20/01/2022

20 January 2022
20 January 2022, Comments Comments Off on Europe: sales of new RVs rose 9.9 percent in 2021 – the most successful year in the history of the European caravan industry
Europe: sales of new RVs rose 9.9 percent in 2021 - the most successful year in the history of the European caravan industry

“We’re extremely pleased with the record-breaking sales growth achieved in 2021 – nearly 260,000 new caravans and motor caravans sold. And this despite the daunting market conditions currently faced by the industry as the result of the Covid pandemic and the attendant raw materials shortages and supply-chain challenges. And so we feel that the outlook is excellent for 2022,” said Jost Krüger, General Secretary of the European Caravan Federation (ECF), “given that the popularity of holidays in caravans and motor caravans is at an all time high in Europe.”

This past year was the most successful in the history of the European caravanning industry. The 259,393 new caravans and motor caravans sold in the European market as a whole in 2021 exceeded the record result of 2020 by 9.9 percent. As in past years, proportionally speaking Germany was the sales leader in the European market, with 106,138 caravans and motor caravans sold – and this despite the fact that sales of new vehicles declined by 1 percent relative to the record sales achieved in 2020. Substantial sales growth was once again achieved in the Swiss, Belgian and Finnish markets, where sales of new caravans and motor caravans reached 10,815, 8,376 and 3,636 units respectively. And in the Austrian market, impressive sales growth amounting to 47.5 percent was achieved, with 5,851 vehicles sold. Sales were also up in The Netherlands, France, Sweden and Denmark, by 24.4 percent, 19.4 percent, 17.2 percent and 10.3 percent respectively.

Sales up in nearly all European markets; the UK market bounces back

Only three European markets registered sales declines relative to the prior year. The 5,762 caravans and motor caravans sold in Norway represent a 1.4 percent decline. And although the German market accounted for 41 percent of all sales of new caravans and motor caravans in the European market, sales were down 1 percent relative to the prior year. Sales in the UK were up 16.2 percent, with 32,207 caravans and motor caravans sold. “It’s very gratifying to see that the UK, one of the most important caravanning markets in Europe, has been able to bounce back from the adverse effects of Brexit and has gotten back on track with a double- digit sales increase,” said Krüger.

Record sales of new motor caravans

Apart from Norway and Portugal, where sales of new motor caravans were down by 9 percent and 12.6 percent respectively, sales of new motor caravans rose throughout Europe, and in a number of markets in the double digits. Overall, sales of new motor caravans rose by 13.2 percent in Europe, to 181,299 vehicles – an all-time high. This is the fifth consecutive year in which the previous year’s sales record for motor caravans was topped; and overall, sales of these vehicles have more than doubled since 2010. This achievement is mainly attributable to the numerous sales records that were broken in the various European markets. The most robust growth rate for the sale of new motor caravans in the European market was registered in Austria, with 58 percent sales growth and sales of 4,691 motor caravans. Slovenia was the runner up in this regard, with 35.7 percent sales growth and 422 motor caravans sold; Finland in third place with 32.8 percent sales growth and 2,634 motor caravans sold; followed by Switzerland with 26.3 percent sales growth and 8,498 motor caravans sold; and Sweden with 26.3 percent sales growth and 5,066 motor caravans sold. Particularly gratifying in this regard is the sales growth achieved in 2021 in France and the UK, Europe’s second and third largest markets respectively. In the French market, sales were up 23.5 percent with 30,822 new motor caravans sold, and in the UK sales rose by 12.3 percent, with 14,160 new motor caravans sold. As in the past, Germany is by far the largest market for new motor caravans, with sales growth of 4.3 percent and 81,20 vehicles sold in 2021.

Demand for caravans in Europe continues to rise

Growing demand for caravans in the European market was reflected, in 2021, by substantial sales growth – although in terms of numerical tallies, not quite as robust as for motor caravans. A total of 78,094 new caravans was sold in the European market in 2021. In this sector as well, Germany was the sales leader, with 24,718 new caravans sold – which, however, represents a decline of 15.2 percent relative to the prior year. Sales growth was achieved in all other European markets, however, in a number of cases in the double-digit range. In The Netherlands, sales were up 22.6 percent with 8,521 caravans sold; in Austria sales rose by 16.2 percent with 1,160 caravans sold; and Spain registered a sales increase of 14.1 percent with 1,926 caravans sold.

“The 18,047 new caravans sold in Europe’s second largest market, the UK, clearly indicates that the demand for caravans in the UK has bounced back and that the dampers on consumer demand occasioned by Covid and Brexit have now abated,” Mr. Krüger noted. Having achieved 5.2 percent sales growth, with 7,446 new caravans sold, France was relegated to fourth place by the Netherlands.