In a recent export webinar hosted by Finnish export promotion organisation Viexpo and delivered by Global Marine Business Advisors (GMBA) specialists, practical, straightforward guidance was offered into entering overseas markets. Although primarily aimed at Finnish marine businesses, the top-level takeaways have resonance for all exporters.
As well as insights into countries economic data, boating culture, and dealer networks, GMBA consultants delivered market entry tips and suggestions.
Italy, with a strong manufacturing industry and a growing domestic market is a land of opportunities for the marine business. There is increasing domestic demand and national boating confidence, boat production continues to be strong with an increasing need for a reliable supply chain. (Lorenzo Pollicardo, GMBA Italy)
The USA represents over 50% of the world market. Domestic manufacturers have backlogs stretching to the middle of 2021. The key to success is being dealer-centric and meeting dealer expectations. 80% of US boat sales are concentrated in the top 20 boating states. 95% of Americans live within one hour of a navigable body of water. (Thom Dammrich GMBA USA)
Local knowledge and having someone on the ground is key in most Asian markets. Legal systems are also not always efficient or the best way to resolve issues. This leads to the need to build personal relationships. It’s hard to get qualitative data in Asian as no one is collecting it. Asian markets are also not as transparent as European markets. (YP Yoke GMBA Singapore)
Spain is very bureaucratic with an excess of unnecessary rules and regulations, sometimes against EU core principles. There were 6,080 new boats over 2.5m sold in 2019. 250 were > 12m. You need an honest local partner to deal with the legal (and not so legal) issues. You also need an external audit to present the real state of a business. Get involved, study the market, get to know people, the press, associations. Be present, at least in the beginning, more than you would expect. (Oscar Siches GMBA Spain)
The French market can be seen as difficult due to the fame of major boat yards exporting throughout the world. However, considering the added value brought by original equipment suppliers, there are many opportunities for equipment, engine, fittings manufacturers etc. as long as they are prepared to deal in French and to cope with regional specificities. Therefore, the home-grown expertise of in market consultants could be a helping factor. (Jean-Michel Gaigné GMBA France)
Russian shipyards actively use imported components for boating and shipping production. These are often supplied by their closest neighbour and strategic partner Finland and at the same time, despite the high competition from regional manufacturers, Russian export markets have grown in recent years. Russia provides many opportunities for international trade. Expert information on regional markets is very important for the development of international competition. Companies can find new niches for the development and sale of their products. (Anastasia Kobzeva, GMBA Russia)
GMBA is a group of 14 marine industry senior professionals, located across fourteen countries with each consultant having unique and extensive experience in the recreational marine industry.
Disclaimer: Global Marine Business Advisors and its associated website www.gmba.blue are not registered legal entities. GMBA is a network of independent marine industry advisors. In all articles the opinions expressed are those of the author and does not necessarily reflect those of GMBA