eye on China’s growing demand. This trend was especially apparent in a recent CCTV segment at the London Boat Show, which is currently taking place at the ExCel center.
"The China market is very important, certainly to the British marine industry,” says Murray Ellis, the managing director of the boat show in the video embedded above. “We’ve seen a lot of our major power boat companies selling more and more to the Chinese market, who want quality products, British heritage, and the British standard of manufacturing."
One major British yachtmaker present at the London Boat Show which has a China market advantage is Sunseeker, a brand featured in James Bond films which was acquired by Chinese conglomerate Dalian Wanda last June. According to the company’s sales director Sean Robertson, “It’s been a fantastic relationship so far where they are as excited about the brand as we are, and not only promoting in China, but promoting worldwide. Their whole ethos is to build the strength of our brand and our product.” In order to encourage the industry, Dalian Wanda will be building a yacht marina and trading center in Qingdao to accompany its planned “movie metropolis” in the coastal city.
There are currently several challenges hindering a major yacht boom in China, including government regulations and the high cost of ownership, storage, and maintenance. However, shipbuilders believe that the rising number of the country's high-net-worth individuals will eventually cause the market to take off despite these obstacles.