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Kaohsiung yacht firm sets sail for global expansion

Kaohsiung City-based Alexander Marine Co. Ltd. is helping chart a course for Taiwan’s thriving yacht industry to carve out a bigger share of the lucrative international market.

The maker of luxury seagoing recreational craft sells its products under the Ocean Alexander brand, which is synonymous with cutting-edge design and high-quality craftsmanship. It was the world’s fourth largest builder of motor yachts 78-foot or above last year, according to ShowBoats International’s annual Global Order Book.

AMCL’s flagship line tops the U.S. superyacht market with a share of over 10 percent. In 2015, the company recorded global revenues of NT$1.62 billion (US$50.4 million), soaring 250 percent from the year before.

This above-average growth reflects the southern Taiwan firm’s commitment to thinking outside the box. AMCL President Kevin Tseng said that by simplifying the product line, they are offering customers a select few premium models boasting modular designs and top-of-the-line components.

Tseng said this approach has paid handsome dividends. “There has been a very strong response to our modular designs, enabling us to bolster the price range of Ocean Alexander boats 20 percent above our competitors.”

An equally rewarding development path is a ramped-up emphasis on R and D. “As we grow, we want to maintain our high standards for build quality, material integrity and craftsmanship,” he said.

Looking ahead, Tseng anticipates AMCL focusing on next-generation 120- to 155-foot craft, while springboarding off the brand’s U.S. success to tap the European and mainland Chinese markets. “We are working to expand our Kaohsiung shipyard with the goal of cementing market leadership,” he added.

This strategy goes hand in hand with local government’s efforts in developing the city’s flagship industry. Official statistics reveal that 17 of Taiwan’s 33 shipbuilders are based in Kaohsiung, accounting for 80 percent of total sector output.

According to Kaohsiung City Government, a special zone for yachting-related industries will be set up in its South Star development project near the mouth of Kaohsiung Harbor. This is expected to help the homegrown yacht sector maintain global competitiveness.

Source: Taiwan Today