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I was lucky enough this week to be included on a visit to the new Auto Trail factory in Grimsby. Part of the all powerful Trigano Group this factory produces Tribute van conversions and Auto Trail coach builts in a modern, light and well laid out environment. As we all know, Trigano encourages brands to keep their very strong individual identities but the sheer size of the group must make their central purchasing operation based in Paris for the big components such as the power train a serious force to be reckoned with.

It was an extremely good visit and the Auto Trail management team was generous with its time answering literally hundreds of questions very openly indeed. On the day we were there we saw motorhomes being built for the UK, Australian and New Zealand markets. 

And what one thing most stuck in my mind? Care and attention to detail by everyone involved.  And maybe one unexpected fact? Like most motorhome manufacturers, Auto Trail has eliminated wood from the structural components but continues to build nearly all its own furniture. Waste timber is converted to pellets which feed a biomass boiler making the factory self sufficient for heating and hot water – coupled with a rain water collection system dramatically reducing fresh water consumption.

Christopher Macgowan