3 April 2023
3 April 2023, Comments Comments Off on Stuttgart – CMT 2023
Stuttgart - CMT 2023

A genuine success

After two years of absence, the most important event capable of uniting the themes of itinerant tourism and caravanning, the CMT exhibition was back in Stuttgart in January 2023 and attracted 265,000 visitors. There were 10 halls and 1,200 vehicles on display, which was a massive result achieved by Messe Stuttgart

Words editorial staff

Roland Bleinroth

CMT Stuttgart is back. After two years of absence due to the problems caused by the pandemic, in January 2023 the halls of the German trade fair, which describes itself as the “world’s largest consumer fair for tourism and leisure”, reopened to the public with great success: 265,000 visitors came in during the nine days it was open, 80,000 of which came on the first weekend alone. “Our expectations were greatly exceeded,” said Roland Bleinroth, President of Messe Stuttgart. “We welcomed 265,000 visitors to the Stuttgart Trade Fair Centre. Our exhibitors were also very satisfied: the visitors not only looked at and compared the offerings, they also made purchases and placed orders. This CMT is one of the best we have ever experienced.”

The success of recreational vehicles, with almost 91,000 units registered in Germany in 2022 (the third best result ever for the German caravan industry), was well demonstrated by the wide variety of vehicles on display, totalling around 1,200, which expanded to occupy seven of the 10 halls available. The fact that the areas dedicated to tourism and leisure had been slightly downsized did not affect the success of this part of the event, which was full of initiatives. In addition to the well-known side events – dedicated to cycling and hiking tours, golf and wellness trips, cruises and boat trips – there were many other innovations this time.
“The networking meeting entitled ‘Future Tourism’, the presentation of the ‘Sustainable Holiday Destination’ Award by TourCert, the new Award of the Corps Touristique for international understanding and the kick-off event on tourism cooperation between Baden-Württemberg and the Grand Est region proved that we are examining and also implementing future topics.” said Guido von Vacano, Executive Vice President of Messe Stuttgart.
The extensive professional visitor programme was another successful fearure. Around 40 events were offered through the CMT business platform. Whether it was the Baden-Württemberg Tourism Day, the RadRunde, the Green Caravaning Symposium, the New Mobility Design Congress or the Bus Tourism Day – CMT’s special program attracted around 30,000 interested people to Stuttgart. Visitors to the trade fair appreciated the extensive programme offered. On average, visitors spent five hours at the show getting information from exhibitors and viewing the vehicles on display. Almost a quarter of them traveled more than 100 kilometers to get to Stuttgart, and 11% come from Bavaria. The interest of visitors for the tourist offers and for the products in the camping area was almost equal. The parking area for caravans and motorhomes and the additional parking spaces of the “Motel CMT” were also very popular: the fair recorded a record number of 9,667 vehicles parked overnight.

Caravanning: high demand in all sectors

Hermann Pfaff

CMT 2023 has been a huge success for the caravanning industry, as summarized by Hermann Pfaff, president of the Caravaning Industry Association, CIVD: “The visitors here did not just include people wanting to look at the exhibits, but also those with a genuine interest. CMT is also an important indicator for the caravaning industry at the start of the new season. Our presence went down very well with the visitors, it was a successful start to the new year!”

Matthias Euch

Matthias Euch, a member of the Executive Committee of the German Caravan Trade Association (DCHV), concurred: “It was fantastic to see how many visitors were here, we had an incredible number of initial contacts. The suppliers were delighted with the great interest shown in all areas of caravaning, in all vehicle categories and in the after-sales segment – and were able to conclude some excellent deals. We also welcomed the product innovations and digital solutions which are becoming increasingly better and making business easier.”

News and innovations

Among the halls dedicated to caravanning we found many new products and original ideas. We would like to present a selection for you here

If the CMT was a success both in numbers and in content, it is imperative to try to understand what trends are emerging in the world of recreational vehicles. Speaking with operators, three topics seemed particularly “hot”. The first is an indication of a return to normality in deliveries of Fiat chassis, which weighed decisively on the 2022 deliveries results. The second is the rise in prices, which is forcing manufacturers and dealers to face a new type of public, less aware of the intrinsic value and unable to make comparisons with previous years. This also entails the need for educational and informational content. Finally, the third important signal is that in the last two years all the manufacturers have tried to optimize the layout and product portfolio, with the result that the number of ‘novelties’ have been reduced. But the clear sign that this crisis has left is the multiplication of mechanical base vehicles on which motorhomes are built: if, up until two years ago, the undisputed leader was the Fiat Ducato, now manufacturers have heavily diversified and are also using chassis that previously struggled to emerge in this sector, such as Man TGE and the Volkswagen Crafter. In this regard, the policy of the Knaus group is typical as it now offers a portfolio based on five different platforms: Fiat, Ford, Mercedes-Benz, MAN and Volkswagen. In the background, the strong interest in caravanning was consolidated by a varied public. Despite everything, several innovations were presented.

LMC - www.lmc-caravan.com

Part of the Erwin Hymer Group, LMC took advantage of the CMT to show a prototype for the public to judge: the Innovan 592, on a Ford base, combines the characteristics of its camper vans built on Fiat Ducato and Ford Transit, with total compactness (599 cm in length) and the convenience of twin beds (also convertible into a huge double bed). To achieve this, the design effort to recover the necessary centimeters concentrated on the service area: the kitchen and the bathroom. In the first case, LMC has adopted a sliding worktop: when working in the kitchen, it moves to the right, covering the foot of the bed (under which a pantry unit is also hidden), while when not needed, it overlaps the stove area. Thanks to its ability to hold up to 40 kg, it can also be used to house an espresso coffee machine. The wall of the bathroom, with a mirror, rotates 90 degrees to free up the space for showering, but also has a foldable sink and a retractable toilet which, when not needed, retracts under the bed on the left.

Dethleffs - www.dethleffs.it

The German company, also part of the Erwin Hymer Group, has not shied away from the need to expand its offer of base vehicles. Thus, in addition to the Just Go range that was announced at the Caravan Salon in Düsseldorf, the new generation of the compact semi-integrated Globebus was unveiled at the CMT in Stuttgart, which also acquire the name Go and switch to the Ford Transit. As in the past, the range is made up of two models, characterized by a width limited to 220 centimetres, a height that stops at 269 centimetres and two length measurements: 599 and 669 centimetres. The Globebus Go T15 and T45 share the lsame front layout, with a semi-dinette assisted by two swivel seats in the driver’s cab, a linear kitchen with an 86-litre compressor refrigerator (which can optionally become 140-litres), and a bathroom with variable volume, in which the shower cubicle is created by rotating the wall on which the sink is mounted by 90 degrees towards the toilet bowl. What changes is the rear part, where in the smaller T15 there is a transverse double bed, while in the T45 the increasingly popular solution of twin beds has been adopted. In terms of mechanics, the basic versions are made on the Ford Transit with a two-litre engine with 130 horsepower and a six-speed manual gearbox. Those looking for more power, there is a 155 horsepower version available with automatic transmission. The decision to homologate the two vehicles for only two people with the aim of increasing the load capacity is curious. On request it is still possible to have the classic four seats.

Below: Dethleffs Globebus Go T15; Dethleffs Globebus Go T45

Globe Traveller - www.globe-traveller.eu

The Polish company always manages to stand out for its originality in the production of camper vans. At CMT we were able to admire its latest creation: the Falcon. It is a vehicle built on a Volkswagen Crafter base with a super-high roof (made in-house) and stands out for a layout that is very fashionable in the United States: a single, longitudinal sofa that transforms into a bed, plus a small table for two people, a linear kitchen with generous dimensions and, at the back, a transverse bathroom. There is also a vertical loading compartment suitable for also containing skis or snowboards across the rear of the vehicle, accessed from the tailgate. Stowage space is abundant thanks to the wall units on both sides of the van and with a higher than average height thanks to the high roof. In terms of dimensions, the length reaches the classic 599 centimetres, while the height stops at 293 centimetres, thus avoiding exceeding the three-metre barrier which in many cases triggers – on motorways, tunnels and ferries – increased tariffs. Among the features, we would like to highlight the dry toilet, the gas hob with ceramic burners, a pair of lithium batteries for a total capacity of 400Ah and photovoltaic modules for 320W. The inverter is also standard, while a “gas free” set-up can be obtained on request.

Hobby - www.hobby-caravan.de

The news from Hobby was the Maxia 595 KML caravan for families (or large crews), which offers five sleeping places as standard but which can go up to seven on request. The novelty of this trailer is represented by the concept of the bedroom for children which, thanks to removable and modular beds, can take on nine different configurations from completely free space to a room for three people. There is space for up to three bunk beds, each with a load capacity of 100 kg. Thanks to a click-in system with slats and roll-up mattresses, the comfortable 76 x 200 cm upper beds can be easily put up and taken down. The lower bed consists of three filled cushions and a topper creating a 73 x 200 cm bed. During the day, the cushions can be transformed into a cozy living area, perfect for playing. In addition, the structure of the fleece underside ensures good air circulation, even in winter. Both lower beds have a side window and the upper bed offers a full view of the starry sky through a porthole. Even the single beds for adults are multifunctional as by using an extension they can be transformed into a double bed, about 220 cm wide. The open-space concept, with Scandinavian-inspired design furniture, recreates the charm of a small and stylish home. Its elegant felt-effect surfaces, together with natural materials, create a modern atmosphere. The central part of the caravan houses a large wardrobe, a spacious sitting and dining area, kitchen and bathroom.

Below: Hobby Maxia 595 KML

Kabe - www.kabe.se

The Swedish manufacturer has a very complete and varied range of caravans, but its top of the range never ceases to amaze! In fact, the Imperial 1000 TDL has a cell that is 9.4 meters long, which becomes 11.6 if you calculate the rudder. We are talking about a vehicle that can weigh up to 2,800 kilos when fully loaded; therefore, it is not easy to find the right engine, and also in terms of ease of driving … However, if you organize well, you can travel by towing a palace. The nine layout variants have in common a large transversal bathroom in the rear, the kitchen with a worktop facing the refrigerator column and the pantry and a huge horseshoe-shaped dinette in the front. The differences are concentrated in the sleeping area, which can be more or less spacious: ranging from a pair of twin beds or a double bed to any combination of these types to offer a bed for four crew members. In addition, you can have versions with bunk beds that can accommodate up to eight people.

Knaus - www.knaus.com

More than any other, this German company has focused on the diversification of the mechanical base vehicles it uses and now , coming offers as many as five different manufacturers: Fiat, Ford, Mercedes-Benz, MAN and Volkswagen. For 2023, there will be no news of a Fiat Ducato base vehicle. The Knaus CUV (Caravanning Utility Vehicle) built on the Volkswagen T6.1 and characterized by a pop-up roof that rises horizontally thanks to the work of four pistons, caught everyone’s attention in Stuttgart. Everything is electrically controlled. When closed, the vehicle is only 190 centimeters high, allowing the rear seats to still be used, while when open it becomes 260 centimeters high. There are two internal layouts, both on a total length of 590 centimetres. The more traditional one, called 500 MQ, features a classic-looking layout (transverse rear bed, services in the centre and semi-dinette at the front) but hides a surprise: an independent shower that is formed using moveable walls that slide away under a portion of the rear bed when not being used. In the 500 LT version, however, the fixed bed disappears (only the front drop-down bed remains) and the bathroom is more traditional. However, the stowage spaces are increased. Both have a 110 horsepower engine combined with a manual gearbox, but on request (and in the CUVISION special series) it is possible to have 150 horsepower and an automatic dual clutch gearbox. The same engines, configuration (here called VANSATION) and layout are also present in the corresponding Tourer Van models with the more traditional semi-integrated with fixed roof.

Below: Knaus CUV 500

Pilote - www.pilote.fr

Atlas is the name of a new range presented by this French manufacturer, consisting of a camper van and two “slim” semi-integrated vehicles intended for those who Pilote defines as “adventure lovers”. The Ford Transit base vehicle has a 170 horsepower engine with a large FORD inscription on the black grille that characterizes the front. The A603G model is a classic six metres in length, with a particularly large load compartment thanks to the height of the Ford van, which is greater than that of the Ducato. In the Trail version, this vehicle boasts a traction control system called “mechanical Limited-Slip Differential (mLSD)”, or mechanical limited-slip differential, which improves grip on the most slippery surfaces, and has a manual gearbox. The layout provides for a rear transverse double bed in a slightly raised position, the services (kitchen and bathroom) are in the centre and the semi-dinette in the front part, with the driver’s cab without the transverse parcel shelf to make the living area more useable. The heating is oil-fired with a power of 4 kW, the refrigerator is a 95-litre compressor. The water tank is slightly higher than the average: 110 litres. The semi-integrated A660 and A690G, offered with automatic transmission, have a width limited to 220 centimeters and differ in the rear part. The smallest have no fixed bed but have a large transverse bathroom in the rear (this model was not exhibited in Stuttgart), while the largest one has twin beds that can be transformed into an enormous double bed. What the two variants have in common is the gas heating with Truma Combi 4, the 133-litre column refrigerator with automatic energy selection and 130-litre water reserve.

Below: Pilote A603G

Below: Pilote A696G

Robeta - www.robetamobil.com

Slovenian brand, Robeta, has decided to expand its range of camper vans by moving further towards the luxury segment. The new model is called Adonis, and is built on 593 cm Mercedes-Benz Sprinter with a 190 horsepower engine. The layout follows the classic model of rear transverse bed, services in the centre and semi-dinette at the front, but some stylistic choices and precious materials for the interior raise its calibre. What stands out at first sight, in addition to the overall elegance of the interior design, is the kitchen module with a worktop made of Kerrock, known for its durability and minimal environmental impact. A good portion of it is designed to slide to reveal the sink underneath. Another clever element of the design is the double door that closes off the toilet compartment. Made of frosted glass, it gives a much more “homely” look to this area. The left door can also be used to separate the bedroom from the living area. In terms of systems, the Robeta Adonis stands out for the presence of a nautical toilet with macerator, electrically controlled valves for the discharge of black and grey water and a system with lithium battery and photovoltaic modules. The mechanics are offered as full options, already including the Mercedes-Benz MBUX multimedia system equipped with navigator and all the driver assistance systems (ADAS).

Weinsberg - www.weinsberg.com

This Knaus Tabbert group company brand presented three new semi-integrated Ford Transit-based models at the CMT. All are offered with the two-litre 130 horsepower engine and manual gearbox, but the 155 horsepower version is available with automatic gearbox on request. The CaraLoft 650 MF remains under seven metres in length and has a longitudinal French bed layout, located on the right-hand side to give a great feeling of airiness. For a crew of four it is possible to use the front semi-dinette to create a second double bed. On the CaraSuites, in addition to the rear single beds, there is a double bed available which descends into the living area which can be accessed via a ladder normally stowed on the bathroom door. The 650 MEG maintains the 699 centimetre length of the CaraLoft, while the CaraSuite 700 MEG offers large spaces extending up to 742 centimetres.

Below: Weinsberg CaraLoft 650

Below: Weinsberg CaraSuite 650

Wingamm - www.wingamm.com

While waiting to start its operations in the United States, the Italian company specializing in monocoque vehicles presented a redesigned version of its best-selling Oasi 540, which has become the 540.1. On an aesthetic level, you have to look through the details to understand that the entire mold has been redone. This can be perceived, for example, by the new recesses in line with the side lockers, which make it easier to open the door, or by observing the new proportions of the electric step for accessing the living area, which have been revised to make everything more ergonomic. What hasn’t changed is the overall elegance of a timeless model which has been constantly improved over the years. Externally, optional decorations are now available, which personalize the aesthetics, as shown with the Fashion Edition exhibited in Stuttgart. Inside, however, the layout has not changed. Focused on an open space obtained thanks to the patented manual drop-down bed, the Oasi 540.1 remains a champion of habitability, with a spacious kitchen that occupies the right-hand side, an L-shaped seating group with a side sofa and a large corner bathroom.

Disability and caravans: here are the solutions

The topic of disability is taken very seriously in Germany. The Brecht Caravan dealer adapts Hobby products on request. The project, named Brecht Rolli, includes the enlargement of the entrance door by up to 80 centimetres, the installation of a system to lift a wheelchair and the revision of the internal spaces to be able to move around easily. The bathroom thus becomes accessible, separated only by a curtain, and the dinette narrows to let the wheelchair pass, and then widens when more space is needed at the table. Each adaptation is designed and implemented according to individual needs. The solution proposed by The Cuber is easier to adapt, given the peculiar shape of its trailers, which boast a completely opening rear wall. An electric platform is provided for the ascent of the wheelchair onto the caravan, while the interior of the vehicle is completely customisable.

Below: left and center www.brecht-caravan.de; right www.thecuber.de


Alpincamper - www.alpincamper.de

The success of the all-electric Volkswagen ID. Buzz was resounding: the new van has aroused enormous interest all over the world. At the CMT it was possible to admire it for the first time as a camper, created by the German company, AlpinCamper. A small mushroom-shaped pop-top roof in the central part of the roof improves ventilation and brightness inside where you can sit on a long side sofa, which transforms into a bed for the night. On the opposite side, there is a linear kitchen with an induction hob and a small sink. A minimalist solution to recover the hippie culture in a modern solution.

Campravan - www.campravan.com

Going off-road with a 4×4 vehicle is easy, but less so when towing a caravan. Thus, the Turkish brand Campravan has created the Raptor X, a trailer designed for the heaviest uses, completely camperized and with AllTerrain BF Goodrich tyres, a 90 litre fresh water tank, 80 litre grey water tank and a 150Ah battery as part of the standard equipment. There are three beds available, plus an optional fourth, as well as a bathroom and fully equipped kitchen. The total weight is 1,250 kilograms.

Barefoot - www.go-barefoot.co.uk

Who said that all caravans have to be the same? From Great Britain comes this Barefoot caravan with an original one-piece fibreglass body. Small, light and with an unmistakable shape, it has a horseshoe-shaped front dinette that transforms into a double bed, a complete kitchen and a rear bathroom. Available in different colours, it also boasts a DAB digital radio among the options. You just have to get used to the entrance door on the ‘wrong’ side!

CargoClips - www.cargoclips.com

The dream of a completely modular van, to be used for work and leisure, has come true thanks to CargoClips. This Austrian company has developed the Castino VAN system: wooden walls with clip hooks that allow you to support elements of all kinds: beds, kitchens, refrigerators, wardrobes, and even a shower. And for those who are not satisfied, there is the complete Castello camper van, also in a 4×4 version and with a pop-up roof and completely insulated aluminum walls.

Go Outside - www.go-outside.at

Turning your car into a campervan is easier with the “crates” of the Austrian brand, Go Outside. Made of checkered aluminum, the Expedition Black includes stove, sink, 12-litre tank for drinking water, 19-litre tank for grey water, removable work surface, a pair of 6-volt batteries and a holder for the CADAC to be ready to grill at any time. And if it doesn’t fit inside the vehicle, it can even be placed on the towball.

Tischer - www.tischer-pickup.com

The CMT could not miss the demountable campers for pick-ups. This Box 230S by Tischer has a particular charm, perhaps due to the generous dimensions or the original colour. The total length is 585 centimetres, while the height is around three metres, with a useful internal height of 195 centimetres. The double bed, a dinette always ready, kitchen, wardrobe and bathroom make it a real alternative to motorhomes and caravans. It can be fitted to Ford, Isuzu, Mercedes, Nissan, Toyota Hilux and VW Amarok vehicles. At CMT it was on a crew cab Jeep Gladiator.

Kashmir Overlander - www.kashmir-overlander.de

An expedition vehicle is always a dream which the German Kashmir Overlander can make come true. At Stuttgart it exhibited a vehicle built on an Iveco Eurocargo 4×4 with a capacity of 15 tonnes, a 350 litre fresh water tank, a disinfection system with 0.3 micron ceramic filter and antibacterial filter, a 150 litre recovery tank, dry toilet and induction hob are part of the standard equipment, together with 900W of photovoltaic modules, 300Ah of lithium service batteries and 3kW generator. So you’re ready to go, destination anywhere.

X-Gloo - xgloo.com

Not only vehicles, but also components. The most interesting of them, seen in Stuttgart, is the electrically lifting pneumatic roof proposed by X-Gloo, the company that designed it for Hymer and Bürstner. At the CMT it was shown on a Volkswagen Transporter and the intention of the company, in partnership with SCA, is to sell this solution to other manufacturers as well. The production lines are ready to meet the demand.