Italian engine specialist looks to leverage leisure marine operations

Italian engine specialist, FPT Industrial, is to leverage its leisure marine operations to help grow awareness of the brand globally.

Taking part in this week’s inaugural Venice boat show, FPT once again set out its stall and along with Ferretti and MCY was visually the dominant force at the fledgling event. Significantly however, the bold branding presence echoed the prime Palais du Festival position it enjoyed at last’s year’s Cannes show where it vied for dominance with the major yacht brands, launching its new C16-1000 marine engine that extended its leisure and comerical marine engine portfolio from 3lt-16lt displacement and a power range from 230hp-1,000hp. Also on display was its N67 570 EVO that it had launched the pear previously at Genoa. 

Despite having a long history in leisure marine, the last 12 months has seen a change of gear for the manufacturer. 

A major industrial engine firm supplying truck, agriculture and construction sectors – FPT makes some 613,000 engines a year and generated revenues of €4.6bn for 2018. Marine currently accounts for just 1% of sales, split roughly 50/50 between leisure and commercial sectors, however it punches well above its weight when it comes to brand recogition potential.

Fabio Rigon, FPT Industrial vice president Europe, explained to IBI during the Venice show, the reasoning behind the company’s new-found leisure marine impetus: “We have the widest engine portfolio on the market, but marine is the only application where we meet the end customer - we’re using the marine segment to improve the image of FPT,” he explained. FPT’s brand message is underpinned according to Rigoni, by three defining principles - ‘red’, ’humanization’ and ’quality’. “We’re well known for our products, but the brand itself is weak, ” he continued. “You can have the best products, but without strong brand awareness it is difficult.”

As well as investing in key shows, FPT is also extending the brand message to cultural events - along with its Venice show presence, it is also the main sponsor of the Italian Pavilion at the 58th International Art Exhibition - La Biennale di Venezia

So expect to see a lot more of the FPT red and white logo going forward - it will once again occupy its prime position at Cannes in September - and as for product launches? Rigno remained tight-lipped - but hinted that a ’peripheral’ product, not necessarily and engine, would be unveiled this year.