Record numbers of motorhomes and campervans have been sold in the past year, as the growth in UK holidays continues.
A total of 16,608 new motorhomes were registered with the DVLA in the 12 months from 1 July 2020 to the end of June 2021, an 8.25% increase on the previous record of 15,342 in the same period in 2018/2019 (pre-COVID). The total value of sales of new motorhomes is the highest it has ever been, now nearing £1.15 billion p.a. Campervan sales are particularly buoyant.
There are many factors involved in the success of motorhomes – not just the growing trend for staycations when overseas travel is so limited. Motorhomes give access to the countryside, facilitating a variety of outdoor leisure pursuits. The connection with the great outdoors helps with physical and mental health in an ‘always connected’ world. On the other hand, technology such as Wi-Fi has turned working from home into working from anywhere. Breaks without hanging around airports and with the flexibility to ‘get up and go’ and explore the UK are increasingly appealing.
John Lally, Director General of the National Caravan Council (NCC), the UK trade association for the leisure vehicle industry (touring caravans, motorhomes and holiday caravans, commented: “COVID-19 restrictions on travel have helped, as the industry offers ‘social distance by design’ products. The industry is successfully attracting a new, younger customer while retaining existing ones.”
The record level of production of motorhomes to satisfy this growing market is even more impressive given many UK industries are faced with empty order books and a struggle to obtain raw materials and labour due to a combination of Brexit and the pandemic. Even last year, when manufacturers and dealerships were closed in the first lockdown, the industry managed to achieve 9,964 registrations in the July 2019 – June 2020 period.
Mr Lally continues: “It has been a challenge for firms to meet the demand, but they have risen to it and the resourcefulness, dependability and professionalism they showed is reflected in these record figures. Motorhome manufacture has become a British success story as firms have a well-deserved reputation for design and innovation which, coupled with investment in more sophisticated production processes, helped to see them through these unprecedented times – and grow.”
The National Caravan Council (the NCC) is the UK trade association for the touring caravan, motorhome, caravan holiday home and residential park home industries.
The NCC represents more than 550 companies across 850 different UK outlets and is the only UK trade association that represents the entire supply chain, including holiday &residential parks, dealerships, manufacturers, workshops, and suppliers of specialist services and products.
Major motorhome manufacturers include Auto-Sleepers Group (Worcestershire), Auto-Trail (Grimsby), Bailey of Bristol (Bristol), Elddis (Consett, Co Durham) and Swift (Cottingham, Hull).
There has been almost continuous growth in UK motorhome production since 2000 when just 4,798 vehicles were registered; 2019 was a record year.
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