Having been appointed CEO of the Benetti Business Line just a couple of months ago, Franco Fusignani is already a sought-after man. Benetti’s top management underwent a significant reshuffle this summer. Previously responsible for managing the Benetti Business Operations Line, we were keen to find out what ideas Fusignani had for the future of the Italian yard, and his experience of his first edition of the Monaco Yacht Show as Benetti’s new CEO.
Tell us a little about your new role and key responsibilities.
My role as CEO of Benetti is to act as the system integrator and facilitator. My focus is not on a single component, but on a boat as a whole, bringing everything and everyone together. In a business such as this, we need the right components and people who can get the job done, and with a shipyard and turnover such as ours - you can’t have only one man at the top. We’re a close team at Benetti.
I’m heavily involved with introducing new processes when it comes to the planning and engineering of our boats, figuring out the best way to collaborate with clients and suppliers and optimising production time. Basically, I am a process-and-product-quality guy! Benetti currently has three 100+metre superyachts under construction. What can you tell us about these projects?
We are now building three superyachts over 100 metres LOA, and roughly 13,000 GT. We have used almost 1000 km of electrical cable. The first two will hit the water in the next three months. The third will be launched a few months later in March 2019. One is a complete hybrid and will be the largest hybrid yacht in the world, which we are super proud of.
It is such a new innovation so it has become a very complex project, but we have managed each of the superyachts in a different way and have put the best people and processes together. New working cultures and skills are costly, but in the end, it is very rewarding. The company is working in a new way, with high-quality results. What other innovations are Benetti focused on at the moment?
We are working towards optimising the weight of technical components. It is an interesting relationship between weight and cost. A lighter weight means less consumption, which eventually translates into a more cost-effective product that has a lower environmental impact on the planet.
We’re also looking for new materials to improve acoustics, reducing noise and vibration. The diffusion of the air and the use of the light to improve comfort in all areas of the yacht is very important... if you can integrate the light you can change the shape of the boat.
In terms of production, we have a new range of boats below 50-metres and have launched the Oasis 135’ and Diamond 145’, and delivered the first Delfino 95’ in January. Our new Benetti BNow family product also means that you can have a high-quality yacht in a shorter period of time - so we have plenty going on!
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