If you were at the Zodiac press release in Fort Lauderdale today you would have heard some knowns and some unknowns. The obvious is Zodiac’s new leadership is poised like a panther to take on it’s myriad competitors in the Asian manufacturing sector. Offering new life, new products and genuine Zodiac materials and builds at similar pricing structures to the cheap knock offs flooding the market today means Zodiac is future minded.
I remember the glory days of Zodiac, I remember the influx of copy cats and the shrinking market as a result of the poor quality and support of said copy cats. The Zodiac brand suffers when consumers think of the cheap knock offs as Zodiacs just because they are inflatable. Zodiac has stood strong the test of time for over 100 years as the inventor and innovator of the inflatable boat platform.
Zodiac’s new leadership is taking names and putting them on notice with real serious inflatable boats and RIBs like the days of yore but utilizing the ultra bleeding edge of technology and material science that today has to offer.
I’ve used Zodiacs as a fisherman, a sailor, and as a specialist in the US Navy’s Rescue Dive and Salvage community. I continue to use Zodiacs today as a tool to fun and freedom like it was when I was a child watching Cousteau and reading Bombard.
Make no mistakes great things are coming from Zodiac like the re-emergence of the Avon line! Woot Woot! If you are a sailor like me and have the high latitudes and the equatorial regions under your belt then you know that Avon was the go to tender for any sloop rig on the high seas. Easy to roll and stow the Avon represented quality for the active yachtsman. Yes Zodiac and Avon have lived under the same roof for some time with Bombard it is a very happy family with strong values. The Avon plant has been tasked with much of the military and professional work these past years and as a result the Avon line hasn’t been available to recreational users like the white water crowd and the sailing crowd.
All I can say is the thrill is back and everyone is giddy with excitement for the legend of Zodiac and what comes next.
Expect great things from Zodiac, Avon and Bombard as we move forward and as always IBC has got you covered no matter where in the World you find yourself.
Press release below take from “Trade Only Today”
FORT LAUDERDALE — Zodiac Nautic, the world’s oldest and largest manufacturer of RIBs and inflatables, said Thursday at the Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show that the industry and consumers should expect a significant revival of the venerable brand.
“Zodiac is a wonderful brand. I am no miracle worker, but Zodiac is a sleeping giant,” said CEO Dominique Heber-Suffrin, who assumed ownership with partners in July after years of financial trouble for the iconic French builder.
Heber-Suffrin said the U.S. market accounts for 40 percent of Zodiac’s global business and that under his leadership “accelerated growth here in the U.S.” will be a priority.
Zodiac has manufacturing plants in France, Tunisia and South Carolina.
Heber-Suffrin promised new-boat introductions at the Miami International Boat Show in February, a renewed marketing campaign, new incentive programs for consumers and a reintroduction of the Avon brand.