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Posted: December 4, 2008
German Sports Manufacturer Enters US Market with Nanotechnology Products
(Nanowerk News) Available for the first time in North America, several new products from Holmenkol, long a force in snow sports, are poised to bring enthusiasts unique solutions for aquatic needs. Merging in-depth surface preparation knowledge, cutting edge chemical expertise and environmental responsibility, Holmenkol has created a series of products to improve the performance and longevity of yachts, boats, boards, aquatic equipment and technical clothing.
Spanning a vast array of boats, accessories, equipment and clothing these cutting edge products are truly in sync with current market demands and economic realities. Employing nanoparticles, lotus-hybrid technologies and / or hygienic systems blended into Earth friendly formulations makes basic cleaning, deep penetration lubrication, serious friction and drag reduction, beautification, fabric protection and clothing and shoe renewal highly cost effective and easy to achieve.
Nanotechnology based products (it would take 100,000 nano sized particles stacked in a single row to equal the thickness of a piece of paper) create extremely consistent, void free coatings of self-attracting, uniformly sized particles that reduce drag (up to 45% on hull surfaces) to enhance performance and add protection that minimizes surface degradation.
Lotus-Hybrid-Matrix based products for fabrics duplicate the self-cleaning nature of the lotus plant by creating an external layer made up of billions of debris-isolating spheres. When flushed with water (washing, rain or even fog, mist or dew) droplets cannot adhere or form puddles and thus roll off treated surfaces taking dirt, debris and bio-contaminants with them.
Hygienic system products restore technical clothing’s ability to release internal perspiration while repelling external moisture.
According to Holmenkol Executive Board Director Christian Romlein “Our new U.S. endeavor is the latest step in a major effort to extend our coatings expertise into other areas of outdoor recreation and competition. Our AQUATIC and CARE ranges flow quite naturally from our 80 plus year history and marketing focus and represent a significant step in our plans to provide a wide scope of distinctive solutions for demanding environments and activities.”
The new U.S. organization will be a strategic partnership based in Santa Barbara, California and headed by longtime water sports enthusiast and business professional Tom Isaacson. The business will have a North American focus covering Canada, the U.S., Mexico and the Caribbean with inventory / shipping centers planned for both east and west coasts.
“We currently have orders from around the U.S. and have had to keep one foot on the marketing brake in order to establish our infrastructure, inventory and promotional approach while forming a dealer network,” said Mr. Isaacson. “With AQUATIC Line products for watercraft maintenance we expect the troubled financial climate to provide strong sales as people look to prolong the life and performance of existing yachts, boats, kayaks, boards and gear. Likewise, our CARE Line will be of interest to those looking to extend the life and effectiveness of high tech fabrics and the specialized garments and footwear that are so much a part of all water borne activities.”
Mr. Romlein concurs, “It’s our experience that active people are very dedicated to maximizing outdoor time. Research supports this conclusion and indicates that in prosperous times products enhancing aquatic activities experience vigorous sales. Likewise, when money is tight, enthusiasts will shift from upgrade mode to heavy maintenance mode making, in either case, strong markets for us. Additionally, for those at the upper end of the wealth spectrum there is essentially a larger demand than ever for products such as ours. The mega-yacht owner wishing to upgrade and for whom money is no object, is currently not able to commission a new yacht build in anything less than three to four years – custom constructors are that busy. This means that many mega-yacht owners (any vessel longer than 80 feet is considered mega) are opting to hold onto current vessels translating to increased demand for maintenance products and systems. All of which creates ideal conditions for our new enterprise.”
Other trends also point towards the potential for North American market demand. The National Marine Manufacturers Association (NMMA) reports that while many production boat / yacht builders are laying off personnel and downsizing operations, demand seen by yacht brokers is strong and increasing in value. The bottom line is that buyers are tending towards larger vessels of higher dollar value thus expanding potential for renewal, maintenance, enhancement and protection products.
Additionally, indications are that businesses owning multiple vessels and mega-yacht owners are seeking to bring maintenance “in-house” allowing charter firms, boating schools and large vessel owners more control over costs and schedules. This opens up additional sales and marketing options providing avenues for consulting and expert training.
Of course success flows from performance and customer satisfaction. With several Holmenkol prepared large yachts cruising the Mediterranean and various vessels enjoying success in key competitive events around the globe, word has sparked grassroots demand allowing early U.S. and Canadian adopters to test these new products. The results, while limited, are encouraging and boat preparation specialists across the U.S. have noticed. Spanning diverse market segments dealer arrangements are in the works and will be announced in coming weeks. Sales specializations are expected to include General Internet Sales, Mega Yacht Maintenance and Racing Sailboat Preparation. Additionally, discussions are underway with various experts interested in becoming technical specialists.
German based Aquatic Director Heiko Kroeger feels the new North American enterprise will provide a major building block in a rapidly expanding network of strategic partnerships. “Our global distribution team is comprised of numerous businesses with varied experience in outdoor activities. The success of these partners has been encouraging but, naturally, we’ve always known that North America and the large U.S. aquatic markets were vital to ultimate success. By first introducing our AQUATIC and CARE ranges in Europe we’ve been able to thoroughly test the products and our marketing approaches close to home. In this way we expect to gain U.S. and North American momentum quickly and begin securing market share. Plus, we’re prepared to be as innovative as our customers and dealers need us to be.”
A new corporate structure for Holmenkol / U.S., Inc. will be completed shortly.
Holmenkol is based near Stuttgart the home of Porsche motorcars and offers a complete line of coatings and finishes for outdoor recreation and competition. Full details can be found at: http://www.holmenkol.de
Envere Marine, U.S. based joint venture partner, is the basis for Mr. Isaacson’s business activities and the exclusive distributor for Holmenkol Aquatic products throughout North America. Envere details and access to all Holmenkol AQUATIC and CARE product lines can be found at: http://www.envere.com