The Director General of the Caravan and Motorhome Club, Nick Lomas, has today announced that The National 2021 is cancelled.
The logistics of organising such a huge event are significant and the risk of forced cancellation – possibly at short notice – because of Covid-19 are simply too great.
Sad but understandable.
Bearing in mind that I witnessed last month the Southampton Boat Show being cancelled at 4pm the day before it was opening I am pretty sensitive to the cancellation risk. Equally I and many members will sorely miss this annual gathering.
Adria is showing 2020 and 2021 models through a series of dealer events and I popped in to Brownhills Newark to take a look. With sales of new and used motorhomes running at extremely healthy levels I wasn’t too sure how many models would be on display but in the event it was a very healthy line-up.
The new generation Coral and Matrix models were on show and, like so many manufacturers, it is obvious that van conversions are becoming increasingly popular and the layouts are evolving with increasing sophistication. In my personal view, they are popular for a number of reasons but drivability is a key one where both partners in a relationship feel equally comfortable doing the driving. The Fiat Ducati with an automatic transmission is hugely popular in this sector.
A good example is the new for 2021 Twin Supreme 640SPB Family with an “any licence” 3500kg maximum authorised weight, a great layout and a transverse bed. It could be one of their star performers for 2021.
SOURCE: thisismoney.co.uk and Ray Massey of the Daily Mail.
Boris Johnson this week urged the nation to enjoy a ‘staycation’ in Britain, as part of the Government’s plans to ease the lockdown in England from next weekend.
With campsites and hotels able to reopen from July 4, there has already been a surge in interest in campervans that provide flexible, mobile and self-contained accommodation.
Manufacturers say they are getting calls from both stir-crazy couples and families wanting to explore the country safely and avoid the hassle of travelling overseas and quarantine on return.
Campervans are ideal for creating self-contained hotels-on-wheels — ‘bubbles’ with beds, fridges, cookers, kitchen and often a shower on board.
And there’s a good choice on the market to buy or rent.
Volkswagen is a leading player with its recently launched, and refreshed, California 6.1. It costs from £55,339 in Coast trim, up to £69,889 for Ocean. Based on the Transporter van, the 2.5-ton 2m-tall model sleeps four and has a raised roof. It comes with a table, cupboards, double gas hob, kitchen sink, a side awning and a sleeping space.
Powered by a 2-litre 148 hp diesel, with seven- speed automatic gearbox, it averages 33.6 mpg with CO2 emissions of 221g/km.
The larger Grand California, from £72,745 to £82,258, based on the Crafter van, sleeps two or four, and has a wet room with a toilet and showerIn March and April, online requests for quotes went up 250 per cent for the California. Nearly 1,500 were sold in Britain last year. They are factory built — not conversions — and can be serviced at VW’s 97 UK van centres and authorised repairers.
To be truly authentic, a secondhand hippy-trail VW ‘bus’ will cost from around £10,000 to £40,000.
Other new options include: the Mercedes-Benz V Class Marco Polo, from £37,980 to £69,800 and the oddly-named Ford Transit Custom Nugget, from £59,608 to £63,334.
Horsham-based converter Sussex Campervans turns a Renault Trafic or Nissan NV300 into its Manhattan and Paradise ranges, from £41,995 to £51,995.
If ‘glamping’ is more your style, then bespoke luxury motor home firm GlamperRV.co.uk offers an office-hotel on wheels, from £75,000 plus VAT.
#motorhomes, @motorhmenews, AL-KO, alde, Bailey, Bailey Autograph, bailey of bristol, Bristol, chrismacgowan, Christopher Macgowan, Honda, motorhome, motorhomenews, NEC, Peugeot, Stanton House, Swindon
The third-generation Bailey Autograph motorhomes were launched this week.
Available in eight layouts including new fixed bed and fixed island bed variants, and with and without dedicated rear travel seats. They represent what you might call “the real deal” with a Peugeot drive train, AL-KO chassis, Alde heating and a policy of no hidden extras so a dedicated motorhome owner can be assured that the level of luxury will meet or exceed expectations.
The full eight-model range – which I have to say look pretty attractive to me – will be on show in Hall 19 at this year’s NEC Show October 15th to 20th.
It is interesting how time plays tricks with our memories. Back in 2011 when Bailey announced its first motorhomes it seemed a very big deal indeed – a brave move perhaps – and certainly a strong signal that the caravan-only company was prepared to innovate, change and move with the market. During the last eight years the company has continued to dominate the caravan market – so no loss of focus there – and has become a serious and successful motorhome manufacturer fighting its way with the Hymers, Rapidos and a string of other UK and continental European manufacturers. We all know that companies often struggle with change; they either don’t change or don’t do it very well and are burdened by their history.
Not so Bailey I would suggest.
The launch was held at the delightful Stanton House Hotel near Swindon and whilst obviously the launch was the all important part, I had a bit of a trip down memory lane. The original manor house was renovated and hugely improved to meet the demands of Japanese guests from the nearby Honda car factory and their suppliers. I was a fairly frequent visitor there because of my automotive background and although the hotel has for many years embraced all visitors with or without a Honda connection, the signs are bilingual, the website is in English and Japanese and the restaurant has an exceptional Japanese influence as well as catering of course for European tastes.
Hannover, 01 June 2018: Just three years after production of the sixth-generation Transporter began, the 500,000th T6 has rolled off the line in Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles’ main Hannover plant. The 500,000th vehicle is a Multivan with two-tone paint finish in Candy White and Curcuma Yellow. In total, since production of the series began in Hannover on 8 March 1956, around 8.8 million Transporters have been made.
Dr Eckhard Scholz, Chairman of the Brand Board of Management of Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles said: “This milestone is, above all, the result of consistent customer focus. We are gearing our production more than ever to the wishes of our customers and with intelligent solutions we are creating added value for their everyday routines and leisure activities.
At the same time the excellent production figures are indicative of committed employees and thus of a highly efficient site. This story of success is one that we will continue to write together!”
Plant Director Udo Hitzmann commented: “The sixth generation T-series has been thrilling our customers ever since production began three years ago. Continually modernised, more flexible working processes and a top team performance are the stand-out features of this ongoing ‘Made in Hannover’ success. Throughout this time the Hannover plant has repeatedly coped with changing challenges. That benefits both the T-series and our customers.”
Bertina Murkovic, Chair of the Works Council, explained: “The T is the core of our brand. The consistently high production figures underline its importance to Hannover: we are the Bulli site! Thank you to all our colleagues, who have made this fantastic growth possible.”
The T-series is produced on a three-shift basis both in Hannover-Stöcken (Multivan, California, Kombi, Caravelle, Transporter) and at the Poznań plant in Poland (Kombi, Caravelle, Transporter, pick-up). In the past year alone, 208,427 T6 vehicles were produced at the sites in Hannover (175,290) and Poznań (33,137) – in total the highest number of vehicles of this series produced for 44 years. Compared to last year, which was itself a record, the new figure means an increase once again of 4.5 per cent.
About the Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles brand:
“All around the globe we offer the best transport solutions for our customers.” As a stand-alone brand within the Volkswagen Group, Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles is responsible globally for the development, construction and sales of light commercial vehicles, producing the Transporter, Caddy, Crafter and Amarok ranges. In consultation with its customers, Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles draws up appropriate vehicle concepts, telematics and logistics solutions for the sparing use of resources at the highest possible level of efficiency. In 2017, the brand sold around 498,000 light commercial vehicles, which were produced at its sites in Hanover (D), Poznań (PL), Września (PL) and Pacheco (ARG). Globally, Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles employs over 21,000 people, including around 14,000 at the Hannover site.
Thank you to Rodney Lambert (Chairman of the CAMC Events Committee), his army of volunteers, Club staff, Dougal, a Shire horse and numerous other attractions for a fabulous Caravan and Motorhome Club National held this weekend in the grounds of the exquisite Sandringham Estate.
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.
The strategic acquisition strengthens the presence of the Erwin Hymer Group in the second largest European market. The Erwin Hymer Group is placing its trust in the existing management team of The Explorer Group Ltd. The Explorer Group Ltd. will become the Erwin Hymer Group UK Ltd. Once the integration is complete, the sales and marketing activities of all EHG brands will be brought together under the umbrella of the Erwin Hymer Group UK Ltd. The closing date for the transaction is February 8, 2017.
Bad Waldsee (Germany), Consett, County Durham (UK), February 8, 2017 – The Erwin Hymer Group, Europe’s largest manufacturer of motorhomes and caravans, and the Constantine Group PLC, an investment company with its registered office near London (UK), have agreed that the Erwin Hymer Group will acquire 100% of the shares of The Explorer Group Ltd., including all of its subsidiaries.
After the closing, the name of the company will be Erwin Hymer Group UK Ltd. The Managing Director of Erwin Hymer Group UK Ltd. will be Robert Quine, formerly the Managing Director of The Explorer Group Ltd.
The Explorer Group – On the UK market since 1964 The Explorer Group is a leading UK manufacturer of motorhomes and caravans with its registered office in Consett, near Newcastle in the north of England. Founded in the mid-1960s, the company has 400 employees and is predominantly active in the UK. With the Buccaneer, Compass, Elddis, and Xplore brands, the company has been able to steadily increase its share of the UK market in recent years. With a motorhome market share of 11% and a touring caravan market share of 17%, The Explorer Group is one of the three leading manufacturers in the UK.
“Since 2012, our SoLiD construction method has revolutionised the production process and resulted in a product that is stronger, lighter, and free from water ingress,” says Rob Quine. “Explorer has now invested over eight years into the development of SoLiD. This makes us the only provider of fully structurally bonded caravans and motorhomes in the UK.” The successful launch of SoLiD has resulted in the sales volumes doubling in the past eight years.
The Explorer Group Ltd’s management has excellent knowledge of the British market and is therefore the perfect partner for the Erwin Hymer Group to further expand its position in the UK. The sales and marketing activities of all EHG brands in the UK will be brought together under the umbrella of the Erwin Hymer Group UK Ltd.
The Erwin Hymer Group is already represented in the United Kingdom today by the Bürstner, Carado, Dethleffs, Eriba, Hymer, Laika, Niesmann+Bischoff, and Sunlight brands. The new Erwin Hymer Group UK Ltd. provides an ideal starting point to strengthen and further expand market presence with a local manufacturing base.
“By acquiring The Explorer Group Ltd., we are strengthening our involvement in the UK. As the leading European manufacturer, we see strategic opportunities in the second largest European caravanning market,” says Martin Brandt, CEO of Erwin Hymer Group AG & Co.KG. “Our aim is to further expand our strong position in Europe and to become a global supplier of high-quality motorhomes and caravans.”
For Joerg Reithmeier, Member of the Managing Board of the Erwin Hymer Group and responsible for the Caravan segment, the acquisition of Explorer is another component in implementing the caravan strategy: “By taking this step, we’re positioning ourselves as the leading manufacturer of premium caravans in Europe.”
“We’re all really looking forward to becoming part of the Erwin Hymer Group,” says Rob Quine, Managing Director of The Explorer Group Ltd. “It is fantastic that a successful organisation like the Erwin Hymer Group is investing in our future. As a new member of the Erwin Hymer Group, we will have access to unique know-how and expertise. We will exploit this strategic opportunity to create permanent added value for our customers.”
Wellhouse Leisure offers the widest choice of campervans and more new model launches at The Motorhome and Caravan Show 2016
• Wellhouse Leisure will have its largest and most diverse range of new campervans ever, including the show debut of five new models, on its stand in Hall 12 at The Motorhome and Caravan Show 2016, at the NEC from 11 to 16 October 2016. This includes:
• Ford Terrier – SE, M-Sport and the new long-wheelbase model with up to seven seats
• Ford Evie – compact camping-car based on the Ford Transit Connect Grand Tourneo
• Hyundai i800 Camper – facelifted version returns to the Wellhouse Leisure range
• Mercedes Moselle – based on the new Vito, with all-new interior furniture by Tecnoform
• Zooom Mobile NV200 – a two-berth, compact campervan based on the Nissan NV200
• new Toyota Proace – prototype model fitted with elevating roof and windows only
• new Ford Nu-Venture – first Nu-Venture coachbuilt on a Ford Transit Custom cab
• new SsangYong Turismo – an MPV-based, four-berth camper with a kitchen, elevating roof and 178PS, 2.2-litre Euro 6 diesel engine, plus value for money with prices expected to be from £29,995
The Wellhouse Leisure stand in Hall 12 at The Motorhome and Caravan Show 2016 is particularly worth visiting this year as it will have its widest range of eight different campervan ranges to see, including the debut of five all-new models.
Its most successful campervan, the Ford Terrier 2, will be there with three variants to see: the best-selling SE, the eye-catching M-Sport, and the new long-wheelbase model launched this summer which can seat up to seven people. All Terriers feature the practical, sliding rear seat, stylish, high-quality Tecnoform furniture and the new 130PS, 2.0-litre, Ford Euro 6 engine, with improved fuel economy and torque compared to the previous 2.2-litre, 125 PS TDCi unit, plus the new option of automatic transmission.
For something more compact based on a Ford there’s the two-berth Wellhouse Ford Evie camping-car, winner of the Micro Motor Caravans class of The Caravan Club Motor Caravan Design Awards 2016, available from £28,500.
The popular, and award-winning, Hyundai i800 Camper will be at The Motorhome and Caravan show after making a welcome return to the Wellhouse range this summer, with prices starting from £42,000. It has a particularly high standard specification, including oven, heating and hot water system, plus an external shower, with standard or special edition trim levels available, plus the option of automatic transmission.
Another model returning to the Wellhouse stand is its redesigned Mercedes Vito-based Moselle, which now features an all-new kitchen and storage unit from the Italian furniture designer, Tecnoform. It still has an SCA elevating roof, seats five people and has Wellhouse’s trademark sliding rear seat system, with prices from £44,500. The luxury specification includes solar panel, heating, a choice of three Mercedes BlueTec Euro 6 engines, with rear-wheel drive, plus the option of automatic transmission.
The Zooom Mobile NV200, based on the compact Nissan NV200 van, is a new model that Wellhouse Leisure is considering introducing for the UK in partnership with the German manufacturer, Zooom. It is offered with two or five seat models plus an elevating roof, and can be fitted with storage units in the back, including a fold-away kitchen unit.
The first of Wellhouse’s all-new models is based on the stylish, new Toyota Proace. Wellhouse is one of the first in the UK to develop a campervan conversion of Toyota’s new van. In fact, this exciting new model is so new that Wellhouse is not able to show the finished interior conversion yet, with the example on show fitted with side windows and an elevating roof only so that people can see what size and look of it, and pre-order one. It will have four-seats, an economical 1.6-litre diesel engine and a body length of 4.9m. Prices are expected to start from around £38,000.
Wellhouse has co-operated with Nu Venture motorhomes to develop a coachbuilt-style model based on a Ford Transit Custom cab, which makes its debut at the show. The two-berth coachbuilt body is the same width as the base vehicle to make it easy to drive and compact enough to be used every day. This two-berth model is 5.5m long with an entry door at the rear, and a comfortable interior with all the features of a full-height motorhome. This includes a front lounge with side dinette that converts into two singles or a double bed, over cab storage area, kitchen and full washroom with shower. Prices are expected to start from £46,000.
The final all-new campervan being launched at the show is its first conversion of the SsangYong Turismo MPV. This car-sized campervan, powered by a 178PS, 2.2-litre, Euro 6 diesel engine, really is a multi-purpose vehicle with an elevating roof, kitchen unit, four seats and four-berths, with prices expected to be from £29,995.
David Elliott, Managing Director of Wellhouse Leisure commented: “Wellhouse Leisure is really pleased to be launching more new campervans, and to be able to offer such a wide choice in a mixture of sizes and brands. Wellhouse now offers something for everyone and every budget, from micro campers to our best-selling, award-winning models, all offering exceptional value for money.”
Registrations of new motorhomes increased by 20.4% in the month of March 2016 compared with March 2015. A total of 2,352 units were sold in what is a peak month for the sector. New motorhome registrations for Q1 2016 as a whole, compared with Q1 2015, are also up nearly 20%1, to a total of 3,042 units with an estimated retail value of more than £150 million2.
All this is on top of a 21% increase in new motorhome registrations during 2015, making the UK one of the fastest growing markets in Europe3. Membership of the NCC’s dealer section is increasing too, rising nearly 25% in the last 12 months alone. Many of these companies are reporting near record new motorhome sales levels in 2016, including Newark based Brownhills, which enjoyed a 26% increase in Q1 this year.
NCC director general John Lally said: “We believe that strong demand for motorhomes will continue for the foreseeable future and we could see record levels of new motorhomes registered in the UK soon. As manufacturers increase production capacity and build even more attractive and innovative products that can be used year round, consumers, from young families to retired couples, will keep being drawn to the motorhome proposition. The Freedom to Go campaign is also working to draw more entrants to the market.
“Staycations are due to have another good year too boosted by the preference to take shorter breaks. In fact short holiday trips of 1-3 nights account for two-thirds of English holidays, are on the rise4 and are exactly the type of break a motorhome really enables. Whether it’s a last minute weekend away, supporting an outdoor activity like mountain biking, or indeed the longer annual summer holiday, motorhomes make it all possible.”
Frank Finch, NCC membership services director said: “It’s encouraging that dealerships are our fastest growing membership section, as this is where many consumers first interact with the industry. It’s our advice that for peace of mind, consumers should always seek out one of our members when looking to buy a motorhome, or indeed any other leisure vehicle.”