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Yacht sales and production

China an emerging giant

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Europe and America account for more than 90% and 80% respectively of the world’s overall yacht market share in terms of sales and production scale. In recent years, however, this market has been in decline. Owing mainly to the high ownership per capita, the yacht industry has been saturated.

North America had always been the largest yacht market in the world, followed by Europe. However, experts now see the Asia Pacific market for yachts as the fastest growing. 

good prospects

The market for yachts holds good future prospects in the Asia Pacific region. China, for example, is experiencing economic growth as a result of growing demand for yachts. In addition, China is becoming a preferred destination for yacht manufacturing because of the availability of cheap labour and the low cost of raw materials. The manufacturing cost for yachts in
China, for example, is 20 to 30% less than in Europe and North America. According to experts, the growing number of High Net Worth Individuals in the country, rising
international demand for yachts and
favourable policies aimed at making registration easy, are the factors driving the market for yachts in China.

The yacht market in China is expected to grow at a compounded annual growth rate of over 13% during the period between 2012 and 2017. Another great advantage for yacht manufacturers in China is that the Chinese consumer prefers to buy craft which are not too expensive. As a result, the market for small and medium yachts is flourishing while demand for large yachts is limited. In addition, China is witnessing the entry of new yachts such as hybrid yachts and solar yachts.

With respect to the scale of production, industry analysts point out that China has become the world’s eighth-largest yacht producing country with a complete yacht manufacturing industry chain covering yacht research, design, yacht manufacturing, spare parts manufacture and outfitting. There are 374 composite shipyards in China, more than 30 with annual sales of above RMB 10 million. About 320 are chiefly occupied with producing workboats and spare parts. About 50 deal with yacht manufacture, with products exported mainly to Europe and the United States. However, Chinese enterprises still rely on resources provided by European and American companies, from yacht design to key components and manufacturing processes, for example, employment of European and American designers and senior technicians and the procurement of US-made engines.

economic impact

The economic impact of the yacht industry is huge. One yacht supports hundreds if not thousands of jobs during its lifetime. According to industry analysts, the overall economic impact of the yacht industry is only going to continue to grow as analysis of 2011 indicates a fairly stable industry. And as order numbers far outweigh the numbers of yachts going out of service, the super yacht industry looks set to continue in its path of growth for years to come.

China’s yacht market has just started and is in a mode of rapid development. Before 2011 there were only about 3,000 yachts in China; ownership per capita remained far below the international level. This is now changing, rapidly.