MIBS 2016: Groupe Beneteau lays out future for RBH Brands

The former Rec Boat Holding brands — Four Winns, Glastron, Scarab and Wellcraft — will now be brought under the Beneteau and Jeanneau umbrellas under a plan laid out by Groupe Beneteau at the Miami International Boat Show Thursday.

“This will offer a new robust organization for sales and marketing, manufacturing and product development,” said CEO Herve Gastinel. “By combining our forces, we can invest more.”

Under the new sales organization, Wellcraft and Glastron will be under Jeanneau. Andy Gamble will continue as sales manager at Wellcraft, as will Bruce Sargent at Glastron, with both reporting to Nick Harvey, president of Jeanneau of America. Four Winns and Scarab will fall under Beneteau, with Andy Lindsay as sales manager, reporting to Laurent Fabre, president of Beneteau of America.

Roch Lambert, who has served as president of Rec Boat Holdings since shortly after Platinum Equity acquired the brands out of bankruptcy in 2010, will be leaving the company. Beneteau acquired the brands from Platinum Equity, a private equity firm, in June 2014.

Lambert has helped position for its current success, Gastinel said.

“Roch has really turned around the company,” he said. “He has created a really strong foothold for the group.”

Among Lambert’s accomplishments, Gastinel said, were successfully redesigning the boat lines, building a solid dealer network and launching the Scarab boat line.

It’s natural for dealers to be nervous about the change, Gastinel said, but he stressed that Beneteau will continue to support the former Rec Boat Holdings brands.

“We absolutely want to keep investing in all four brands,” he said. “This is very important to us, this is critical to us.”

The brands will continue to design and build boats in the United States, but will also take advantage of the European operations. Christophe Lavigne will continue to lead those U.S. design efforts.

“We’ll be creating some boats specifically for the U.S. market and adapting some that we already have … on our shelves in Europe,” Gastinel said.

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