Following the inauguration of the BENETEAU BOAT CLUB base in Les Sables d’Olonne in late August, which will start business in March 2019, BENETEAU has just opened a trials base in Port Ginesta, located a short distance from Barcelona airport. Managed by Yves Mandin, BENETEAU’s premium Service manager, with the help of the boat show team, which supervised the whole thing, this base will cater to the needs of customers, journalists and partners, allowing them to try out all the big sailing yachts and motorboats, along with new models.
The inauguration took place on Tuesday 23 October and was attended by Madame Roux, Luca Brancaleon, general manager of Beneteau, Pere Padrosa, general managers of the marinas and airports of Catalonia, and Rodolf Guasch, the local BENETEAU dealer, and the 35 European journalists taking part in the annual press trials.
How the project began
Up until now, BENETEAU used to organize customer trials and press trials twice a year, in October and April. “This could be quite complicated,” remembered Yves Mandin. “You had to look for marinas with enough moorings and boats available. Occasionally you relied on customers to lend you boats. On top of this, by nature, the events were short-lived. When the trials were over, you had to wait until the following year. This made it difficult to adapt to the requirements of our different types of customers interested in big boats: business men and women, company managers, with little time available in search of a top-quality service. So, we reassessed our approach on the basis of our customer needs and, in particular, their experience that we wanted them to have at a key moment in the boat buying decision. The goal was simple. We wanted to be able to offer sea trials all year round in a dedicated base flying BENETEAU colours.”
Barcelona: The ideal location
Among the four sites considered – Barcelona, Cannes, Palma and Nice – Port Ginesta was the clear choice for technical reasons and for its overall attractiveness. Yves Mandin, manager of the project and of the Premium Service, stressed that apart from the close proximity to an international airport, the city’s vitality and its cultural influence, “Barcelona has a mild climate and excellent sailing conditions. The Port Ginesta marina is well-sheltered and access to the sea is quick, with no channel as you enter the port. What’s more, we have succeeded in obtaining a dedicated building for 3 years and eight 15-metre moorings in the marina. It has also been agreed to extend this to cater to smaller boats.”
In setting up this base, BENETEAU is launching a new approach to relations with customers, journalists and people of influence. It focuses on the high availability of boats and teams, facilitating the implementation of highly customized guidance and providing a high level of comfort.
This approach was an immediate success. The press trials week followed the inauguration of the base and brought 50 European journalists together for 200 trials in all. As for the seven days of customer trials, these catered to 70 customers from 12 different countries.