Avilon, Russia’s leading dealer of premium, luxury cars, is to become an exclusive dealer of Benetti and Astondoa yachts in Russia.

The cooperation is not limited to two brands, says Avilon CEO Vagif Bikulov. The company is currently in talks with other global yacht manufacturers regarding the importation of their products to Russia.

Under the terms of the agreement, Avilon will specialise in sales of new and used yachts, and will also provide services for their lease.

Bikulov comments: "We will be able to attract new customers to the Russian market of boats and yachts. Avilon is one of the most important players in the luxury market in Russia, while global yacht makers will use the company’s dealerships to develop business in Russia.

Head of Azimut Yachts Russia, Anton Dolotin, says sales of Benetti yachts are currently estimated at around 3-4 units per year, which is significantly lower than pre-crisis figures of 2013.

Prices for such yachts start at €6m. These yachts are more focused on Americans, he says, while Russians prefer Dutch or German brands when choosing larger yachts.

According to Dolotin, Russians now account for 2-3% of global yacht sales, which is much less than Americans. Before the crisis around 10% of yachts were bought by Russian businessmen, he says.