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Are British Motorhomes for sale in Europe ?


Rayjsj

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Hello all,

Just a question for those who travel a lot in Europe, I was reading a copy of MMM, and noticed just how many European manufactured vans are for sale in the UK, do British manufacturers sell in any great numbers in Europe ? it can't be anything to do with 'type approval' because nearly all the large British manufacturers have that now, LH drive base units are probably easier to source than RH drive ones, and surely which side the habitation door is on doesn't count ? it doesn't here anyway, and we are a 'Common' market aren't we?

Is it that our vans are highly priced ? (a Hymer S class at over £100,00 !!) because they have more equipment in them ? ovens etc., ?

Interested to know ? and any reasons if they are not. Ray

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Its interesting isn't it? I have long pondered why we don't export caravans and motorhomes in very large numbers to the continent.

 

Judging from the experiences of some who have tried to register RHD vans outside the UK, the plan layout would need to be swapped, as getting acceptance of habitation doors on the offside, particularly in France, has proved very difficult to impossible.

 

However, as there is a huge potential market, given the will and the desire, and facilitated by CAD-CAM systems, one would think the cost would be minimal to do this. LHD chassis are also marginally cheaper than RHD, so if enough were produced and sold, quantity discounts should result in very competitive pricing. It looks like the proverbial low hanging fruit, so why on earth don't they do it?

 

True, they'd need to invest in new plant, and they'd need to build new dealer networks, but many others have done this around Europe, so it can be done. They'd probably need to "Europeanise" their layouts somewhat, but what works for the European market is easy enoygh to see by just scanning the various European motorhoming magazines.

 

Some of the newer UK based construction techniques are better than many of the European manufacturers currently use, so there is a brief USP window to exploit there.

 

The answer must lie in the minds of the boards of directors of the UK manufacturers, but what inhibits them I have no idea. Language? Laziness? Lack of ambition? Fear of the unknown? Fear of Failure? It can't be the cost of finance. It can't be lack of demand. It can't be technical difficulty. It can't be lack of opportunity.

 

So, it is an excellent question, and I'd love to know the answer. Perhaps one or more of the UK manufacturers would care to respond. My secret suspicion is that none of the "management" actually use motorhomes, so never go abroad with them, so just can't see what an opportunity they are missing! :-D

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The only 'Foreign Registered' British made vans I have seen, in the UK belonged to Dutch people, and i have only seen 1 or 2. Why is the posistion of the habitation door any block on registering a British manufactured motorhome or caravan in Europe (France) ? isn't that a 'hinderance of trade' or some such breach of EU law ? After all, we allow it, although I'm not sure that we should be, for road safety reasons, but hey, we are all adults aren't we ? (well actually no, a child might not realise that the door leads them into the path of oncoming traffic). But, as you say Brian, with CAD/CAM systems, it shouldn't be a restriction from a potentially lucrative market. Ray
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Guest JudgeMental
Rayjsj - 2014-08-24 12:40 PM

 

JudgeMental - 2014-08-24 12:32 PM

 

I suspect not......draw your own conclusions :D

 

 

I know how you feel about British vans Eddy, have you been 'spreading the word' over there ? ;-)

 

Ha ha ha...cant resist Ray:-D. Swift and autocruise have had a go in the past I believe, remember someone saying some UK vans at Dusseldorf ....Cant see it to be honest as prices here higher. Neither can I see UK buyer being happy about UK vans being cheaper in Europe which they would have to be...but then again UK customers put up with a lot anyway. Most of these UK companies part of European parent companies these days so probably have little say, and parent companies probaly look at the UK as a cash cow and like to keep the deferential....We pay a heavy penalty for the English channel.

 

new bikes I'm looking at: Germany they start at £1600 here same model £2300

 

re Brian's post, I find the situation unsurprising..UK always had a short term view re investment, caused mainly by the banks greed and lack of foresight generally....simply short term'ism

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As motorhomes are largely hand built it cannot be easy to up the supply. Swift group have a job to keep up with Uk orders and as easily the biggest UK company have no real incentive to go into Europe. They have had a couple of very half hearted goes and I believe they have a couple of euro dealers. The bit about LHD vans being cheaper is doubtful, people tend to forget more still drive on the proper side of the road, the left, than the right. Ourselves, Russia, Japan, China, India, Australia, New Zealand to name just a few. As has been pointed out on this thread and I have pointed out before several UK vans are now using building technique's that are in advance of anything in euro land. UK vans are usually better equipped than the euro built ones as well so it would seem sensible to try and sell in Europe but I suspect because of the small scale of most of the UK companies they have enough work anyway and no capacity to increase. Also the UK is primarily caravan country, in fact we are the biggest user of caravans with I think the exception of Holland in Europe so the makers concentrate more on this market.
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I agree Henry, but surely with our 'Balance of payments Deficit' that is always being Rammed down our Throats, shouldn't our Home grown Manufacturers be 'encouraged' possibly with financial incentives to 'Ramp Up' and start trying to break in to the European market, Ring fence the Investment if possible to protect the 'Home grown' Market, (we don't want any other UK manufacturers going 'belly Up' in the attempt , do we ). Autotrail are owned by Trigano, so they probably see no reason to try. Ray
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When we were in Benidorm over Easter, I got talking with a Dutch man who had a brand new Swift caravan, I said to him that it was unusual for a foreigner to have a British caravan, He replied that not many foreigners brought British Motorhomes or caravans, because of the stigma of British built cars of the 60s and 70s especially Jaguars that just rotted away very quickly.

 

John.

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Guest JudgeMental
artheytrate - 2014-08-24 9:05 PM

 

When we were in Benidorm over Easter, I got talking with a Dutch man who had a brand new Swift caravan, I said to him that it was unusual for a foreigner to have a British caravan, He replied that not many foreigners brought British Motorhomes or caravans, because of the stigma of British built cars of the 60s and 70s especially Jaguars that just rotted away very quickly.

 

John.

 

nothing's changed then! :D

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Who wants to pay 67k to faff about with cushions to make up the bed every night as in a couple of 2014 Autosleepers I peeked in the other day. I couldn't believe it, it could only happen in Britain.

The truth is plain and simple. British vans and owners are old fashioned and stuck in the caravan mode mentality.

I'll get me coat !!!!!!!!!!!!!

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Rayjsj - 2014-08-24 1:23 PM.........Why is the posistion of the habitation door any block on registering a British manufactured motorhome or caravan in Europe (France) ? isn't that a 'hinderance of trade' or some such breach of EU law ? After all, we allow it, although I'm not sure that we should be, for road safety reasons, but hey, we are all adults aren't we ? (well actually no, a child might not realise that the door leads them into the path of oncoming traffic). ................. Ray

As I recall Ray, the objection was on safety grounds. Whether a lack of door window added to this perception I don't know. It was felt unsafe for the passenger door to open onto the carriageway. I guess safety trumps trade! :-)

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Guest Had Enough

Businessmen, despite what some appear to think, aren't totally stupid. If I had a motorhome manufacturing business my first choice would be to ensure that I'm squeezing the best out of my home market.

 

Building left-hand drive campers for export to Europe would take a massive investment in cash and in time trying to establish a European dealer network.

 

Then of course we have the problem of dealing with a fluctuating exchange rate. Hymer for example must sell 95% (if not more) of its output to countries that have the same currency, thus eliminating much of the forecasting guesswork from of its pricing structure.

 

Some car makers export successfully to Europe but we're talking here about massive companies with huge investment facilities, very different from the cottage industry that is most of the UK motorhome industry.

 

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Swift Group activity abroad:

 

Europe

 

Dealer:

Derek Hayes

Area:

Ireland

Imports:

Caravans and Swift Holiday Homes

Web:

www.hayescaravans.com

 

Dealer:

Karavany Burimex

Area:

Czech Republic

Imports:

Swift Caravans

Web:

www.burimex.cz

 

Dealer:

Caravan Trading Europe

Area:

Belgium, Netherlands and Luxembourg

Imports:

Swift and Sprite Caravans

Web:

www.spritecaravans.com

 

www.swiftcaravans.nl

 

Dealer:

Camping Center Jülich GmbH

Area:

Germany

Imports:

Sprite Caravans

Web:

www.camping-center-juelich.de

 

Dealer:

Caravancenter Berlin-Brandenburg GmbH & Co. KG

Area:

Germany

Imports:

Sprite Caravans

Web:

www.caravancenter24.de

 

Dealer:

Wohnmobilcenter Sachsen GmbH

Area:

Germany

Imports:

Sprite Caravans

Web:

www.wohnmobilcenter-sachsen.de

 

Dealer:

Reisemobile von Bredow

Area:

Germany

Imports:

Sprite Caravans

Web:

www.camping-reisen.eu

 

Dealer:

Jocher Vertriebs GmbH

Area:

Germany

Imports:

Sprite Caravans

Web:

www.caravan-jocher.de

 

Dealer:

Vikur Verk

Area:

Iceland

Imports:

Swift Caravans

Web:

www.rvdirect.co.nz

 

Dealer:

Holiday Point AG

Area:

Switzerland

Imports:

Swift, Sterling, Sprite Caravans

Web:

www.holidaypoint.ch

 

Caravan Dealers

Rest of World

 

Dealer:

Swift Group Australia

Area:

Australia

Imports:

Caravans and Motorhomes

Web:

www.swiftrv.com.au

 

Dealer:

Caravan Connection Ltd.

Area:

South Island, New Zealand

Imports:

Caravans

Web:

www.caravanconnection.co.nz

 

Dealer:

Merit RV

Area:

New Zealand

Imports:

Sterling and Sprite Caravans

Web:

www.meritrv.co.nz

 

Dealer:

Bluebird Enterprises Inc.

Area:

South Korea

Imports:

Swift Caravans

Web:

www.bbvic.com/

 

Dealer:

Carafun

Area:

Israel

Imports:

Swift, Sterling, Sprite Caravans

Web:

www.carafun.co.il

 

Motorhome Dealers

Rest of World

 

Dealer:

Swift Group Australia

Area:

Australia

Imports:

Caravans and Motorhomes

Web:

www.swiftrv.com.au

 

Dealer:

Merit RV

Area:

New Zealand

Imports:

Bessacarr Motorhomes

Web:

www.meritrv.co.nz

 

Dealer:

Iconic Motor Homes

Area:

New Zealand

Imports:

Swift Motorhomes

Web:

www.iconicmotorhomes.com

 

Dealer:

RV Direct

Area:

New Zealand

Imports:

Swift, Bessacarr and Escape Motorhomes

Web:

www.rvdirect.co.nz

 

Holiday Home Dealers

Europe

 

Dealer:

Eurobase Mobile Homes

Area:

France and Belgium

Imports:

Swift Holiday Homes

Web:

www.eurobasemobilehomes.com

 

Dealer:

Derek Hayes

Area:

Ireland

Imports:

Caravans and Swift Holiday Homes

Web:

www.hayescaravans.com

 

Dealer:

Euro Source and Find Limited

Area:

Czech Republic

Imports:

Swift Holiday Homes

Web:

www.eurofind.co.uk

 

Dealer:

Caravan Centrum Roels

Area:

North East Belgium and Holland

Imports:

Swift Holiday Homes

Web:

www.caravancentrumroels.be

 

Dealer:

Degotte Caravanes

Area:

South West Belgium and France

Imports:

Swift Holiday Homes

Web:

www.degotte-jaspers.be

 

Dealer:

Direct Loisirs

Area:

France

Imports:

Swift Holiday Homes

Web:

www.directloisirs.fr

 

Dealer:

Ousitreham Loisirs

Area:

France

Imports:

Swift Holiday Homes

Web:

www.ouistrehamloisirs.com

 

 

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Guest JudgeMental
Most on that list are static's (holiday homes). Is Ireland a foreign country...fancy that...There goes the special relationship! Bye bye Scotland :-D
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Guest pelmetman
Had Enough - 2014-08-25 8:08 AM

 

Businessmen, despite what some appear to think, aren't totally stupid.

 

Have to agree with you there Frank :D................

 

 

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Brian Kirby - 2014-08-25 12:24 AM

 

Rayjsj - 2014-08-24 1:23 PM.........Why is the posistion of the habitation door any block on registering a British manufactured motorhome or caravan in Europe (France) ? isn't that a 'hinderance of trade' or some such breach of EU law ? After all, we allow it, although I'm not sure that we should be, for road safety reasons, but hey, we are all adults aren't we ? (well actually no, a child might not realise that the door leads them into the path of oncoming traffic). ................. Ray

As I recall Ray, the objection was on safety grounds. Whether a lack of door window added to this perception I don't know. It was felt unsafe for the passenger door to open onto the carriageway. I guess safety trumps trade! :-)

 

Except in Britain ! Regarding the above Swift list, not many Motorhomes in Europe amongst them.

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JudgeMental - 2014-08-25 10:11 AM

 

Most on that list are static's (holiday homes). Is Ireland a foreign country...fancy that...There goes the special relationship! Bye bye Scotland :-D

 

Only seeking to inform the discussion rather than pass judgement Judge. However, it does underline the fact that Swift, the largest UK manufacturer has ambitions overseas but only with regard to specific markets and specific products where presumably it can compete extremely well. In Europe it markets its more basic caravans (Sprite) which are more in line with European tastes. In Europe it appears to have no outlets currently for its motorhomes presumably because of the extremely competitive nature of that area of the market and the UK orientated specification of its current offerings. Importing LHD vehicles for export only in limited numbers will inevitably have a financial cost which may not be seen as worthwhile. Interesting that they have always been quite successful in Australia and New Zealand where presumably the UK specification of motorhome is more to their liking.

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Guest Had Enough
JudgeMental - 2014-08-25 10:11 AM

 

Most on that list are static's (holiday homes). Is Ireland a foreign country...fancy that...There goes the special relationship! Bye bye Scotland :-D

 

A quick glance shows that motorhomes are only listed for a couple of countries, Australia and New Zealand, both of which drive on the right. Hull has always been good at making static caravans and many sites in Europe will have British-made statics on them.

 

 

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Guest Had Enough
Rayjsj - 2014-08-25 1:50 PM

 

Had Enough - 2014-08-25 12:22 PM

 

I think that my mouse is sticking and clicking twice occasionally.

 

Where was it made ? (lol) (lol)

 

China probably.

 

China probably.

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