11 January 2022
11 January 2022, Comments Comments Off on Erwin Hymer Group and Ford agree on strategic partnership
Erwin Hymer Group and Ford agree on strategic partnership

Ford and the Erwin Hymer Group (EHG) have signed a framework agreement for the delivery of light commercial vehicles of the Ford Transit and Ford Transit Custom series as basis for recreational vehicles and completed motorhomes.

In addition, a strategic partnership has been agreed that includes a shared view of future customer needs and the legal framework. At its core, it is about topics such as emissions legislation, electrification, digitization, connectivity, and the integration of driver assistance systems. Ford also closely integrates EHG into the product development process. With the agreement, both companies are responding to the caravanning boom that has been going on for the past eight years.

Ford is the leading manufacturer of light commercial vehicles in Europe. Thanks to the framework agreement, the company can diversify further and thereby open new, high-growth market segments.

EHG, the European market leader for motorhomes, is broadening the base of vehicle suppliers for its various brands and thus improving the ability to deliver, which has been restricted by the semiconductor crisis. As part of Thor Industries, the world’s largest manufacturer of leisure vehicles, EHG also sees an advantage in the cooperation in the fact that Ford, as a global company, produces the Transit series not only in Europe, but also in North America and China.

The cooperation decided today, focuses on the Ford Transit panel vans and low-frame chassis and Ford Transit custom station wagons, which are used as the basis for camper vans, semi-integrated and alcove motorhomes from the EHG brands. The basic vehicles will be produced in the Ford plant in Kocaeli /Turkey and will be delivered in instalments from 2022 to 2024. Ford is investing, among other things, in expanding production capacities in Kocaeli and is also strengthening its organizational structure in various European and German corporate divisions.

EHG actuates a growth segment, in particular, through the Ford Transit Custom series, as these vehicles are suitable as the only vehicle in the household due to their versatility and compact dimensions. With the Transit Custom, Ford offers vehicles that are maneuverable and therefore also usable for city traffic, with a modular structure. The version with a pop-up roof, which is available for both wheelbases, is enjoying increasing popularity. Because not only most parking garages, but also many parking spaces are unusable for vehicles over 2.20 meters due to height restrictions.

This is not the first business agreement for the two partners. In the early 1980s, the Ford Transit was the basis for the Hymercar – the first camping bus from the Hymer brand. In 2004 Ford and Hymer agreed on the delivery of Ford base vehicles for partially and fully integrated camper solutions as well as for alcove conversions.

Martin Brandt, CEO of the Erwin Hymer Group: “The two Ford Transit series convinced us as the base vehicles for our brands. Our customers will particularly appreciate their diversity, innovative assistance solutions and attractive design. Ford has also given us a clear strategy for developing its commercial vehicle business in Europe. We therefore see an ideal prerequisite for further expanding the long-term partnership.”

Hans Jörg Klein, Deputy Chairman of the Management Board of Ford-Werke GmbH: “At Ford, we have many years of experience and a great passion for mobile homes. We are all the more excited that our two commercial vehicle series Custom and Transit – and especially the new versions ‘Active’ and ‘Trail’ – have convinced the Erwin Hymer Group and that we are now able to supply another equally strong and innovative partner. We are thus participating in one of the fastest growing vehicle segments in Europe.”

Demographic change in particular means a new challenge for providers of motorhomes, but it is also an opportunity for growth. On the one hand, 45.1 percent of all new motorhome registrations in Germany in 2020 were in the 55 to 64 age group. At the same time, however, camping is changing into a lifestyle topic that is also attracting more and more young people – singles and families. This changes the overall requirements for mobile homes. On the one hand, this applies to modern floor plans, clever furnishing solutions, trendy accessories and fresh exterior colors including two-tone paintwork. On the other hand, it is about the flexible use of the vehicles – from mobile workplaces to permanent living in a motorhome.