Doral begins to reinvent itself
By IBI Magazine
Doral International has been acquired by a longtime dealer in Quebec. Denis Poliseno acquired the Canadian builder out of bankruptcy protection on June 18 after a long period of negotiations.
Doral, which previously built sportboats at a facility in Ontario, will now build its line of cruisers and sportboats at its longstanding facility in Grand Mère, Quebec.
The acquisition comes following a year of uncertainty for Doral. "The negotiations were going on for quite some time before the deal was finalised on June 18," Pierre Major, Doral's new general manager, told IBI. "The company continued producing boats during the period it was in bankruptcy protection. It has been a long process. Denis was talking with the previous owner for roughly a year or so."
Major said that the acquisition included the production moulds from Doral Boats, the Ontario-based company that was a separate entity than Doral International, which built larger cruisers in Quebec. But the molds from the Ontario facility were moved to Grand Mère, and production has begun on three models, the 170, 185 and 195 bowriders.
Doral also released its boat pricing last week to its dealer base. Major said that the company will resume production on larger cruisers based on dealer orders. He said that the brand had lost a number of US dealers, who "either stopped selling new boats or went out of business," the company is repairing its Canadian and US dealer network. Its dealer network in Europe has largely remained intact.
"We have been in communication with our dealers and explaining the new direction of our company," he said. "Our plan going forward is to re-establish relationships. We have hired someone in the USA to work with the existing dealer network as well as identify new dealership opportunities. We believe that the American market is a good market for us."
Resurrecting an ailing brand has its challenges. Major said that the company has retained most of its production workers, so it has been able to restart manufacturing. Major, formerly president of Textron Financial in Canada, has improved communication with the dealer base. But the new Doral still has to convince dealers that it is an entirely different entity concerning service and communication, even though the product remains strong.
"We believe we have a high-quality product, so it is a matter of managing the business and relaunching the organisation," says Major. "It is a challenge, but we believe we are up to the task."
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(9 September 2010)