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UK CARAVAN INDUSTRY CELEBRATES SUCCESSFUL YEAR

Published: 15/02/2008

The caravan industry is booming as is celebrates a successful year in 2007


 

National Caravan Council reports that sales of touring caravans, motorhomes, caravan holiday homes and park homes are up
Sales of leisure caravan products topped 69,000
Record numbers of motorhomes on British roads

The trade association for the UK caravan industry, the National Caravan Council (NCC), has announced that 2007 was a very successful year, with sales of all caravan products proving popular. The combined total for leisure vehicles sold in the UK topped 69,000.

NCC members manufactured 32,050 touring caravans last year – an increase of more than 9 per cent over 2006. With imports, this brings the UK market for tourers to an estimated 35,000 sales; when the European Caravan Federation releases its final ’07 figures, this is expected to be the largest number sold in any European country by some considerable margin.

The number of motorhomes registered in the UK in 2007 was 11,646 – the highest ever figure. This shows another year of steady growth on the previous year’s figure of 11,069 and follows a decade of rising sales.

Sales of caravan holiday homes rose by 12 per cent to 23,150 while sales of park homes (caravans built to residential standard BS3632) increased by nearly 15 per cent to over 2,600.

John Lally, Director General of the NCC, said: ‘All caravan products sold well, even though it was not the easiest of market conditions. Motorhome sales were record-breaking, while touring caravans and caravan holiday home sales showed healthy growth.’

Looking forward to 2008
Caravan products tend to be purchased by the over 50s – down-sizing empty nesters, for example. Predictions for 2008 remain cautious among most of the industry’s gurus.

Chris Witham, of Explorer Group (touring caravans and motorhomes) remarks: ‘Caravans and motorhomes are high-ticket items that people can probably do without if they really have to. However, we are better insulated than other industries because our customers tend be at or approaching retirement age, and are often pretty well sorted financially.’ Brian Mellor of Lunar (touring caravans and motorhomes) agrees: ‘History books show that the caravan industry tends to protect itself at times like this.’

Bruce Harry of Atlas Leisure Homes said: ‘We see this year as more challenging, with the overall market consolidating. Mid to upper retail markets are still showing strength, while lower to mid markets are weaker.’

John Lally (NCC) cautions that the summer floods did have an effect on last year’s sales. Flood damaged caravans were replaced by insurance companies and both touring caravans and holiday homes were utilised to house flood victims temporarily.

Randall Thomas, Editor of Glass’s Guide to Caravan Values concludes: ‘Any success will be hard won against a backdrop of an even more difficult economic climate. Indeed, most we have spoken to would consider that achieving the same transaction volumes and, more importantly, profits in 2008 as they had in 2007 would represent a satisfactory result.’

More information about caravans and caravanning can be found at www.thecaravan.net

For more information visit National Caravan Council.

 

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