As hoped, the RV sector received a positive boost by CARAVAN SALON DÜSSELDORF, the world’s largest RV show, which concluded over the weekend.

The recent staging in Düsseldorf, Germany, closed with a record participation of 161,200 visitors from 37 countries and good sales figures, according to a news release. A total of 580 exhibitors from 25 nations showcased their extensive selections of RVs, as well as accessories and travel destinations. CARAVAN SALON 2009 fulfilled the RV industry’s expectations and demonstradted that after a difficult first half year business is getting better.

Wilhelm Niedergöker, managing director of the show’s organizer Messe Düsseldorf, commented, “161,200 visitors from 37 countries were registered at this year’s CARAVAN SALON (2008: 158,000) and clearly exceeded our expectations of 150,000 visitors. Furthermore, considering the current economic climate in Europe it is all the more positive to note that approximately 18,200 visitors came to Düsseldorf from abroad. CARAVAN SALON DÜSSELDORF is the sector’s foremost trade fair, traditionally accounting for roughly 10% of the industry’s annual turnover. This year CARAVAN SALON created a particularly important momentum – 49% of visitors came to CARAVAN SALON with intentions to buy.”

 “The attendance and the number of deals closed, which both clearly surpassed our expectations, have rewarded the exhibitors’ commitment to CARAVAN SALON 2009,” said Klaus Förtsch, president of the the Caravanning Industry Association (CIVD). “These results prove that the efforts of leisure vehicle manufacturers to develop lighter, more economic and lower-cost RVs also paid off. CARAVAN SALON 2009 underlines the recovery trends in the RV sector felt since the beginning of the second half of 2009. This strengthens the sector’s confidence to return to growth in 2010.”

Exhibitor Comments

  • “The trade fair proves that there is a lot of interest for RVs and mobile homes. This year we had more first-time visitors but also many visitors who already own one of our vehicles and came to see us about specific issues, knowing exactly what they wanted,” explained Holger Siebert, general manager of Eura Mobil GmbH.
  • The trend toward higher-quality sales conversations at the stand with very well-informed visitors asking the right questions was also observed by Giovanni Marcon, chairman of the board at Knaus Tabbert GmbH, who also noted a shift from motorhomes to RV as well as toward van campers and lightweight vehicles: “Customers pay the same attention to weight now with RVs as they do with motorhomes. This is also in part due to the fact that the towing vehicles have less HP than they used to.”
  • Hermann Pfaff, a member of the Hymer AG board, remarked: “This positive mood at the stands and among the dealers is really key because the dealers also carry it over to the post-show business. All in all the response has been very good and we are on the right track to achieving last year’s results and, hence, the target we have set ourselves.”
  • Reinhard Löhner, general manager of Concorde Reisemobile GmbH, was also delighted with the good sales and the visitors from outside of Germany: “For years we have had many customers from Belgium and France here. Now we also register ever more buyers from the Netherlands.”
  • After a tough year, the suppliers also view the future with new optimism: “We do not expect a V-shaped business cycle but there are no signs of another downturn either. Quite on the contrary – we have heard at lot of encouragement from our European customers and believe that things will pick up again, especially starting in January/February,” explained Joachim Kinscher, executive vice president of the Dometic Group and board member of the CIVD. “On top of this, roughly one third of the trade  fair visitors are interested in refitting existing vehicles or upgrading them, which is of crucial importance to us. We have received plenty of qualified enquiries for this. The total package makes us cautiously optimistic so that we go home from Düsseldorf in a clearly better mood than when we came here.”
  • Of particular interest were the first particle filters for refitting diesel engines, which were on display at this year’s CARAVAN SALON. “Visitors took great interest in the filter consulting provided by the CIVD. Mainly visitors who already own a vehicle wanted to know whether there was a refitting option, how expensive it is and which sticker the vehicle is given afterwards,” said Ralph Binder, press spokesman of the CIVD.

As in the past, TourNatur, Hiking Trade Fair, was held concurrently with CARAVAN SALON. A total of 275 exhibitors showcased the latest equipment and products for hiking to 33,500 visitors.

The next CARAVAN SALON DÜSSELDORF will take place from Aug. 27 (trade visitor and media day) to Sept. 5, 2010 (TourNatur will take place from Sept. 3 – 5, 2010).

For further information on visiting or exhibiting at CARAVAN SALON 2010 or TourNatur 2010, contact Messe Düsseldorf North America, 150 N. Michigan Ave., Suite 2920, Chicago, IL 60601. Telephone: (312) 781-5180; Fax: (312) 781-5188; E-mail: [email protected]; Visit www.mdna.com/; Subscribe to our blog at http://blog.mdna.com/; Follow us on twitter athttp://twitter.com/mdnachicago