<B>NEWS</B> - Clipper Australia moves into manufacturing

NEWS - Clipper Australia moves into manufacturing

Clipper Motor Yachts Australia’s Brett Thurley has announced a strategic move into manufacturing with Chinese yard FuHua Shipbuilding.

“We have purchased exclusively the design, tooling and moulds for the range of Clipper semi-displacement motoryachts,” said Thurley. The range includes Clipper Cordova 45, 48, 60 and 62 models.

The new structure is a joint equity venture with the FuHua Shipbuilding yard in Ningbo, Zhejiang province, south of Shanghai, and with Mark Campion, who has managed all Clipper production under former ownership in China and was a founder and partner in the original Clipper Motor Yachts International.

“This move secures the future of Clipper Motor Yachts for our market in this region,” said Thurley. “It means continuing assurance of the highest-quality build for our owners in Australia, ongoing competitiveness and a complete end-to-end ownership of the design, manufacturing, quality control, retailing and on-water support.”

Thurley said the only way to grow in today’s market conditions was to be involved from the manufacturing level all the way through to retail and support.

“We see China as an ever increasing strength in quality manufacturing and engineering and we continue to increase our presence and investment at the source,” Thurley continued. “Effectively, we are faster to market with custom requests, new models and a more personalised vessel suited to each owner’s requirements. It also allows us to fine-tune every component and to maintain the quality of our brand.”

Thurley and business partner Glenn Thurlow purchased the Australian distribution rights to Clipper Motor Yachts in 2009 and developed a formidable sales, marketing and support organisation that has resulted in Clipper becoming a major brand in semi-displacement trawler-style motoryachts in Australia.

“We are also delighted to announce that Mark Campion and his professional team of shipwrights will continue the role of production supervision at the FuHua Shipbuilding yard on a daily basis. We have invested in the ongoing overhead to retain this team in place,” said Thurley.

“This now completes our range from the Heritage 36 and 40 through to the 62 Cordova. We will be phasing out the 52 Cordova as it reaches the end of its model life and replace it with 50 and 55 pilothouse models, which start production in 2013. In today’s challenging environment we are committed to the future of this style of vessel,” he said.

The deal was completed at a signing ceremony at the FuHua yard last week.

Photos: The new Clipper Motor Yachts team: (from left) Mark Campion, chairman Yu from FuHua Shipbuilding, Glenn Thurlow and Brett Thurley; Clipper’s Cordova 60.