Beneteau continues to push ahead with new market opportunities in Asia following the appointment of Tam Son Yachting as its official Vietnamese dealer. Tam Son Yachting will represent the Beneteau, Lagoon and Monte Carlo Yachts brands, covering a full range of powerboats and sailing vessels.

According to Beneteau Asia, Tam Son Yachting has already sold several models from the Beneteau range and will expand its offering with the introduction of the Gran Turismo 40 – Beneteau’s latest model in the Sport Cruisers range.

“We are very excited to expand our presence in the Asian market with a strong sales presence in Vietnam, and are honoured to have the opportunity to cooperate with Tam Son Yachting as our official dealer for this territory,” says Carla Demaria, president of Monte Carlo Yachts and general manager of the Beneteau brands.

“This partnership demonstrates the group’s confidence in emerging markets,” she adds. “Groupe Beneteau is responding quickly to the rising demand for leisure boats in such markets, introducing the sailing lifestyle to local customers and fostering the yachting culture in new areas.

Tam Son Yachting is a division of Tam Son International Co Ltd, which has been a prominent player in Vietnam's luxury distribution sector since 2007. As a new member of this global distributor network, Tam Son Yachting will receive strong support from Groupe Beneteau to provide local customers with professional sales and aftersales services for boating and yachting.

The setting up of Tam Son Yachting was initiated by Benoit Moreau, a former Beneteau dealer in Qingdao, northeast China. He told IBI: “From my time in China I decided to move to Vietnam, which is a growing market in Asia. With my experience with Beneteau, I approached them and also managed to get Tam Son International to support the new company, Tam Son Yachting.”

He explained to IBI that, since May, five sales to local clients had already been completed. These were all powerboats and comprised a Gran Turismo 40, which has already arrived in Vietnam, an 18.4m (60ft) Monte Carlo 6 motoryacht, two Flyer 7.7s and a Flyer 8.8.

Following the appointment, Tam Son Yachting – which is based in Ho Chi Minh City – will host the premiere of the Gran Turismo 40. Moreau told IBI that in addition to the office and sales centre in the city, further offices will be opened along the Vietnamese coast as the market develops.

Vietnam has been the subject of several reports and visits by IBI over the last 10 years and first showed signs of being a new leisure boating market in 2008. It has taken time to develop due to a lack of marinas, but this has recently been addressed with new marina projects in Ho Chi Minh City and Nah Trang under construction. Leisure boat sales have also developed recently with Azimut and Sunseeker selling boats into the country, as well as Beneteau.

Vietnam is one of the largest countries in South East Asia with a population of 85 million and a coastline of over 2,000km. Marine tourism is a key driver for many developing boating markets and Vietnam has the essential elements – good beaches and climate, low costs and friendly people. A key issue for the government, who want to promote tourism and leisure boating, is to make the regulations for leisure boat ownership and operation transparent.