Jump to content
Oscarmax

Swift to reduce production

Recommended Posts

It isn't just the leisure industry.

 

High street and retail is in turmoil and house prices in the doldrums.

 

Tough times ahead...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It’s very obvious every business that has been having a rough time over the last few years will be looking to seize the Brexit excuse moment and cut their losses in whatever way they feel necessary.  That’s not a criticism. The next few years are going to be a difficult trading period.  That’s why the last words in that Swift spokespersons statement sounded ominously pessimistic.....

 

“We will ensure that the Company retains the capacity to meet the needs of our customers, now and in the coming months.”

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
4 minutes ago, ericfield said:

the last words in that Swift spokespersons statement sounded ominously pessimistic.....

Or possibly realistic and we're seeing the first steps towards stopping tourer and motorhome production and moving to static production alone?

Goforitt

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Another thing to take in to consideration is the design of some of these vehicles.  We looked at the 2020 Swifts on our local dealers forecourt 3 weeks ago.  They were all unimpressive compared to other manufacturers.  Shoddy build quality, broken doors, misaligned cupboards, dull upholstery. one had even got a leak above the bed which had stained the mattress.!! We have had three Swifts in the past and was thinking about having  another one but plumped for a Coachman in the end.

Its the same with cars, we have had four Land Rover Discovery's. cant stand the looks of the new ones, so until they design one we like we will stick to the '4'.  Just by going on the traffic on the roads it seems its not just us either.  One bad decision these days can seem to plunge a business in to trouble.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I thought it was the UK government that was responsible for the change to initial taxation on motor caravans?

  • Confused 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
7 minutes ago, Durbanite said:

I thought it was the UK government that was responsible for the change to initial taxation on motor caravans?

Apparently not. " . . . since September 1, new EU regulations mean motorhomes with a declared CO2 value will now be taxed at the same level as cars."

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Demand for touring caravans is sure to fall and the sales of motor caravans will follow as the cost of running them increases. Terrible product quality from Swift hasn't helped. I think the blip in motor caravan sales was driven by the changes to pension rules. The motor industry in Europe has been blighted by the politicians dithering and pandering to the tree huggers. We were planning to replace our 10yr old tow car this year but there is nothing suitable available which we would want to risk £20K of our savings on with the prospect of a series of dodgy governments? No thanks!

  • Like 1
  • +1 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Perhaps the demographics of caravan ownership have some bearing on sales ? , I don’t know the details but quite a lot of new vans seem to be owned by ‘wrinklies ‘ like myself ,the majority of visitors I saw at the NEC recently were ‘ of a certain age’  so as we all approach the edge of the cliff maybe the sales of new vans will fall . 

I know that when I started caravanning in my early thirties a new van was out of the question.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
6 minutes ago, stevew1 said:

Perhaps the demographics of caravan ownership have some bearing on sales ? , I don’t know the details but quite a lot of new vans seem to be owned by ‘wrinklies ‘ like myself ,the majority of visitors I saw at the NEC recently were ‘ of a certain age’  so as we all approach the edge of the cliff maybe the sales of new vans will fall . 

I know that when I started caravanning in my early thirties a new van was out of the question.

That is certainly one factor. However, that has always been the case, the older generation has always (on average) had a higher disposable income than the younger generation. Career progression, pension payouts, inheritances, equity release etc. all play a part.

Don't forget that any business worth its salt will currently have plans both for cutbacks AND expansion sitting on the shelf ready for whichever way Brexit turns out.

The expansion plans are often easy, recruit more, overtime, longer/more shifts. Cutback plans need more thinking through, with preparation in advance.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Swift started a couple of years ago shutting down the separate HT shell production line, first they slowed down production line of the HT shell, Conqueror now using update Smart 2 shell, now called Smart 3, then the Elegance  and using Smart 3 shell no longer using the HT shell. 

 

We have noticed over the last couple of years the upholstery seems to have gone down hill, the upholstery in our 2016 Conqueror is far better quality and supportive than our friends new 2019 Conqueror, we recently looked at the 2020 model and walk out, it would appear to get a decent Swift you now are expected pay for the higher specification Elegance model.

 

If you add in the demonizing of the diesel engine and no real suitable alternative to us caravaners/motorhomers and all these money making clean air zones, now the CMC with their twice a year price increases and not forgetting all those Muppets in Parliament regarding Brexit what do you expect.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

We are seeing a lot more push into the retail market by the European manufacturers especially in the motorhome market . At the NEC last month you could see a increase in the panel van conversions and the Hymer hall with the group exhibiting .

 

 

 

Dave

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
23 minutes ago, Stevan said:

That is certainly one factor. However, that has always been the case, the older generation has always (on average) had a higher disposable income than the younger generation. Career progression, pension payouts, inheritances, equity release etc. all play a part.

Don't forget that any business worth its salt will currently have plans both for cutbacks AND expansion sitting on the shelf ready for whichever way Brexit turns out.

The expansion plans are often easy, recruit more, overtime, longer/more shifts. Cutback plans need more thinking through, with preparation in advance.

 

I'm a relative newcomer to the caravan world, but have over 55 years in the sailing world.  In my teenage years,  people with "yachts" (sailing boats you can sleep on) could buy one as big as 22' (!) and go sailing with the 2 kids for  a relatively small outlay, and it was common to see late 20's early 30's owners.  Nowadays people can't get onto the property ladder until they're in their 30's and the proportion of income that absorbs leaves sod all to spend on that type of leisure activity.  

 

A trip to Southampton Boat show has the smallest yachts at about 30' and costing near £100k.  As a consequence yachting activities are contracting, as the people who started off 40-50 years ago are now dropping off the twig.  There is no one coming behind to replace them.

 

It's fairly obvious to me that caravaning is a scaled down reflection (due to the lower costs) of the same thing

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Gordon said:

Apparently not. " . . . since September 1, new EU regulations mean motorhomes with a declared CO2 value will now be taxed at the same level as cars."


Durbanite is correct and the article is wrong. The WTLP approval is part of an EU directive but how tax is levied is entirely a domestic issue - it’s disingenuous to link the two.

 

They could deal with some of this by developing the Basecamp as a range rather than a standalone model and not have various Sprite, Challenger, Eccles, Elegance models overlapping with a pile of 8’ vans chucked in for good measure

Edited by FrankBullet

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
55 minutes ago, FrankBullet said:

 

They could deal with some of this by developing the Basecamp as a range rather than a standalone model and not have various Sprite, Challenger, Eccles, Elegance models overlapping with a pile of 8’ vans chucked in for good measure

The market for 8' vans is far from mature, with the novelty factor playing a big part. My guess is that within a very few years 8' will be seen only in the 6 berth Sprites where space is at a premium but budget linited  and the Elegance where buyers want to avoid feeling cramped. I guess that the Eccles will be phased out because now that it has lost the "no woodgrain" interior it is just not different enough to Sprite and Challenger.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This is not helped by threads on other motorhome forums I am reading this morning pulling their workmanship apart and safety recalls .

 

 

 

Dave

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
4 minutes ago, CommanderDave said:

This is not helped by threads on other motorhome forums I am reading this morning pulling their workmanship apart and safety recalls .

Dave

Quality is a VERY big issue with all caravan manufacturers and this needs to be addressed as soon as possible.  Also being tied into the supplier for warranty issues is another factor unlike cars when any franchised dealer can do warranty work.  Not sure how the latter could conflict with CRA 2015?

  • +1 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
6 minutes ago, Durbanite said:

Quality is a VERY big issue with all caravan manufacturers and this needs to be addressed as soon as possible.  Also being tied into the supplier for warranty issues is another factor unlike cars when any franchised dealer can do warranty work.  Not sure how the latter could conflict with CRA 2015?

 

Any franchised caravan dealer CAN do warranty work on caravans they didn't sell - but they aren't obliged to and most won't - car dealers aren't obliged to either if they didn't sell it but most choose to.

 

Warranty work, for cars or caravans, has a low rate of payment but car dealers take the opportunity to aquire servicing/repair work and potential new car sales - caravan dealers can't see beyond the end of their noses!

Edited by Black Grouse

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

As said the imposition of emissions based VED rates on motorhomes is a UK Government decision that happens to have coincided with the introduction of WLTP emissions testing. It is a UK Government decision to grab back more of the tax free pension sums that their pension rule relaxation made available.

 

As for warranty work on caravans, I think you'll find that plenty of independent Approved Workshops are willing and able to help. Just check with the brand customer service department. Relatively few dealerships refuse to handle vans they haven't sold these days, but those that do tend to be because they don't have the workshop capacity to take on vans sold by others. 

 

Don't forget that car brands lend their dealerships millions for development and equipment. One of the conditions for such funding is that they carry out warranty work on any car, whoever has sold it. Caravan manufacturers don't have the capital to lend dealers money and therefore have little means of leverage. Caravan dealers change franchise from year to year, depending on who will provide them with the best deal at that time.    

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I don't think that paying 2000 pounds on VED is going to stop buying or even enters the picture when your buying a new motorhome upto 80,000 pounds for a Swift motorhomes .

Edited by CommanderDave

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
46 minutes ago, CommanderDave said:

I don't think that paying 2000 pounds on VED is going to stop buying

I don't know about others but if I were changing a motorhome this year, the additional tax on a brand new model would certainly make me more inclined to look favourably at a one a year old model.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The blitz on diesel towcars and a presently nonviable alternative of electric cars is bound to have an impact on caravan sales. 

  • +1 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

You only have to look on dealers sales areas with dozens of new motorhomes standing unsold, and with the price reductions up to £6000 is not attracting sales.

Edited by birdman101

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Restore formatting

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


×
×
  • Create New...