14 September 2017
14 September 2017, Comments Comments Off on Matjaž Grm – Adria
Matjaž Grm - Adria

Chief of sales and marketing department of Adria Mobil


Mister Matjaž Grm became chief of sales and marketing department in Adria Mobil in the year 2008. Since then, Adria Mobil has become one of the three biggest manufacturers of leisure vehicles in Europe. We spoke with mister Grm about the successes of the last year, the prizes they received and the sales success of their vehicles.

Words Rok Vizovišek

The year 2016 was the most successful for Adria Mobil in history and the company reached two records, in the financial field with the biggest overturn in its history and also in sales. Can you tell us more?
I can’t speak about the financial result yet, but it is true, in the year 2016 we reached a record overturn of business. It has grown 20% in comparison with the previous year and we sold more than 13 000 units, motorhomes, vans, caravans and mobile homes.

The market demand in the season 2017 is amazing. The interesting topic is that most of the manufacturers are increasing the production and total production in this year is going to reach 220 000 units. Is Adria Mobil also going to increase the production?
I Think it is just euphoria. The numbers, actually based on the average of the last three months, are estimated on projection of 220 000 units: this means that the total production is going to rise for 25%. But we know that the total number of vehicle registration won’t reach that number. I doubt the production will reach that number. In the second half of the year, the production will decrease, my estimate is about 200 000 units, which would be the limit in comparison with the number of vehicles registered. That number will increase for 10%, which means a growth from 170 000 to around 190 000 units.
In the last year the whole caravanning industry produced an excess of 15 000 units, that is why we have to be careful with predictions fort his year. It is interesting that the big players in the market don’t share the same opinion. In Adria Mobil we won’t succumb the euphoria, because we don’t want to increase the problem.

In the last years Adria Mobil is one of the trendsetters in the European market of leisure vehicles. You received many different prizes from the specialized media and also from the professionals (Innovation Award), some weeks ago you also got an award for business excellence. How did the company switch from a traditional manufacturer to a trendsetter?
In my opinion Adria Mobil managed to transform in the time of crisis in the years of 2008 and 2009. Not because of the outer factors, which did accelerate the process of renovation, but because of the change of approach, from a very traditional one to a more market and customer oriented. This didn’t come over night, but the crisis and distress did help. I think we reached a good correlation between power of Adria Mobil’s distribution network throughout Europe on one side and technology and product management on the other side. This was one of the key features and with that we managed to introduce professional design in our production. After seven years of consistent work we can see first results. The process is a triangulation between market demands, technology and professional design and it brought us numerous innovative solutions, that a traditionally oriented manufacturer could not introduce in the market. It is not for sure that every innovation will succeed. For that you need courage and good marketing communication, which help the end customer to understand the benefit of the solution and makes the product successful in the market.

All of your trendsetter models are also sales success: Adria Matrix, Aviva, the new Sonic and Compactc SLS. What’s the key of success?
I communicate a lot with our competition. When they say, we have to introduce more and more novelties, because at least one of a ten will be successful, I can’t agree. We say it different: we innovate, but we take time to think what we will offer to the market. We have a rule, that is tha nine of a ten innovations must be successful. Just trying all the time and produce inflation od innovations, is not my mantra. We offer less innovations, but they are more elaborate and market targeted. Our distribution network trusts us, which helps us that we can reach a sales success with every novelty. It is not just made with thought on design and technology, but also well communicated in the market.

Adria Compact SLS shocked everyone on the Caravan Salon two years ago. It was simply totally different from the competitors. Where did the idea come from?
Ideas always get born by individuals. I am not an expert but I have general knowledge, an overall view of the project. Adria Mobil has many people with technological knowledge, many people with ideas. I think that it is this mixture of expertise perspective that helped to realize this project. We had an understanding of slide-out technology and we had a technological solution, that was a bit different than the solutions already on the market. The dilemma was in which product it will be implemented. So the idea was that the slide-out should be mounted on the smallest motorhome, where it best solves the problems associated with a reduced space. There are many different applications of slide-outs in leisure vehicles. For Adria there was a big need of space enlargement in the Compact series, so we mounted a bigger sleeping area in our compact vehicle.

Without any doubt we can say, the Compact SLS is a great success. How many vehicles were sold?
I can’t reveal the numbers. I can say that sales totally exceeded our expectations. The sales of the Compact series doubled with the implementation of the slide-out model Compact SLS and SCS.

So the implemented solution was developed especially for the Compact series?
Well, the solution was developed especially for our company, Adria Mobil. First it was made for our Australian market, for a caravan with a slide-out wall. It was successful and technologically sound. After that we implemented it in the Compact series, as a slide-out extension of the back wall. As we installed it, Lippert Component worked with their European partner.

Lippert Components is a renown manufacturer of components for leisure vehicles. Can you tell us more about the cooperation? Can we expect more solutions from this relationship?
We know Lippert Components from the American market, but in the last year it has become very active and also well known also on European market. Then they acquired the Italian brand Project2000, a European producer of equipment for leisure vehicles, such as electrical steps, electrical lifting bed systems and carriers for LCD TVs.

Last year Compact series got another model, the Compact SCS. How successful was that one?
It is very clear which models can be sold in different markets. The new model Compact SCS was made for the French market. With that solution we also implemented the central bed into a compact vehicle.

In France, Adria Compact has a cousin, the Elios CarVan series. Is that an independent brand or is it a part of the Adria brand?
It is an independent brand that is sold exclusively in the French market. It was made to cover a part of the market in which we see great opportunity in the future. It is a segment of small, so called, city leisure vehicles, with a modern style and attractive appearance. It is sold through a separate distribution network, but in the French market all the models of Adria Mobil are also sold.