Coachman Sales Increase

Despite a tough market Coachman are thriving
Despite a tough market Coachman are thriving

Thursday, 21, Mar 2019 11:09

By William Coleman

Hull based caravan manufacturer, Coachman caravans, have seen a huge rise in sales following what has been a tough time period for the industry as a whole. They have also seen more success as KABE have purchased a percentage of the business.

Coachman's sales numbers in 2018 saw a massive rise of £3,000,000 in a time period that saw doubt and uncertainty throughout the country, due to the fluctuation of the GBP and that small Brexit topic, and most of its industries, especially new caravan sales.

Out of all the caravans that are built here in the UK Coachman currently have just under 10% of the entire output, a number they maintain almost every year.

With a staff of 185 at their Amsterdam Road HQ they were able to increase their revenue from £33m to £36.7m. Despite this increase in turnover their overall profits were down from £1.6m to £1.5m.

A New Acquisition

Proving that caravan holidays are just as popular on the continent as they are here in the UK Swedish based KABE have bought 21.5% of Coachman Caravans.

This brings some quite exciting prospects for the UK market as Coachman prepare to bring over some exclusive models to the UK. One of which I saw at the NEC in February, and it was a high end motorhome that will have a lot of heads turning.

Elliot Hibbs, managing director at Coachman, said: "The caravan market had a challenging year in 2018, and the biggest pressure was with currency.

"That is why our profit margin was down a little bit. We did however have a full order book and built more than 2,000 caravans last year.

"That boils down to the product being better. We have a focus on quality, and giving the consumer the confidence to invest in a new caravan."

The family business was started way back in 1986 where Coachman would build between 800-900 caravans a year. Over the years this number has grown significantly and in 2012-13 Coachman were making roughly 1400 vans a year.

Not being one to flounder in success Coachman have pushed their production line to manufacture 2,000 vans in 2018 and are well on track to duplicate that number for 2019.

Mr Hibbs said of the KABE acquisition last year: "For us it was good partnership. They are a family business like we are, and they approached us because we share a lot of the same values as them.

"It came a little out of the blue for us, but it will enable us to collaborate in product development and purchasing, as well as the exchange of production technology."

Now Coachman find themselves in quite an enviable position where they are facing the challenge of being able to produce enough vans to meet the high demand.

"On the back of the warm summer we had in 2018, people will look at purchasing new motorhomes," he said.

"I am very confident, moving forward, that the caravan sector will have a good few years ahead of it. Now we need to give people that confidence to buy a caravan,`` continued Mr Hibbs.

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