COMPANY RELEASE MAY 2006
Mako Inflatables (Pty) Ltd, (South Africa) originally known as Robbie Duck was started in 1985 by former Springbok Rugby player Rob Louw.
Rob Louw pioneered the racing of fully inflatable craft in South Africa in the early 80’s and competed with other early brands such as Zodiac, Gemini, Avon and New Era. Mark Louw (Rob Louw’s younger brother) began racing with Rob in the late 80’s.
Rob had a very bad near fatal racing accident in 1991. After being physically rescued from the sea by his brother Mark he was unable to continue running the business. Mark Louw took over the reigns of the business which at this stage was manufacturing approximately 240 fully inflatable boats per year.
Rob Louw started experimenting with Semi Rigid GRP technology in the early 90’s while Mark ran the business. Robbie Duck eventually wound down in 1994 when the Racing movement lost momentum.
Mark Louw started Mako Inflatables in 1995initially with only racing craft. Mako developed the catamaran X Treme style racing boat still used in racing to this day. Sales of the new racing craft were very good and Mark was two time SA Champion. Mako used the profits from the successful sale of its new racing craft to develop a full line of RIB boats ranging from 3m – 8m. The emphasis of the business shifted to the rigid inflatable boats (RIB’s).
During 1999 Mako began manufacture of the Ballistic style hull. During the period 2000 – 2004 approximately 500 RIB’s of various models were exported to countries all around the world including Australia, UK, Belgium, Brazil, USA and others.
Between the period 2002 to 2004 the South African currency appreciates in strength from US $ 1.00 to ZAR 11.00 to approximately US $ 1.00 to ZAR 6.50. Most small export businesses did not survive this halving of revenue.
The tremendous appreciation in the currency forced companies to cut costs or bring in extra capital. During the period 2002-2004 MAKO was in a growth phase and had recently moved into new larger premises. The combination of the growth and cash flow requirements linked to a halving in revenue forced the business into a state of paralysis during 2004.
Mako continued to manufacture and export product to a growing and expectant market. Unfortunately, during this period Mako shipped orders late due to severe cash flow constraints.
Mako was placed into provisional liquidation by its creditors late in 2004. Mark Louw has since made every effort to resolve any outstanding matters relating to incomplete or sub standard deliveries and in certain instances has employed his own personal funds to reach resolution
Mark Louw combined forces with another RIB company in South Africa and discussions were held regarding the opportunities available in transferring the RIB manufacturing technology to a more stable and efficient manufacturing country.
James Fisher (previously manufacturer of Prestige, Ribeye, Ribtec and Mercury) and Mark Louw entered into a joint venture agreement with the Solico Industrial Group based in Dubai who have over 40 years of quality manufacturing experience. The deal was that James and Mark would contribute the technical know how and marketing skills and Solico will contribute the manufacturing experience and financial muscle.
Using the best of the boat designs from the two companies the new brand ASIS was formed
ASIS is a brand created out the transfer of boat design ,technology and skills of two South African RIB companies. Each new product branded ASIS has been through a rigorous re-engineering and new moulds have been created for almost all components.
In essence ASIS is trying to evolve the best aspects of the old technology. Typical dealer responses during the evaluation phase have been as follows, “If you can sort out the quality and delivery you have got a winner- the hulls are fantastic.
ASIS has focused on a few simple things, these are as follows:
• Improve Product Quality
• Improve Delivery of Products
• Improved and Larger Product Offering
• Better Pricing and Dealer Support
• Improved Customer Support
ASIS have a newly completed dedicated facility in Jebel Ali Industrial Area that includes a dedicated air conditioned tube building facility and GRP grinding bays as well as other purpose built features expected in a Rib manufacturing facility.
ASIS will improve delivery through the increased holding of stock at all times both as raw materials and also finished products.
ASIS is in the process of completing moulds on an entirely new leisure range thus completing a comprehensive offering of its Open range, Luxury Leisure range, Luxury Yacht tender range as well as Commercial and Military ranges.
ASIS will offer competitive pricing and improved dealer rebate offerings. Packaged boats with Mercury or E-Tec outboard motors are also available directly from the factory.
With ASIS the customer comes first. The new ASIS warranty is testament to the belief of the new company’s capabilities.
ASIS is a new company. ASIS has not bought the Mako company. One range of the new ASIS products will look similar to old Mako products as certain of the successful components have been re-engineered off the Mako. The new ASIS management has committed itself to assisting resolve any issues that Mark Louw may have with his prior sale of its products and in this regard has re-established distribution arrangements with some of the Mako distributors but reiterates its separate legal entity and philosophy.
Any further queries related to this information can be addressed to James Fisher ( firstname.lastname@example.org )