Interview / Nautitech - Bavaria Catamarans: "We have to hurry not to arrive after the battle."

Gildas Le Masson, Managing Director of Nautitech

The catamaran manufacturer Nautitech, formerly Bavaria Catamarans, does not want to let the train of the explosion in the multihull market pass. Gildas Le Masson, general manager of the site, explains the industrial, land and social challenges for the company, which is regaining greater independence.

Gildas Le Masson, General Manager of Nautitech, talks to BoatIndustry about the catamaran manufacturer's industrial and commercial strategy.

CMP, the German buyers of the Bavaria shipyard have announced the return of the Nautitech brand. What are the meaning and concrete consequences of the decision?

Nautitech has changed from a daughter company to a sister company of Bavaria Yachtbau in Germany. Formerly owned by the German shipyard, Nautitech is now the direct property of the holding company, which also owns Bavaria Yachtbau. The company name is no longer Bavaria Catamarans, it is now Nautitech again. It's a real recognition that there are two different identities. This is consistent with the key word in Germany which is simplification with a return to the fundamentals and what made the initial image of Bavaria. Nevertheless, we remain convinced that synergies exist, not only in purchasing, but also in the sales network for example.

What about the project to increase boat production capacity for Nautitech?

We built 75 catamarans during the last exercise, and we will not be able to exceed the 100 boats produced on the current site. It is therefore necessary to expand production capacity. The shareholders want to give themselves the means to meet this need as soon as possible, so as not to arrive after the battle. We know that the multihull's growth will not always last at this rate. With the Rochefort agglomeration community, the discussion focuses on a hold on the commercial port. We are studying all the prerequisites: regulatory on the one hand with the risk prevention plan which is the subject of an ongoing public inquiry, technical on the other hand for the organisation with the other actors of the commercial port, the construction of a building on soft ground and in flood risk areas. We have an open attitude towards this solution, but we also look at others. We are aiming for a decision in the first quarter of 2019, with the will to stay in Rochefort. We want to move quickly and locally to secure growth.

What about employment management at Nautitech?

We are on a pool of jobs saturated with demands, where it is difficult to recruit employees. Today 2/3 of our employees are from Rochefort and we want to stay there. It is important to ensure the loyalty of our employees. To this end, we will transform around thirty temporary positions into permanent contracts. We have 250 employees and we must already secure these people before recruiting others.

What is the strategy for the Nautitech catamaran range?

The range will be expanded with ongoing and future developments. The expansion of the offer will be in line with our architect Marc Lombard. This will involve revisiting existing models and creating new sizes, following market trends.

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