In these troubled times, many manufacturers and dealers are facing changes. Marketing in selling leisure vehicles has relied on shows and events to promote new and used leisure vehicles. Things are changing rapidly, and change is never easy to handle. The coming months will be challenging to say the least. So, let us take a look at what is driving the changes.

  • shortage of new and quality used vehicles
  • shows and events cancelled
  • changing customer profile (many thousands of first-time buyers)
  • aftercare problems with higher customer expectations
  • staff shortages holding up handovers and service work
  • sourcing used stock
  • more owners renting out their vehicles

John Buxton talks to Martyn Raybould

Major changes affecting motorhomes campervans sectors. John from motorhomes campervans and Martyn from Engineer Aftercare discuss the latest issues and summarise them in our blog. Here is an open chance to hear from the horse’s mouth just what is happening to the leisure sectors and in particular supply, sales and the service of motorhomes, campervans and caravans. As the pandemic has taken hold, many have forgotten the impact of Brexit. The government has made several contributions that have made things worse. Underestimating the loss of workers through Brexit changes, for example, has led to 100,000 HGV drivers missing, so who is going to fill that gap and deliver the new stock? Reports of no one applying for jobs in the leisure sector is concerning. Jobcentres, finding no one to fill vacancies and having to go on short time themselves. The job vacancies have risen if no one applies, then the knock-on effect is about to get a lot worse.

Staff, sales after-sales, shows, what next?

For used leisure vehicles the actual stock crisis is upon us now. Whilst there are no signs of things easing, then all of these things need to be managed. Changes are always hard to deal with hearing comments, we don’t do that! The facts remain you may need to do things differently. No motorhome shows have left many not knowing where to advertise? They have just discovered that they were very reliant on selling at shows! The fact they have little or no stock makes the need to attend a show no longer a must-do event. Other areas are being affected none more so than after-sales and services, as for motorhome warranty the old saying “you are only as good as your claims” remains true but, if you cannot get the parts how do you explain that to someone who has just shelled out £90K for their pride and joy.

New and used stock shortages

With the disruptions of the supply of parts and right down to not enough chassis to go round, the inevitable is about to happen, that being price increases. So, will that affect the deals offered? Are there any bargains left? Logic says that prices are bound to rise if the used motorhome shortage continues and the level we are at now, has alarm bells ringing. Fulfilling and replenishing stock levels of used motorhomes, campervans and, caravans is a task for sure. We fear that many dealerships are not up to do this. We are talking a long time for any supply recovery. Many dealers are 90% down on the used stock and facing long lead times on new leisure vehicles. Also, where have all the part exchanges gone? Does it sound like a 60s song title? Where have they gone? Brought by first-time buyers everyone and rented out to a new marketplace called Goboony. These are changes impacting supply and demand, not enough stock is leaving gaps never seen before. The first-time buyer has a much different attitude to buying many, have never spent a night under canvas or attended an event in the mud. Their expectations are much higher and having brought the second-largest purchase in their lifetime, they expect high-quality service on time. Again the dealers are having to take a different approach. Raising the bar costs money, we go full circle here, no staff, no sales, no after-sales, no business!

We buy any motorcaravan

As with van conversions, the doner vehicles have dried up, as reported to us by, ” we buy any motorcaravan” prices are taking an upwards trend and the lack of stock is driving prices to new heights. You cannot build a business without stock on hand to sell some motorhome dealers think buying motorhomes and campervans from private owners is easy. Consequently, finding out the professional buyers provide logistics support and cover nationwide for free, with an instant bank transfer on collection. Many dealers cannot match that level of service or the prices paid for a wide range of makes and models. Simply, if used motorhomes and campervans values are not understood many deals will not be done. The facts remain that jobs, cannot be sustained unless more new and used leisure vehicles become available for sale sooner than later. We doubt that to get stoking levels back to normal will take many months.

Shortage of staff for habitation servicing

As with other leisure sectors, the reports of not enough technicians to go round continues. Hardly surprising as Brexit has seen the skilled workers from Europe return home and sadly never return in the short term. Coronavirus swept the Brexit news away strange we have stopped hearing about the UK filling the job spaces. Seasonal workers not returning, fruit rotting in the fields, the jobs issues are impacting everywhere. Skilled workers are no longer in abundance, this makes life a lot harder something, the government underestimated. No stock, no sales, no jobs! So, who will be redundant first sales, admin, staff or technicians? We have learned many staff have received pay rises to make them stay with the dealership. Is that just speeding up the problem? The facts remain leisure vehicles and staycation have provided profits campsites are mostly fully booked so, what will be the next best thing to do? Watch this space because we intend to tell it as it is. We would love to hear from you.

Regards John and Martyn

Contact us anytime