31 March 2023
31 March 2023, Comments Comments Off on Robert Crispens – MORELO
Robert Crispens - MORELO

First class motorhomes

MORELO stands for first-class motorhomes that are among the best in the world. With this idea, in just a few years, MORELO has become one of the most successful manufacturers of luxury motorhomes in Europe

The MORELO project started in 2010 with a single prototype at the Caravan Salon. Today, MORELO builds over 530 luxury vehicles a year in one of the most modern production facilities in Germany. MORELO currently offers eight series, has around 430 employees and is represented in Germany by over 15 trading companies. Reinhard Löhner and Robert Crispens are the Managing Directors of MORELO. The young family man, Robert Crispens, has already been very successful at MORELO. In addition to factory tours and customer contact, he still finds some time for the concerns of his colleagues and has become a valuable member of the MORELO family.

Aboutcamp BtoB: MORELO has been a phenomena of recent years, and entered a difficult market. How was the company born and how did it develop?

Robert Crispens: Over the past few years, MORELO has positioned itself as a top provider in the luxury motorhome market segment and is the leading manufacturer of luxury motorhomes in Europe. The company was founded by Jochen Reimann in 2010, and production started in 2011 in Schlüsselfeld. To make this breathtaking development possible, MORELO continuously invested in the expansion of the key plant. The most recent construction phase included the addition of a 3,600 m² production and machine hall, including a belt extension. Because sales and the exhibition hall have also grown by 715 m², the MORELO plant is now 15,300 m². Soon, we will build a large second workshop.

Aboutcamp BtoB: Who owns the company and what are its links to the Knaus Tabbert Group?
Robert Crispens: MORELO has been part of KNAUS Tabbert Aktiengesellschaft since 2020. However, we operate as a completely independent company.

Aboutcamp BtoB: What has been the largest number of vehicles produced in one year? And which year was this?
Robert Crispens: We have been able to continuously increase our production for almost 10 years. Thus, the past year, 2022, was our most productive year to date with 532 First Class motorhomes manufactured.

Aboutcamp BtoB: If a customer orders a MORELO today, how long is the wait to get hold of it?
Robert Crispens: It depends on which model our customers are interested in. For vehicles on an IVECO Daily chassis, for example a MORELO PALACE, the current delivery time is around 18 months. With the large models like our MORELO GRAND EMPIRE, our customers have to be patient even longer: the delivery time is currently around 24 months.

Aboutcamp BtoB: What area does the production site cover? How many employees do you have? What are the best practices you are most proud of?
Robert Crispens: At the moment we have a floor space of 130,000 m² which corresponds to about 20 soccer fields. Around 460 employees currently work at MORELO in Schlüsselfeld. We are very proud that in a relatively short time we have become the most popular brand for luxury motorhomes in Europe and that we enjoy a high level of brand loyalty from our customers.

Aboutcamp BtoB: Do you develop the design of your products internally or do you use external studios?
Robert Crispens: We have been working with a renowned design studio for many years which has built up the dynamic and unmistakable design language of MORELO and is consistently developing it further. The encouragement of our customers proves to us that we are one step ahead in terms of design.

Aboutcamp BtoB: Your motorhomes are among the most expensive RVs marketed in Europe today: how do you justify such a high price for your products?
Robert Crispens: Quite simply: the best materials and loving craftsmanship. More than 70 percent of the costs for a MORELO First Class motorhome are pure material costs.


Aboutcamp BtoB: Who is your typical customer?

Robert Crispens: Most of the time we are dealing with older couples between the ages of 55 and 70 – but they often feel a little younger. He is usually responsible for the technology, she likes to take care of the interior design. Our customers often want to enjoy their retirement after their working life and realize their dreams. Their hobbies are, of course, traveling, pleasure in all its facets and nature. They are financially well off, but want to know that their money is well invested and they always need reliable contacts.

Aboutcamp BtoB: Inflation, war in Ukraine and widespread uncertainty: do these factors, which are so prominent at the moment, influence the choices of your customers, or does the MORELO customer’s spending capacity and purchasing intentions remained unchanged?
Robert Crispens: During economic crises, the luxury segment is usually spared for a long time. Fortunately, the demand for our MORELO brand is unbroken. It is, of course, more difficult for average earners to make an investment or even complete financing one when inflation is high. Customers from the luxury segment usually have enough equity to be able to afford the purchase of a first-class motorhome without any problem. However, it is often precisely a crisis that accelerates a purchase decision, as customers become aware of which aspects in life they want to focus on.

Aboutcamp BtoB: Europe imposes many constraints on driving vehicles over 3,500 kg of gross mass. Does this limit the sales of your products?
Robert Crispens: Our vehicles start at a permissible total mass of 5.6 tonnes. Our latest model, the MORELO GRAND EMPIRE 120 GSB / GSO, has a permissible total weight of 26 tonnes so a truck driver’s license is necessary for this. For all other vehicles up to 7.49 tons, a C1 driving license or the old class 3 is sufficient – the latter for driving license holders who passed their test before 1999. Many MORELO customers would like to switch to the “liner class”, i.e. over 7.5 tons. For this purpose, we offer tailor-made courses for our customers in cooperation with a driving school, so that they can take the driving test directly at MORELO in a familiar environment.

Aboutcamp BtoB: On which market sectors are you present at the moment?
Robert Crispens: We focus exclusively on the luxury segment in the motorhome sector. We offer different vehicle classes, which differ in size and technical level. There are many customization options and we have never built two motorhomes that are exactly the same. Nevertheless, the options are limited, for example, in terms of wood colour or floor plans, although we offer a remarkably wide range of floor plans and equipment variants.

Aboutcamp BtoB: Are you planning an expansion to other markets?
Robert Crispens: Not yet. But as the old saying goes, “never say never.”

Aboutcamp BtoB: What does it mean to be a MORELO dealer? Are there any special requirements?
Robert Crispens: We require good expertise in the sale of motorhomes. A dealer has the task of providing customers with comprehensive support, especially in the after-sales area. This means that the dealer must demonstrate service competence in all areas that may be relevant for large motorhomes. This ranges from know-how in the field of GRP to carpentry, plumbing, electrics and vehicle technology – the spectrum is very wide.

Aboutcamp BtoB: The pandemic and the subsequent lack of supplies: what problems did you face? What is the current situation?
Robert Crispens: The Corona crisis also hit us hard. Luckily, we were able to keep production running with almost no major restrictions thanks to restructuring. Nevertheless, we were often unable to deliver many vehicles because we were missing important components – such as the toilet bowl. We currently have the situation under control, thanks to the great support from our suppliers.

Aboutcamp BtoB: How do you expect the premium class market to evolve in the coming years?
Robert Crispens: The Covid-19 pandemic has contributed to many people choosing to travel in their own motorhome as a safe and isolated travel option. A saying that has often been heard from our customers over the past two years is: “Now or never” – that says a lot. An important factor that could influence the growth of the market is the increasing development of technologies that can be integrated into luxury motorhomes. In the future, customers could have higher demand for RVs equipped with luxury technologies such as autonomous driving systems, intelligent monitoring systems and advanced entertainment systems. Overall, however, it is difficult to predict the exact evolution of the market over the next few years as it depends on many factors including economic, political and social developments.


Aboutcamp BtoB: What differentiates you from your competitors?

Robert Crispens: Our competitors also build beautiful motorhomes. Above all, we place customers at the centre of all our efforts. We want our customers to feel that they are in good hands and are understood.

Aboutcamp BtoB: Have you ever considered producing a vehicle for B licenses within 3,500 kg?
Robert Crispens: Of course, we think about these possibilities regularly, but there are currently no concrete plans in this regard.

Aboutcamp BtoB: Can you list 10 characteristics that make MORELO a unique vehicle?
Robert Crispens: Our motorhomes are designed, developed and built by motorhome owners for motorhome owners. They are technically mature and are continuously tested in practice. We are in constant dialogue with our customers and take their needs and wishes very seriously. We have high standards when it comes to design and function and are not satisfied with half-finished solutions. What we are proud of in our vehicles is that they are really suitable for winter. A trip to the North Cape in winter at -36°C? That’s no problem with a MORELO First Class motorhome. Our MORELO service centre with professional service points for all our customers’ after-sales needs makes a large contribution to customer satisfaction.

Aboutcamp BtoB: How do you retain your customers? Do you have partnerships with campsites? Do you organize events? Do you have specific marketing activity? Are you directly involved in user clubs and associations?
Robert Crispens: A few years ago we launched the MORELO VIP customer club. Membership is completely free for MORELO owners and enables great experiences that money can’t buy. For example, our event series MORELO am Ring: here we regularly set up our own MORELO fan camp directly in the paddock at the Nürburgring during well-known motorsport events and enable our guests to have unforgettable moments. We also ensure special moments on the MORELO Lapland tour: husky sled tours, snowmobiles, reindeer and northern lights – our guests experience all of this on a fully guided tour to the Arctic Circle. Finally, not to forget our annual MORELO OPEN: a festival of superlatives directly on the MORELO factory premises in Schlüsselfeld. Last year we were able to welcome over 800 motorhomes over four days, making it one of the largest motorhome meetings in Europe. But even in addition to our big events, we are always open to dialogue with privately run motorhome clubs, which we regularly welcome to our in-house parking space with 52 spaces, for example to invite them to MORELO factory tours. Motorhome owners, no matter what brand, are always welcome guests with us!