Information issued by the CIVD (the caravan industry association in Germany), says that since the beginning of the year, there have been more than 70,000 new registrations of caravans and motorhomes in Germany - an increase of more than 15 percent compared to the same period last year. This represents a new all-time high for this period.
The enthusiasm of Germans for caravanning as a form of vacation appears to still be growing. After the best half-year in its history (almost 55,000 vehicles), the new record for July was 16,112 newly registered leisure vehicles - a full 85.6 percent up compared to July 2019 and the highest figure ever achieved in Germany for a single month. The caravanning industry in Germany is, thus far, heading for a new record year.
In the first seven months of this year, 70,551 leisure vehicles were registered in Germany – more than ever before in this period and a strong increase of 15.3 percent compared to the same period in 2019.
This means that at this early point in the year, the result for the whole of 2018 was already exceeded. And this despite the fact that motor vehicle dealerships had to close for a few weeks in the spring following a decision by the Federal Government and the federal states to combat the Corona pandemic. This had led to a drastic temporary slump in new registrations.
With the easing of corona measures and the re-opening of dealerships, a strong catch-up effect set in during May, particularly in the motor caravan sector.
Daniel Onggowinarso, Managing Director of the caravanning industry association CIVD, reports: "Caravaning is in these times one of the safest forms of holiday, since one travels with a leisure vehicle individually and only with persons of the own household and is as far as possible self-sufficient by own sleep, living, cook and sanitary possibilities.
New registrations of motor caravans in Germany doubled in July to a new record of 10,943 vehicles. Since January, 50,570 motor caravans have been registered for the first time. This is an outstanding 23.8 percent more than in the same period last year and a new record for the first seven months of a year. This vehicle segment is, thus, well on the way to achieving its tenth consecutive record result.
New caravan registrations continued their impressive recovery in Germany in July, climbing by 61.7 percent to 5,169 units. This is the best result in almost 20 years. This means that the dramatic slumps in the "Corona months" of April and May have almost been made up for. With 19,981 makes registered for the first time, the caravan market is only 1.7 percent down on the previous year's result at the same time.
"The turnaround has also been successful for caravans. With the reduction in value-added tax, there is currently an additional incentive to purchase a leisure vehicle, so we are optimistic for the coming months," Onggowinarso said.
With total sales volume of 5.75 billion euros, the German caravanning industry achieved a good result in the economically difficult first half of the year. However, despite robust demand for motor caravans and caravans in Germany, revenues fell by 6.1 percent. The reason for this is the Corona-related weaker export of leisure vehicles made in Germany.
Business with new vehicles fell by 12.6 percent compared with the first half of 2019 to 3.1 billion euros. Motor caravans accounted for 2.66 billion euros of this figure, a drop of 10.3 percent. With new caravans, the industry generated sales of 442 million euros. That is 24.2 percent less than in the same period last year.
"Since new registrations have been on the rise again since June with the easing of the corona measures in Europe, it will probably only be a matter of time before we have made up for the dip in sales from the spring," says Daniel Onggowinarso, Managing Director of the caravanning industry association CIVD.
Sales on the used vehicle market in Germany grew in the first half of the year. Corona gave the sector a run on its products. Between January and June, the dealerships had a turnover of 2.15 billion euros in used caravans and motor caravans – a record. This represents an increase of 4.9 percent compared to the same period last year.
"The demand on the German used market partly exceeds the supply, since motor caravan and caravan owners want to use their vehicles right now and do not want to sell them," says Onggowinarso.
The accessories business, the industry's third business unit, declined slightly in the first six months (minus 5.5 percent) to just under half a billion euros in revenue. "Here, too, we expect sales to rise in the second half of the year," Onggowinarso says optimistically.
Caravanning has enjoyed increasing popularity in Germany for years. As people travel individually with a motor caravan or caravan and are largely self-sufficient with their own sleeping, living, cooking and sanitary facilities, this form of vacation is experiencing additional popularity in these times.
Beside new vehicles, used caravans and motor caravans are also in high demand. Altogether 100,363 changes of ownership of used leisure vehicles registered the Federal Motor Transport Authority in Flensburg since January. This is 3.2 percent more than in the first seven months of 2019.
"Due to the measures taken to combat the corona pandemic, motor vehicle dealerships had to close temporarily in the first half of the year. This caused the second-hand market to slump by around a quarter in April and May. Since June, the number of ownership changes has been rising sharply again," explains Daniel Onggowinarso, Managing Director of the caravanning industry association CIVD.
Since the beginning of the year, 53,881 motor caravans in Germany have changed hands. This is 12.9 percent more than in the same period of the previous year, despite a sharp drop in April and May due to corona. In contrast, the number of caravans transferred to new owners fell by 6.2 percent compared to 2019 to 46,482 vehicles.
Looking only at the past two months, the figures rose sharply by 34.6 and 21.4 percent respectively compared with the respective month last year due to catch-up effects.
"The Corona pandemic hit the market between March and May, particularly for caravans, which are more sensitive to economic cycles than motor caravans. However, this vehicle segment also managed to turn the corner with a massive increase in June and July. We are confident that the positive trend in both vehicle types will continue in the coming months," Onggowinarso said.
Since the vacation mode of caravanning is constantly gaining new supporters, ever more German motor caravans and caravans are on the roads. On the cut-off date of January 1, the number of vehicles in use rose to a new record of almost 1.3 million – around 7 percent more than a year ago. Roughly 590,000 motor caravans represent a strong increase of over 10 percent. About 700,000 caravans are 3.5 percent more than in 2019.