Swan USA

Finnish boatbuilder to expand into US

Friday July 22nd 2005, Author: Jennifer Holl, Location: United States
Nautor’s Swan is to establish its first ever headquarters in the USA in Newport, R.I. Company officials say significant investment is earmarked for growth of the company within the U.S. market. Nautor USA, located at the Newport Shipyard near Goat Island, will be responsible for sales and marketing for North America. There are an estimated 600 Swans sailing in the US, a number expected to grow substantially with the launch of this new headquarters. The announcement was made by Enrico Chieffi, Group Vice President of Marketing and Sales, who will assume the title of chairman for the US. The US headquarters and operations will be run by Jack Gierhart, Executive Vice President of Marketing, and Steve Barker, Executive Vice President of Sales.

“The US possesses a loyal and significant base of Swan owners who strongly recognise the quality and longevity of the Nautor’s Swan brand,” said Chieffi. “The company is committed to building on its history in this country. Following a successful business model employed in other parts of the world, Nautor’s Swan is regionalising its marketing and sales activities to a central office within each key market.”

The Newport office will be responsible for marketing and sales of Swan yachts and providing customer service across the US, collaborating with the two independent Nautor’s Swan agents based on the West Coast, KKMI in San Francisco, and West Coast Yachts Inc in Seattle.

Steve Barker joined Nautor’s Swan as an agent in 1995, and has since become one of the top Swan agents in the world. With over 30 years of experience in the yachting industry, Steve has been instrumental in product development and sales for many of Nautor’s successful yachts including the Swan 45, Swan 56, Swan 62RS, Swan 70 and the Swan 82RS. With the establishment of Nautor USA, Steve is integrating his sales team with the company to provide a critical element for the growth of the company.

Jack Gierhart brings considerable experience in sales and marketing from both blue chip companies and start-ups, as well as within the yachting industry, most recently as Marketing Director for US Sailing. He will be responsible for leading the marketing, public relations and customer service operations from Newport and will be committed to ensuring the company’s traditions and high standards are upheld, as well as developing new directions and modern initiatives to meet the needs of the discerning American customer.

The Nautor US team will also include customer service manager Peter McCloskey who will be focused on delivering a strong customer service program in the region.

Enrico Chieffi commented on the establishment of the new U.S. headquarters: "I am very excited about this opportunity for Nautor’s Swan to even further improve the service we offer our established US Swan family, as well as prospective owners. The combination of Steve’s successful tenure selling luxury sailing yachts in the U.S., coupled with Jack’s marketing experience and familiarity with the sailing marketplace, make this a formidable team to lead our US operations. Nautor's Swan has a long history in the US with a passionate customer base.”

Chieffi continues, “With the new team we have a great foundation for growing our business and enhancing service to our customers. The company has already proven itself in Europe and other areas of the world as it has focused on those markets. Now it is time for the U.S."

There are many national and international yacht manufacturers investing heavily in the North American market, however Nautor’s Swan’s point of difference is its commitment to both existing and prospective Swan owners by continually enhancing and updating its SwanLine and the numerous services it offers. Upholding a core product range that encompasses racing yachts, cruising models and with the new Nautor’s Swan Custom producing bespoke yachts of any size and design to order, Nautor’s Swan will serve the needs of sailors with a range of diverse requirements from their yachts.

“This, coupled with the assurance of Nautor’s Swan’s long heritage of quality craftsmanship behind every yacht built, ensures that the company is well placed to grow its presence in the U.S. marketplace,” said Chieffi.

The new U.S. headquarters will be located at the Newport Shipyard, One Washington Street, Newport, RI 02840. Tel. 401 846 1090.

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