Rodmanís Francisco Rivas

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Rodman is the leading and largest  GRP boatbuilder in Spain, with a production of 400 boats  in 2004. The 2004 turnover of the Rodman Group  was €100 million, with a direct employee figure of 470 persons and a total of 1,025 including indirect employees.

AG-C. China now or ten years ?

FR. Looks like China will be more a market in 10 years time.

AG-C. There is a 40 hectare marine site being developed in Shanghai would you be interested in taking part of that development?

FR. Not now, we currently have important investments in other priorities, but we can certainly study the project.

AG-C. Thirteen new members have joined the European Union do you regard these as a potential sales area, or an opportunity for cheaper manufacturing?

FR. We can look at it from both angles, but short term the first opportunity is probably more realistic than the second, because they are small markets at the moment.

AG-C. Hurricane Katrina devastated much of the US Gold Coast. Not withstanding the human loss, do you consider this a disaster, or a potential  sales opportunity once insurance claims are settled?

FR. At the moment it's a great disaster for the region, but of course new boats will certainly replace the current ones..

AG-C. Will rising oil prices have a major impact on sales soon and, perhaps more importantly, on production costs?

FR. It's clearly a difficult situation for the industry from both angles.

Questions about the Rodman Group

AG-C. Is the Rodman Group represented in China?

FR. We are in talks with several groups who have approached us.

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AG-C. Will the Rodman Group be following the trend of other manufacturers, in building larger and larger GRP craft and dropping smaller models?

FR. .Our production plan follows this trend, due to the success of our actual range of yachts and leisure boats, but we will not drop the smaller models who are very successful in the market too. We are, currently, building a new factory.

AG-C. Rodman's reputation for building tough, seaworthy military craft must help with the sales of the leisure craft. How close is the relationship, where it comes to sea keeping and hull design?

FR. It has clearly helped our technical department. The heritage of the company in this territory and expertise in hull design have set up the foundations of our "Rodman Quality System", which transports all this huge experience to the leisure boats and yachts that we produce.

AG-C. Recent changes have been made to Spanish regulations, concerning the use of pleasure craft for Spanish residents. Is this, generally, helping the leisure marine industry, in Spain, and Rodman's sales?

FR. It's helping, but of greater significance is the fact that Spain has become a successful sea & pleasure destination and our boats are recognised as an extremely good proposition of high quality and competitive cost.

AG-C. The area close to Rodman, in the north west of Spain, is ideal for marina development. Would the Rodman Group consider investing in marina development projects.

FR. We are concentrating our efforts in other priorities, related to increasing our range and sales network, but one never knows what other opportunities can arise in such an exciting business and in our beautiful sea coast region. 

AG-C. Thank you, Francisco Rivas