Ideal start to the season at the National Boat Caravan & Outdoor Show
Date: Wednesday, April 04 @ 20:55:41 EDT
Topic: Motorhome News
• Swift achieve all-time record sales of motorhomes
• Bailey have their second best National Boat Caravan & Outdoor Show without a product launch
• The Explorer Group are confident that the industry is “buoyant”
• 80% of show visitors intend to return in 2008
This year’s National Boat Caravan & Outdoor Show saw the ideal start to the season for major caravan and motorhome manufacturers as 104,371 people (figure certified by ABC Audit) attended the nine-day show at the NEC in February.
This year’s show brought 28 per cent more paying visitors to the industry than any other UK caravan and outdoor exhibition (according to ABC figures), and over 80 per cent of the visitors stated their intention to return in February 2008.
For the exhibitors, Swift Group made all-time record sales of motorhomes after selling £10 million worth and achieved a further £10 million in sales for their touring caravans. Avondale achieved high sales figures for their new lightweight Dart 630-6 tourer as they sold out on their first two production batches while at the show.
Bailey of Bristol had their second best ever result at the event with over £4 million worth of retail orders, which was achieved without the benefit of a new Series model launch. The Explorer Group also had good sales for their Elddis, Compass and Buccaneer’s brands with the group’s Sales and Marketing Director, Martin Henderson, stating that the industry is still very “buoyant”.
Autotrail similarly had a successful February show, making £8 million worth of sales. A particular success story for them was the industry’s reaction to their new Cheyenne 840D. Scott Stephens from Autotail said: “This new model clearly took the motor home market by storm and was regarded by many as the best model of its type.”
The show hosted numerous launches for the industry, notably Auto-Sleepers who unveiled their brand new Peugeot Sigma EK and EL models; Lunar Caravans launched their new Chateau 530; Bilbo’s celebrated their 30th anniversary with unveiling their Bilbo’s/Westfalia ‘De zine’ preproduction model; and Coachman launched their 6-berth twin-axle Amara 640/6. There was also the European launch of Burstner’s Argos A747-2 which included the popular A747-2 tag axle remodeled on the new Fiat Ducato X250 chassis.
The Caravan Club had a lot to celebrate at the show with their Centenary and the unveiling of the ‘Caravan of the Future’. The Club invited designers, engineers, caravan fans and enthusiasts to enter the competition where they asked people to think about the changing ways in which we enjoy our leisure time and the new technologies and materials at our disposal. They received over 300 entries and the winning design was by Bristol-based duo Paul Burchill and Hervé Delaby. The prototype of the winning design, the Cargo S, was built by Bailey of Bristol.
David Moran, Managing Director of show organisers Ocean Media Group, said: “The caravan and motorhome industry has become very competitive over the last few years, with the increased interest in the outdoors and caravanning, as well as the new designs that are coming from Europe. Throughout this though, the National Boat Caravan & Outdoor Show has kept its status as being the UK’s leading caravan and outdoor show.
“For 46 years it has proved to be a show that delivers - for consumers, dealers and manufacturers. We are currently reviewing the feedback from visitors and exhibitors from this year’s show and as a result we will be announcing some new and exciting developments for our 2008 show over the coming months.”
A selection of exhibitor testimonials:
Richard White, Swift Group
These excellent retail results reflect the hard work that has been done throughout the company to create market-leading new products. The February show provided the icing on the cake with the debut of several new tourer models and the final phase of our new motorhome programme – the launch of the top-end Kon-Tiki and E700 ranges.
Scott Stephens, Autotrail
The NEC show in February proved to be yet another fantastic retail sales result for Auto-Trail VR Ltd with retail sales in excess of £8 million pounds. The February show still proves to be an extremely important time of year for customers to choose new Motorhomes.
Simon Howard, Bailey
We’re very happy with the show. We’ve had our second best year at the show without the benefit of a new product launch.
Jim Hibbs, Coachman Caravan Company
We are, of course, delighted to have had such a successful show.
Ian Knowles, Burstner
From a pure sales point of view I am happy with the results of the show.
Jack Brown, Broad Lane Leisure
Awning sales are 30% up on last years NEC and almost double the sales from October. I am very satisfied with the show and attendance.