A family-run caravan manufacturer is celebrating 70 years of production by bringing out an anniversary model. Founded in 1948, Bailey Caravans is the longest-established UK independent designer and producer of leisure vehicles. Over seven decades, the company has grown to become one of the UK’s favourite caravan brands, accounting for approximately one in three new caravan sales. It is also one of the largest producers in Europe and, since 2011, has produced motorhomes. The firm exports to markets as far afield as Australia, New Zealand and South Korea.
The first of the Bailey caravans was built by Martin Bailey in his garage in Bristol in 1947, and sold at Ashton Gate market for £200. A year later, F G Bailey Ltd was formed. The company developed rapidly throughout the 1950s, and in 1977 the company was purchased by Patrick and Stephen Howard. Bailey Caravans Ltd, as it now known, has remained in Howard family ownership ever since.
Today Bailey employs over 600 local people across its three sites in Bristol and currently manufactures 7,500 leisure vehicles per year to generate an annual turnover in excess of £130million. It has plans to re-develop its existing 14.5-acre site in the next five years, relocating its Parts Direct operation to north Bristol and its Large Panel Laminating Plant (where it produces caravan sides, ceilings and floors) to north Somerset.
Bailey's managing director Nick Howard said, “We are tremendously proud to be the UK’s longest established leisure vehicle manufacturer and would like to thank everybody in the extended ‘Bailey Family’, which includes our customers, retailers, supplier partners and of course our employees, for the part they have played in our continued success over the past 70 years.”
Bailey Caravans kicked off its 70th anniversary celebrations in style with the launch of the Pegasus GT70 range. Available in limited numbers, its introduction follows the established Bailey tradition of special edition ranges, such as the Ranger GT50, to mark key moments in its history. The six-model GT70 line-up is based upon the popular fourth-generation Pegasus range but includes a number of key specification upgrades as well as some unique aesthetic enhancements to represent the best of everything Bailey stands for in terms of quality, design and value.