The slump in southern Europe is finally taking its toll. German exports are on the slide as northern markets begin to feel the chill.

Bavaria entered the luxury cruiser segment last year with the launch of the Virtess 420After two years of consecutive growth, the German leisure marine market failed to maintain its upward momentum in 2012 as the Euro zone debt crisis continued to wreak havoc on exports. [/caption]

According to German marine industry federation Bundesverband Wassersportwirtschaft (BVWW), sales of marine goods and services fell by 1.2 per cent in 2012 to $1.750bn after rising an impressive 4.7 per cent in 2010 to $1.726m and by 2.6 per cent in 2011 to $1.771m.

“The market was recovering and we were expecting more growth in 2012, but it never happened,” says BVWW managing director Jürgen Tracht. “The reason? We have too many weak markets in Europe. The situation is particularly problematic for our boat manufacturers, as around 85 per cent of production is sold to other countries.”

Speaking to IBI at boot Düsseldorf, Tracht said that the deterioration of southern European economies in Italy, Greece and Spain, as well as the Netherlands and more recently France, has had huge repercussions at German yards. In Italy alone, the controversial luxury tax imposed on yachts in mid-2012 led to an estimated 70 per cent drop in boat sales in that country.

Note: The above is an excerpt of the company profile published in the April-May (2013) edition of IBI magazine. IBI Plus subscribers can download the full report from the website. If you’re not yet a subscriber, please visit IBI Plus.