2 Nov 2010

International Caravan and Motorhome 2010 with P&O Ferries

This year we went along to the International Caravan & Motorhome 2010 show at the NEC.
It was a great day out with plenty to see and do, from looking in the new style caravans and motorhomes to entering competitions and giveaways,

Our friends and I were able to look around the caravans without being harassed by salesmen to purchase or put down a deposit.

Food at the show was plentiful with stands selling fresh produce at the Farmers Market and also there was plenty of stalls giving away free tasters and samples.

All-in-all we all had a great day out, I have already chosen the style of caravan that I would like to upgrade too ... its just a shame that we are skint!  Oh well we can wish :)

Some news from the show:

The Big Launch

Key sponsor P&O Ferries had one of the busiest stands thanks to its generous offer of a free Dover-Calais crossing to anyone purchasing a new motorhome or caravan at the show. Over 150 new owners made a booking on the first day, with even more expected towards the weekend.

P&O was also highlighting the two new ships that will be serving the Dover-Calais route from early 2011. An investment of over £200 million will result in the largest ships ever to service the route at 210 metres long, and although almost %50 bigger than the outgoing fleet the capacity will remain the same, meaning more space for passengers as well as improved facilities. The new ferries will also accommodate any size of motorhome or caravan but on the car deck rather than with freight for added peace of mind.

Space For All

At the busy Elddis stand there were two debutants in both the motorhome and caravan ranges. The Aspire range is a new luxury offering from the firm in the up to £50,000 segment, and to meet the customer interest Elddis are in the process of setting new franchises to offer all three models in the range. The public got their first viewing of the Aspire at the show and the response from the public has been strong.

Commercial Director Chris Whitham explained: “It’s been a really amazing response from the public and an interesting response from our fellow competitors who also manufacturer motorhomes. It’s nice to get some positive feedback about how nice the product really is.”

Elsewhere on the stand the Avante 554 attracted lots of attention, not least from Practical Caravan magazine who gave it an award for its ideal family layout. The innovative interior arrangement came from an internal competition to come up with a new layout, and the end bathroom with twin bunk beds leaves a generous open space at the other end for a comfortable double bed.

Really Smart

RS Motorhomes are well known for their high-end vehicles but at this year’s show they unveiled the new A-Class and van conversion, both of which are designed to appeal to a broader range of customers.

Ian Lowe, Sales Manager for RS Motorhomes explained: “Traditionally we’ve had two models, the Evolution and Endeavour that originated from the motorsport market, but now we’ve developed these new models for the leisure market with a third to follow next year. We’ve had a lot of pre-show activity with people contacting us and making appointments to come and see us at the show specifically to look at these new models.”

Also pulling in the crowds was the impressive Envoy, with an electric tailgate that rises up to reveal a parking space big enough to fit a Smart car. At £225,000 it won’t suit every budget but it also reflects the quality of workmanship regardless of the purchase price.

The Real Deal

Bailey caravans were enjoying lots of visitors to their stand with most of the attention being focused on the new Unicorn range. The third model to benefit from the innovative Alu-Tech construction, the Unicorn is a top of the range product that moves Bailey into a new sector, and the high-end Madrid and Almeria versions were seen for the first time at the show. With the reassurance of a 10-year bodyshell warranty and the comfort of Grade 3 insulation, the Unicorn range was a popular exhibit.

Simon Howard, Marketing Director of Bailey commented: “Certainly this year we’ve found that the most active sector has been the top of the market, and it has been people replacing existing caravans as against a new one you’re looking at around £6,000 to change. On the first day of the show we were 10% up on the same day last year, which was our best-ever day previously.”

Top Class

The focus of the Adria stand was the new A-Class Sonic motorhome, making its debut at the show. The distinctive exterior design has good aerodynamic performance for reduced running costs, while the interiors give an open and airy feel with a contemporary design. The new models have been attracting the greatest interest from buyers with many orders placed on the first day alone.

Kirstie Howe of Adria commented: “We wanted to try and fit in more with the UK market so we now have UK suppliers for our exterior graphics and the soft furnishings on our caravans. We’ve launched a U-shaped lounge which has been extremely well received, we’ve also worked hard on bringing an entry-level motorhome range back into the market under the £40,000 mark.”

Happy Hobby

The impressive range of products on the Hobby stand included the new 750HRL, designed specifically for the exacting standards of the UK market. The rear door has been placed on the near side and the lounge is at the rear with a drop-down bed above it, something not seen on motorhomes of this type before and an ideal compromise over a fixed bed.

Peter Hercberg, Motorhome Business Manager for Hobby Motorhomes was delighted with the interest: “The response to that is phenomenal: it’s already won an award with Which Motorcaravan – very pleasing on its first showing over here. In the UK we’ve managed to increase our market share – we’re now Hobby’s biggest export market. “

Another interesting product is the Slim Tower fridge, exclusively available in Hobby products. Although still 146 litres in capacity the Slim Tower is much narrower and taller, taking up much less space and allowing greater flexibility in the cabin layout.

For more news and information on the show, please visit www.caravanshows.com.

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