Motorhome retail and manufacture has been big business in the UK for a long time now but over the last few years we’ve certainly seen changes in the way the motorhome market works. The financial crisis has, of course, had a serious impact on the amount of money consumers are willing and able to spend on life’s luxuries like motorhomes and the complimentary products – motorhome insurance, accessories and holidays – that go with it.
Towards the end of last year we saw a spate of mergers and acquisitions both in the UK and in Europe with several firms going bust in the space of just a few months. The recovery was led by several bigger motorhome manufactures that came in to buy out the smaller firms.
The news hasn’t got much better however, as earlier this week Wigan manufacturing firm Vanmaster, which operated both as Vanmaster Caravans and the well-known Bentley Motorhomes, was forced to close its doors as sales just weren’t meeting up to the costs of production. Twenty members of staff were made redundant in the process.
It’s not yet known whether Vanmaster will be able to find a buyer, though as a reputed brand with a high-quality marque, it’s quite possible that someone will step in to rescue the firm. Partners are still optimistic that either one of the two brands could return to production at some point.
At the other side of the scale, it’s not all bad news for the motorhome market. This is one of the first casualties of the financial crisis we’ve seen this year after what was a very tough 2012 for motorhome manufacturers. It could be that the economic crisis is starting to draw to a close and soon it will be business as usual for the firms that have suffered over the past few years.