9 July 2021,
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Stellantis invests £100m in Vauxhall's Ellesmere Port plant for new era of electric vehicle manufacturing
Stellantis is investing £100million in Vauxhall’s Ellesmere Port manufacturing plant in the UK to transform the site for a new era in electric vehicle manufacturing. Ellesmere Port will become the first Stellantis plant to produce a solely battery-electric model, in both commercial and passenger versions, by the end of 2022, for Vauxhall, Opel, Peugeot and Citroën brands and for both domestic and export markets. This dedication to battery electric vehicles will go towards achieving the UK Government’s decision to stop sales of pure petrol and diesel engined vehicles from 2030.
Carlos Tavares, Chief Executive Officer at Stellantis, said: “Performance is always the trigger for sustainability and this £100million investment demonstrates our commitment to the UK and to Ellesmere Port. I particularly want to thank our highly skilled, dedicated workforce for their patience and contribution; we never let them down. Equally, I want to thank our partners the Unite Union for their open mindset and strong cooperation and, of course, the UK Government for their continued support. Producing battery electric vehicles here will support clean, safe and affordable mobility for the citizens. Since 1903 Vauxhall has manufactured vehicles in Britain and we will continue to do so.”
UK Government, Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, Kwasi Kwarteng, said: “Ellesmere Port’s proud tradition in auto manufacturing will continue for many years to come thanks to today’s investment. Stellantis’ decision to double down on their commitment to this site is a clear vote of confidence in the UK as one of the best locations globally for competitive, high-quality automotive production.
Today’s decision will not only power Ellesmere Port into a clean future, but will secure thousands of jobs across the region in the supply chain. In this global race to secure electric vehicle production, we are proud to support Britain’s auto sector in this crucial transition as we work to build back better.”
Stellantis is the LCV market leader in Europe and, in the UK, Vauxhall leads sales in the fast growing all-electric LCV segment.
The plant at Ellesmere Port will celebrate its 60th anniversary next year, having been built in 1962, and produced its first car, the Vauxhall Viva, in 1964. Since that time, it has produced subsequent generations of the Vauxhall Viva, the Vauxhall Chevette and then each generation of the Vauxhall and Opel Astra. In total, since 1964, it has built over 5.2 million vehicles.
This new era of manufacturing will see a transformation of the Ellesmere Port plant “fit for the future”, with a new body shop, upgraded general assembly, a compression of the site area and the creation of an on-site battery pack assembly. In addition, there will be further support to enable a pathway to carbon neutrality for the plant by the middle of this decade. The plant aims to be 100% self-sufficient for electricity and work will commence imminently on potential wind and solar farms.
Stellantis has also announced the intention to consult on further investment into the Ellesmere Port site with the creation of a new UK parts distribution centre.
From later next year, Ellesmere Port will build the following all-electric vehicles:
Electric Passenger Car
Vauxhall Combo-e Life
Opel Combo-e Life
These light commercial vehicles, and their passenger car variants, are all powered by a 100kW (136hp) motor with a 50kWh lithium-ion battery. They are able to be charged at up to 100kW and take just 30 minutes to charge from 0% to 80%. Under WLTP conditions, they are capable of up to 174 miles of range.
Vauxhall, Opel, Peugeot and Citroën brands have already committed to each offering all-electric versions of their entire respective van model ranges before the end of 2021. Fiat Professional is also committed to offering electrified and alternatively fuelled versions across its van range.
With rising LCV usage in urban areas, partly due to the growth in demand for online delivery services, these zero-emissions-in-use vans will make a significant contribution to reducing emissions in towns and cities across the country.
The passenger car version will enable families to enjoy a “zero emission” active life with up to 7 seats, benefitting from a modern high-tech interior, with great levels of comfort and adaptability and interior space, premium comfort and smart safety features.
Stellantis is one of the world’s leading automakers and a mobility provider, guided by a clear vision: to offer freedom of movement with distinctive, affordable and reliable mobility solutions. In addition to the Group’s rich heritage and broad geographic presence, its greatest strengths lie in its sustainable performance, depth of experience and the wide-ranging talents of employees working around the globe. Stellantis will leverage its broad and iconic brand portfolio, which was founded by visionaries who infused the marques with passion and a competitive spirit that speaks to employees and customers alike. Stellantis aspires to become the greatest, not the biggest while creating added value for all stakeholders as well as the communities in which it operates.
Travel to USA will be possible again soon for those who are fully vaccinated
Travel to the USA will be possible again soon, for those who are fully vaccinated, following the announcement that from November 2021, the USA will be removing most of the restrictions introduced in early 2020 as a result of the COVID pandemic.
This means the USA will be open to air travelers from 33 countries, including the UK and Europe, as long as all visitors can prove they are fully vaccinated. Previously, visitors from many countries were unable to enter the USA if it considered those countries to be high-risk with high cases of COVID variants.
The exact date for the lifting of restrictions in November has not been announced yet. Anyone planning to travel to USA from November onwards is advised to monitor the situation before confirming any travel arrangements.
This coincides with many other countries announcing they will soon be easing their own travel restrictions.
UK Government announces significant changes to rules on towing a trailer or caravan
The UK Government has announced some significant changes to its rules on towing a trailer or caravan with a car, that will come into place in autumn 2021, which will be good news for the British caravan market.
Currently, there are limits on the weight you can tow with a standard driving licence depending on when the person passed their driving test and got their licence.
Significantly, this meant that anyone who had got their licence from 1 January 1997 was restricted to towing a trailer weighing less than the unladen weight of the car, up to a total maximum authorised mass (MAM) of 3,500kg for the car and trailer. For these people to be allowed to tow heavier trailers, an additional driving test was required. This represented a significant issue for caravan manufacturers as it restricted the size of caravans that younger drivers could tow.
From 'autumn 2021' those who have licences issued from 1 January 1997 will be allowed to tow trailers up to 3,500 kg MAM when the law changes. An additional driving test is no longer required (or available).
The UK Government has also announced that the GB sticker required on the rear of UK vehicles travelling abroad will be replaced with a UK sticker from 28 September 2021.
Visitors to the 2021 Salone del Camper increase by 74% compared to 2020
Visitor numbers for the 2021 Salone del Camper increased by +74% compared to the 2020 edition, to get closer to the pre-pandemic numbers. The exhibition is organized by the Caravan and Camper Manufacturers Association (APC), and is the most important sector event in Italy and the second internationally.
There were almost 100,000 visitors this year, a record attendance for the 12th edition of the Salone del Camper at Fiere di Parma, Italy.
Nearly all the major brands chose the Salone del Camper to present their latest models and a large number of enthusiasts met here, attracted by the large showcase of vehicles and accessories.
There were 200 exhibitors from 15 countries with 600 models on display, of all shapes, sizes and prices. Almost 453 accredited media (journalists, bloggers, influencers and YouTubers) published 920 articles published, numerous reports on the most important national television stations and great success across social media channels.
The buoyancy of the sector was evidenced by a visit by the Minister of Tourism, Massimo Garavaglia, emphasizing the importance of investing in a sector that is becoming the driving force for the recovery of the tourist industry.
Massimo Garavaglia has ensured the interest in investing in the construction and important resources to be made available to local authorities for new parking areas. He asked the sector operators to define the quality standards to invest adequately, with an offer that meets the expectations of tourists.
Antonio Cellie, the CEO of Fiere di Parma commented: “We close the 12th edition of the Salone del Camper at Fiere di Parma with a result that goes beyond all expectations. It is the recovery show, which after the difficult but strongly desired 2020 edition, looks to the future with great optimism. A result that rewards the work done, in the belief that the growth trend of en plein air tourism has transformed from a contingent phenomenon into a structural one. A world of new enthusiasts has entered this sector and has no intention of abandoning it”.
The interest in open air tourism has also given impetus to the sector market which has seen the Italian production of motorhomes exceed all previous records, registering an increase of 50%.
Simone Niccolai, president of APC said: "The increase in demand highlighted in the last year is reflected in the interest shown in the Salone del Camper, which has seen an increasing number of newbies alternating between the stands to learn more about the world of itinerant vehicles ".
Niccolai also emphasizes the quality of the exhibitors who have chosen the Salone del Camper to present their new products.
Next year's Salone del Camper will run from 10 to 18 September 2022.
Dometic acquires two more brands in the outdoor sector: Cadac International and Igloo
Dometic is acquiring two more brands in the outdoor market - Cadac International, the provider of premium barbecues and accessories, and Igloo, the provider of passive cooling boxes and drinkware products.
Cadac had net sales of approx. EUR 17 million in 2020, with a good operating margin. This transaction strengthens Dometic’s product offering and distribution network for the growing vehicle based outdoor market.
Cadac products are sold primarily across Europe through a network of more than 600 dealers and their own B2C e-channels. The company is privately owned and has approximately 40 full-time employees.
Dometic has identified the vehicle based outdoor market as a strong growth opportunity as more and more people spend time outdoors using a vehicle or boat as the base. Cadac, with its offering of premium outdoor barbecue products, is a perfect fit to Dometic’s existing offering of cooling boxes, tents, mobile power solutions and other outdoor equipment.
"I am pleased to welcome Cadac and its employees to Dometic. With this acquisition we are strengthening our offering and distribution network for the growing outdoor lifestyle market. Our strategy for profitable expansion in Mobile Living is built on a combination of organic and acquisitive growth. This is our seventh announced acquisition this year and our pipeline of potential future acquisitions remains strong." says Juan Vargues, President and CEO of Dometic.
The transaction price for Cadac has not been disclosed. Closing is expected to take place during the fourth quarter of 2021.
The acquisition of Igloo will significantly strengthen Dometic’s offering and distribution network for the outdoor market in North America. Dometic will acquire Igloo for USD 677 million, on a cash and debt free basis. Closing is expected in Q4 2021, subject to regulatory approvals.
Net sales of Igloo for the previous 12 monthswere USD 401 million (a growth of 24%), with an EBITDA margin of 10.1%. Sales and cost synergies are expected to generate annual improvements on EBITDA of approximately USD 50 million, to be realized within five years.
The acquisition of Igloo is a major step in Dometic’s strategy to continue grow in the attractive outdoor industry and creates a strong base for further growth globally.
"I am excited to welcome Igloo and its employees to Dometic. This acquisition is in line with our strategy to position Dometic as a more consumer driven, less cyclical company in the fast-growing outdoor business. North America is the largest market for cooling boxes and outdoor products, and with Igloo’s strong brand recognition, consumer knowledge and local manufacturing capabilities, we are getting the necessary tools to further drive our sales and margin expansion." says Juan Vargues, President and CEO of Dometic.
"Igloo has shown strong sales growth, market share gains and margin improvements in recent years, driven by both commercial and operational initiatives. Further sales and cost synergy activities will be implemented to generate continued improvements." continues Juan Vargues.
"Our strategy for profitable expansion is built on a combination of organic and acquisitive growth. This is our eighth acquisition this year and our pipeline of potential future acquisitions remains strong." says Juan Vargues.
Igloo is a global provider of passive cooling boxes and drinkware products for the outdoor market. Founded in 1947, Igloo is perceived as one of the leading manufacturers in the world with an iconic brand, a wide product range and strong consumer orientation. With 92% of net sales in the US and products available in more than 90,000 retail stores globally, Igloo also has its own fast-growing direct to consumer sales channel.
Igloo has its own manufacturing facility in Texas, products are primarily manufactured inhouse giving cost benefits, flexibility, and short lead-times for the North American market. Igloo has 1,100 employees and is headquartered in Katy, Texas.
“I am extremely proud of everyone on our team who has worked so hard in building Igloo into an iconic American brand.” says Dave Allen, President and CEO of Igloo Products Corp. “As part of the Dometic Group, we look forward to combining our resources in order to accelerate innovation and growth across the globe.”
Igloo is currently owned by the private equity group ACON Investments, which acquired the company in 2014.
The global market for cooling boxes and drinkware is a growing 8 billion USD market fueled by the outdoor trends visible across the world. Igloo has a clear number one position in this market in the US. Combined with Dometic’s global presence and product offering of both active and passive cooling boxes, drinkware and fast-growing range of other outdoor products, the acquisition is expected to create a strong base to further grow in the outdoor segment. It will also reduce sales cyclicality for Dometic, as it broadens the sales exposure from “high ticket discretionary spend” to ”low ticket discretionary spend”.
Le Salon des Véhicules de Loisirs starts in Paris on 25th September
The leading caravan and motorhome exhibition in France, Le Salon des Véhicules de Loisirs, will be open for its 55th edition from 25 September to 3 October 2021 at the Parc des Expositions de Paris - Le Bourget.
Last year's show was cancelled due to the COVID pandemic, but in 2019, the show welcomed 102,000 visitors for its 54th edition, two-thirds of whom are loyal visitors who visit the every year.
The 2021 show is spread over four halls covering 200,000 m². The show sits alongside the Düsseldorf and Parma shows as one of most important in the leisure vehicle sector in Europe .
At the Parc des Expositions de Paris - Le Bourget, visitors can benefit from a large outdoor car park dedicated to motorhomes for visitors to the Show.
Le Salon des Véhicules de Loisirs asks each visitor to bring a HEALTH PASS, and will not offer a PCR test on site. The document presented by the visitor must include the QR CODE entitled 2D-DOC present on all COVID certificates. This obligation will apply to 12-17 year olds from September 30.
One of these three proofs is sufficient:
1. Vaccination, provided that people have a complete vaccination schedule and the time required after the final injection, namely:
2. Proof of a negative test within 48 hours.
3. The result of a positive RT-PCR test attesting to recovery from Covid-19, dating at least 11 days and less than 6 months:
It is imperative that the document presented by the visitor includes the QR CODE entitled 2D-DOC present on all COVID certificates.
MDC becomes first off-road camper importer to obtain RVMAP Accreditation from Caravan Industry Association of Australia
MDC Camper Trailers & Offroad Caravans (MDC) recently became the first offroad camper trailer and hybrid caravan importer to obtain the voluntary RVMAP accreditation from Caravan Industry Association of Australia.
MDC has been working with the Caravan Industry Association of Australia for over 12 months regarding its RVMAP accreditation application.
“We are incredibly excited and proud to be the first offroad camper trailer and hybrid caravan importer to display the RVMAP badge on our products” said Managing Director of MDC, Mr Vaughan Hindley.
“As a company, MDC has always strived to provide the best possible products to market for the benefit of our customers, so achieving RVMAP accredited status really allows us to genuinely demonstrate this commitment”, he continued.
While initially relating to those products emanating from MDC’s Brisbane Assembly Facility, both MDC and Caravan Industry Association of Australia continue to work towards accrediting units produced from assembly facilities in Melbourne, Perth and Adelaide as soon as travel restrictions associated with COVID-19 allow RV products to be inspected.
Caravan Industry Association of Australia CEO, Mr Stuart Lamont praised the team at MDC, after recently visited their Brisbane operation: “RVMAP accreditation is not handed out lightly, with ongoing evidence of a business’s commitment to supplying product which complies with relevant Australian Design Rules and other Federal construction compliance regulations required to be RVMAP accredited.”
To obtain RVMAP accreditation, an extensive review of products and processes must be completed to the satisfaction of the RVMAP team of compliance engineers, over several inspections.
The Caravan Industry Association of Australia has opened up over 3,000 audit files in the past four years inspecting against Federal compliance commitments, while providing advice to RVMAP businesses regarding their compliance obligations.
Stuart Lamont commented: “With more and more brands and RV products on the market, it is important that consumers have the best possible information available in their purchasing decision. With the amount of work undertaken by our team of engineers in assisting RVMAP businesses, it is no wonder that they identify nearly four times as many compliance concerns in products supplied by businesses which are not part of RVMAP as opposed to RVMAP accredited businesses."
“As Australia’s largest distributor of imported RV product, it was encouraging to see the effort being taken by the team at MDC to make sure their products are supplied to the market in accordance with Australian regulations.”
Products from MDC’s Brisbane facility will carry the RVMAP “International” badge representing to consumers that these products originate from off-shore.
MDC Camper Trailers & Offroad Caravans (MDC) is family owned and run and has been operating for 14 years. Throughout this time, it has established eight showrooms, making MDC one of Australia’s largest distributors of campers and caravans with over 30,000 units sold nationwide.
Recreational Vehicle Manufacturing Accreditation Program (RVMAP) is a voluntary industry accreditation programme for manufacturers and importers run by Caravan Industry Association of Australia. The programme mirrors those Federal construction standards under the responsibility of the Vehicle Safety Standards branch of the Federal Department of Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development and Communications.
Caravan Industry Association of Australia regularly inspects new RV product by RVMAP businesses and provides guidance to meeting their ongoing compliance obligations. There is a substantial and positive difference in average compliance issues identified between RVMAP businesses and those outside of RVMAP. Businesses are licenced to use a RVMAP key on any product supplied to market under a current RVMAP licence agreement.
Truma receives the “LUPO” award for outstanding customer service
The German Caravanning Trade Association (DCHV) has presented Truma with the “LUPO” supplier and partnership award for 2021 in the “Supplier” category “for providing exemplary support to Service Partners during the maintenance and service of products”.
The award was presented to Truma by Matthias Euch, member of the DCHV Committee, and Kai Dhonau, DCHV president.
As a professional association for specialist caravan dealers with around 320 member companies across Germany, the award gains a great deal of attention throughout the sector.
According to the DCHV, Truma received the award for the following reasons: Specialist caravans dealers are facing great challenges due to the increased demand for workshops. On top of this, a shortage of specialists and workshop workstations, which cannot be simply extended at the drop off a hat, are standing in the way of capacity being increased in workshops of specialist caravan dealers. The continuous further training of service staff in order to further optimise workshop processes, as well as suppliers providing support make an important contribution towards taking the pressure off workshops.”
The following was also praised: “Thanks to the continually increasing self-service range, Truma provides online support to customers to help them solve minor issues and problems themselves, if necessary. In doing so, Truma is taking exemplary steps towards relieving the workload of the service team, who are involved in processing straightforward, frequent yet on the whole time-consuming requests. Truma Assist is another exemplary development, which Truma uses to provide online productive support to service staff in the workshops in the case of analysing faults, offering valuable tips for swiftly eliminating malfunctions. Equipped with service hotlines, a qualified Truma field service and the option of being able to submit warranty claims digitally in a simple manner, Truma is making significant contributions towards supporting specialist dealers.”
Truma was delighted to receive this award, particularly as comprehensive customer service is a cornerstone of its strategy. Every day, around 1800 Truma Partners and around 500 Service Partners from Germany and beyond ensure that technical problems while travelling are eradicated as swiftly as possible, in a friendly and professional manner, knowing that they are playing a vital role in customers having confidence in the Truma brand.
“The award confirms that we are heading in the right direction by providing campers with such a sophisticated and comprehensive service infrastructure. This also forms part of the Open Innovation, which we will be drawing on in future. Along with our community, we want to make travelling safer, with increased comfort and digital channels. This goes hand in hand with offering excellent customer service. The basis for this is the deep level of trust our customers have in us”, says Michael Peikert, Head of European Retail Management at Truma.
Truma develops and manufactures products at its site in Putzbrunn near Munich and has branches in the UK, Italy, Sweden, the USA, China and Australia. Every day, 800 Truma employees around the world offer customers reliable premium products and excellent service. Truma is a top employer and a Top 100 company – one of Germany’s most innovative small and medium-sized enterprises. (www.topjob.de and www.top100.de).
Filippi starts 50th anniversary celebrations
Filippi 1971, the Italian company supplying RV furniture, started its 50th anniversary celebrations at the recent Caravan Salon in Düsseldorf - it's 18th consecutive year at the show.
In its 50 years of history, Filippi 1971 has changed a lot, especially since 2000 when it decided to enter the RV sector. It has gradually implemented a radical conversion of its production, passing from the tradition of solid wood to the use of plywood panels. This conversion involved new machinery, production processes, suppliers.
After introducing the production of melamine panels, in 2004, Filippi 1971 also included the processing of laminate panels. In 2017, an internal carpentry department was created, capable of manufacturing high quality furniture items.
The company has continually invested in machinery, but the excellent specialized staff who come from the valleys of the Bergamo area, where Filippi 1971 is based, are also important. In recent years, staff numbers has increased a lot and today 80 people work in the company.
To celebrate the company's 50th anniversary, employees will be invited to a company outing as a way to celebrate this important milestone together, but also a useful team building opportunity.
"It is exciting to work with such a well-established and close-knit team," explains Francesca Filippi, marketing manager of Filippi 1971; "and our family owes a lot to its employees and collaborators. It was not easy to enter the RV world, but in the last 20 years we have worked hard and invested a lot: today I can proudly say that our professionalism is recognized even by those who are not yet our customers. We are open to new experiences and we are talking with various European manufacturers," said Francesca Filippi.
Although 70 percent of Filippi's 1971 turnover comes from the RV sector, the company is also active in other areas, such as furniture design and the nautical sector.
Thetford used the Caravan Salon Dusseldorf's Virtual Technology Days to showcase its latest news to those unable to attend
Thetford took part in the Virtual Technology Days during the Caravan Salon Düsseldorf to introduce its new products and explain its latest developments to those who were unable to attend in person.
"We move from product development towards value creation, with iNDUS, smart sanitation system and our new PowerPods as great examples. We keep it cool with our updated compressor refrigerators which take another step to being more sustainable. And, we are going more and more digital, but still love to stay connected!" says Norbert van Noesel, Thetford marketing manager.
Thetford's presentation can be viewed here:
Italy is ready for the 12th Salone del Camper in Parma from 11 to 19 September
The biggest caravan and motorhome show in Italy, the Salone del Camper, opens in Parma on Saturday 11th September and runs until Sunday 19th September 2021.
There are 200 confirmed exhibitors from 15 countries occupying 150,000 square meters of space over five pavilions, each with different themes: Caravan and Camper, where the most important European companies in the sector are present; Vehicle Accessories and complements to make your holiday even more comfortable; Shopping, with products for outdoor life and for small spaces; Percorsi e mete(Routes and destinations), tourism promotion section to learn about ideal places and destinations for tourism in freedom.
The event is organized by Fiere di Parma and the APC – Caravan and Camper Manufacturers Association and has a vast range of recreational vehicles for visitors to see, ranging from those who go on adventurous trips looking for an agile and practical motorhome will find 210 models of semi-integrated models, to interesting coachbuilt motorhomes for families who want more space on board. For long-term and demanding campers, there are over 100 models of integrated vehicles on show, and campervan fans will have 205 models to see from the most prestigious brands.
Other news and events for this year's show include: “Cucinare in Camper” (Cooking in the motorhome) to “Camper Facile: a scuola di camper” (Easy camper: a motorhome school). Without forgetting stage photography, book presentations, the Outdoor & bike area, the “Amici a 4 zampe” (4-legged friends) area, the Giardini del Salone (Salone gardens) and Kinderheim, the tent in the woods, a special space for childcare and entertainment.
This year the Salone del Camper has also expanded its offer with Percorsi e mete: not only motorhomes and accessories, but also travel ideas. Experiential itineraries, like the Friuli-Venezia Giulia Wine and Flavours Route or the thousand shades of the Marche region, from the sea to the mountains, passing through the ancient villages and cities of art, without forgetting the local products and excellent wines.
Antonio Cellie, CEO of Fiere di Parma commented. “All the major brands are present with the latest news in the sector: more than 600 models to meet the expectations of enthusiasts, who have been meeting every year since 2010 at the Salone del Camper. The exhibition is aimed at those who have made the motorhome a philosophy of life, but also looks carefully at a new frontier of travellers, who increasingly seek contact with nature and want to move freely. The future of tourism is more and more outdoor: passions join traditional itineraries, so here is the combination of motorhome and bike and the search for a new way of enjoying free time. The Salone del Camper at Fiere di Parma is ready, with a complete exhibition and initiatives always in line with new trends”.
The high number of the major manufacturers at the Salone del Camper is an indication that the sector is expanding. The growing passion for motorhome travel is reflected in the data, which is constantly growing. “The trend in registrations in the first half of 2021 in Italy,” underlines Simone Niccolai, president of the APC, “was extremely positive: +38.36% over the same period of the previous year, with over 4,800 new registrations. The Italian production of motorhomes has surpassed all previous production records and [our country, ed] confirms itself as the third manufacturer of motorhomes in Europe, after Germany and France: in the first half of the year, the increase in the production of motorhomes in Italy it was 75.16% compared to the first half of 2020. In addition to the demand from the domestic market, the sector is driven by tradition, also and above all by exports. In Europe, in fact, in the first 4 months of the year, the average increase in registrations of motorhomes and caravans was as much as 45.7%, with Germany largely in the lead for the number of new registrations”.
The editorial staff of Aboutcamp BtoB could not miss this event and will be in Parma in the first days of the event. If you want to meet them, send a message to [email protected].