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Chinese ship builder hopes to create super yacht brand
Yachts cost a third of international brands like Azimut and Sunseeker
Move reflects China's changing industrial base
Yachting industry may be limited by taxes, regulation and lack of marinas
Armed with glossy sales catalogs and a shy swagger, Samuel Wong hopes to transform his family-run firm from a manufacturer of hum-drum fishing vessels and houseboats into a maker of sophisticated super yachts.
His company makes up to six 86-foot and 98-foot yachts a year at its shipyard in Zhuhai, southern China, under its Accelera brand.
The name was coined by Wong because it “sounded Italian.” The company aims to compete in a marketplace currently dominated by European yacht makers like Azimut and Sunseeker and count billionaires among its clients.
“Li Ka-shing would never buy our brand but I hope in 10 years time he might consider it,” said Wong, 36, referring to Asia’s richest man, who is rumored to keep an 84-foot Italian-made Riva yacht at an exclusive Hong Kong marina.
Wong’s attempt to move upmarket is a reflection of China’s changing industrial base and the challenges many Chinese companies face as they try to move away from mass-produced goods to higher-value, branded products.
The company sold seven vessels to buyers in Hong Kong and China in the last financial year.