20 October 2022
20 October 2022, Comments Comments Off on New registrations in the German caravaning sector: third-best result despite difficult conditions
New registrations in the German caravaning sector: third-best result despite difficult conditions

In the period from January to September, a total of 78,011 new leisure vehicles were registered in Germany. This is the third-best result in the history of the industry for this period. Although this means that new registrations are around 13.6 percent down from the previous year’s level, they clearly still top the pre-Corona years. With 21,110 units, the Caravan Division has recorded a slight decline of 2.7 percent in the year to date. 56,901 newly registered motor caravans represent a drop of 17 percent compared to the record figure from 2021. The industry is short of materials and components due to stagnant supply chains, especially for vehicle chassis. Added to this is the industry-wide shortage of personnel.

The trend toward mobile, independent holidays close to nature began long before the pandemic and continues: Many people spend their leisure time with motor caravans or caravans – and the trend is still growing. “Motor caravans and caravans continue to be in high demand and manufacturers’ order books are filled to the brim. The pandemic has given this long-term trend a further boost,” explains Daniel Onggowinarso, managing director of the Caravaning Industrie Verband (CIVD). Despite the great popularity of this form of vacation, the German caravanning industry reported fewer new registrations for the first three quarters compared to the previous year:
At 21,110 vehicles, new caravan registrations are around 2.7 percent below the level of the previous year. At 56,901 units, the motor caravan sector also reported a 17 percent drop compared with the record year of 2021. With a total of 78,011 leisure vehicles, the sector nevertheless achieved the third-best result in industry history for the first three quarters.

The high demand for vehicles faces problems in production and delivery. Several developments are responsible for this:

  1. Faltering supply chains have also been a burden on the caravanning industry for more than a year. There is a shortage of materials and components across all sectors. Vehicles often cannot be delivered because individual components are missing. Prices and availability of numerous materials and components are constantly changing. Companies lack the planning certainty they need.
  2. In motor caravan production the lack of vehicle chassis is clearly reflected in the new registration figures: companies lack basic chassis, which is why ordered motor caravans cannot even go into production. This mainly affects the classic motor caravan models and vans. Only in the case of ultra-compact campervans does the supply situation look somewhat more positive. In order to have more vehicle chassis available, more and more companies are entering into new cooperative ventures with base vehicle manufacturers, so the diversity of brands in this sector is increasing. Manufacturers producing both types of vehicle have increasingly focused on caravan production in recent months in order to avoid production gaps.
  3. Companies across all sectors are reporting an acute shortage of skilled workers. Like other sectors of the economy, the caravanning industry is experiencing a high number of staff absences due to the pandemic. In addition, there is a fundamental shortage of young skilled workers. In order to counteract this, the CIVD has developed a new specialization called ” caravan and motor caravan technology” for the discipline of “bodywork and vehicle manufacturing mechanic “, which is specially tailored to the demands of the industry. The planned start of specialization is August 2023.

“It’s a frustrating situation for everyone involved. Under normal conditions, the industry could build and deliver significantly more vehicles. But in view of the problems in production, dealers and customers unfortunately have to wait longer than usual for their motor caravans and caravans,” Daniel Onggowinarso sums up.

However, the lower new registration figures compared to the previous year are no reason for the CIVD Managing Director to be pessimistic about the future: “This year, our industry will not set any new registration records. However, we are still well above the values of the pre-Corona years for motor caravans and have achieved the third-best result of all time overall for the period January to September. Given the extremely difficult conditions, this is a very solid result and shows how well the caravanning industry has responded to the crises.” Manufacturers and suppliers are hoping for an easing of the supply situation in the coming year: “As soon as vehicle chassis and components are more readily available, companies will be able to process their orders more effectively again and realize shorter delivery times,” Daniel Onggowinarso continued.