Caravan Industry & Park Operator contributor Andrew Jenkinson attended two of the biggest spring shows to report on the new caravan, motorhome and holiday homes hitting the market in 2019…
Glasgow’s SECC was the ideal venue for the Scottish Caravan, Motorhome & Holiday Home Show (except no free parking is available) but the February show still attracted folk, and with good weather the foot fall was high.
So what where the stars of the show? Well, motorhomes and campervans were in abundance so plenty of choice was available for those in the market for such vehicles. Tourers saw just a few Scottish dealers at the show with Knowepark, Duncan’s and Kirkcaldy caravans selling tourers. There was plenty of camping equipment and Pods for sale too, while no park homes were actually on display.
Holiday home makers included Atlas, Pemberton, Victory, Swift, Carnaby, ABI and Tingdene Homes.
Tingdene had a new Savannah with a country-style green interior – an alternative to the blue finish shown at 2018’s Lawns.
Atlas had two models on display while Swift brought several of their homes plus their new Toronto lodge. They also had their popular S pods too – again proving popular in the hire market.
Carnaby had their Envoy model on show with its new residential version proving a success (interior pictured). Sales director John Wigglesworth was very upbeat at the end of the show when we spoke to him on the Sunday evening.
ABI had their holiday homes on display complete with the Harrogate lodge. ABI report good interest as to the park operators who also manned manufacturer’s stands.
One park home operator, Laird Estates – who have several parks in Scotland – had a small stand. Father and son the two Bills had their wives also in attendance, showing the strong family business has a real commitment to park home owners.
Willerby had a strong presence, with several holiday homes including their new Castleton, which was launched at Manchester. Willerby also launched for first public viewing the Forest Grove – a twin lodge which comes with an integral front porch and modern interior. This show stopper at Glasgow was also popular at the NEC a week or so later. Willerby also brought their classic glass-fibre moulded 1957 Vogue tourer – which was a big attraction with some visitors asking if it was available to order!
Victory had their twin lodge on show, plus their new Atlantis and Westpark holiday homes. Sales had been steady during the show period, a Victory spokesman told us.
Pemberton had just one home on display, the Rivendale (exterior pictured) with its wood-look exterior, large wood beams and open plan lounge/kitchen area.
The Glasgow show proved, as always, a great show overall with tourers from all the major manufacturers plus several dealers’ special ranges from Swift, Bailey, Elddis and Coachman.
1 Willerby chose Glasgow show to launch its Forest Grove twin lodge joining the Juniper and Mulberry in their lodge range.
2 Interior of the Forest Grove wooed visitors
3 Retro style interior of the West Park
4 Laird Estates family have three parks in Scotland as well several more in England, it's a family affair as the Lairds look after the stand
Holiday home manufacturers up their luxury living game
Meanwhile, at the NEC’s Caravan, Camping and Motorhome Show figures were up, and that meant more folk were looking at holidaying in the UK, especially after the half decent summer last year. Hire fleet bookings were up, while new park investment was still going strong.
So what did the NEC offer? Motorhomes and campervans continued to be popular in the various halls. Tourers to were doing relatively well, but new models were few and far between. Lunar Caravans though had their new 8ft-wide, six-berth Quasar 696 model on show for the first time – which Lunar told us had attracted a good amount of sales. Knaus UK also had several new models on display as they continue to try and make inroads into the competitive UK market.
Holiday homes saw strong interest, as parks from various parts of the UK were at the show giving advice for buyers. Major manufacturers were in attendance: ABI, Swift, Willerby, Atlas, Carnaby, Regal, Prestige Homeseeker, Pathfinder, Omar, Victory and Pemberton showcased their best. Willerby didn't disappoint, with new Delamere park home being launched – a 40ft x 20ft – while its Rowan model which launched in prototype format at the October show was on display outside the NEC entrance. Willerby also had the new Forrest Grove lodge and Castleton holiday home, which launched at the Manchester show. The Willerby stand also boasted an innovation zone, with all the latest new heating systems coming into the Willerby product.
Swift made a splash with its Vendee lodge, which is more country-styled pastel furniture – a departure from the contemporary tones Swift usually use. Atlas had two new ranges on display: the Festival (an old Atlas name) and the Heritage, both offering value for money. Pathfinder, in collaboration with Hoburne Parks, showed their Hideaway with central lounge while Omar had their new re-vamped Wessex Dorset 42ft x 20ft park home launch which northern sales manger Donna Christie told us had gone down very well. Regal homes had several holiday homes on display and reported that had a good show. Victory Homes also found the NEC a good indicator to how the 2019 sales would be for the season. All in all, the show wasn't easy but sales were there for those who worked to get them in.
1 Willerby Park Homes division is moving fast, the successful Delamere had a new 40x20 model added at the NEC
2 Kitchen unit in the Delamere, this park home was always busy
3 Atlas Heritage is new range for 2019 launched at NEC, a few weeks earlier the company had a management buyout
4 The new Rowan from Willerby was on display by the main entrance outside