Sales of recreational vehicles have risen substantially during the year of the pandemic. New registrations in Germany for 2020 until December exceeded 100,000 – an increase of 28 percent compared with the same period last year. This has more than compensated for the losses following the spring lockdown. 2020 is turning out to be the fourth record year in a row for the sector – a caravanning boom that has also benefitted the Erwin Hymer Group (EHG). Full order books and a production pipeline that is full for months ahead mean that Europe’s market leader in recreational vehicles is even in the process of increasing its workforce, hiring nearly 400 people in the first quarter of its 2020/2021 fiscal year (August - October 2020).
EHG CEO Martin Brandt: “Against the odds, it’s not only manufacturers and dealerships that have withstood the crisis exceptionally well. Because motorhomes are self-contained, it has enabled them to live up to their promise of more freedom and self-determination, and to prove themselves as ideal for vacationing while observing social-distancing requirements. Many of our customers have also been able to react flexibly to temporary travel restrictions and enjoy their vacation.”
Dinner in your motor home
It turns out that motorhomes are able to ride out the crisis outside the main vacation period, too. For instance, during the current partial lockdown, an increasing number of restaurants with suitable parking arrangements are offering lunch or dinner in customers’ own motorhome. The idea behind it is that diners with motorhomes receive their meals not as takeaways wrapped in aluminum or Styrofoam, but served in their motorhome in compliance with COVID regulations – in proper style, complete with porcelain dishes and table decorations. It’s an opportunity being enjoyed by more and more campers. For instance, a German Facebook group where many restaurants post their offerings already has nearly 23,000 followers. Clicking on the digital map provides information on participating restaurants. Martin Brandt: “Examples such as motorhome dining show that our vehicles really do expand individual freedoms – within the scope and spirit of the applicable rules. Even in partial lockdown, campers can eat out in style and enjoy once again the flexibility of caravanning.”
Holiday visiting with a motor home – keeping contact intensity to a minimum
The EHG CEO is also convinced that campers can feel more relaxed about the forthcoming holidays: “Visiting relatives with your motorhome minimizes the intensity of your contact with them. Many of our vehicles have their own on-board bathrooms, making them completely self-contained. And even when it gets cold outside, it’s still warm and cozy inside.”
He looks forward to 2021 with optimism: “2020 has been a tough year, during which motorhomes, caravans and camper vans have proven themselves able to guarantee a relaxed and safe vacation – while delivering a high degree of individual freedom and self-determination. These positive experiences, as also reported by countless camping newbies, will ensure that enthusiasm for caravanning will continue to grow.”
About the Erwin Hymer Group
The Erwin Hymer Group is a 100 percent subsidiary of Thor Industries, the world's leading manufacturer of recreational vehicles with more than 22,000 employees worldwide. The Erwin Hymer Group unites motorhome and caravan manufacturers as well as motorhome and caravan accessory specialists, hire and financing services under one roof. The motorhome and caravan brands Buccaneer, Bürstner, Carado, Crosscamp, Compass, Dethleffs, Elddis, Eriba, Etrusco, Hymer, Niesmann+Bischoff, Laika, LMC, Roadtrek, Sunlight and Xplore, the motorhome rental companies McRent and rent easy, and also the chassis specialist Goldschmitt, the accessories specialist Movera and the touring portal freeontour all belong to the Erwin Hymer Group.