As executives of European RV firms and dealerships head into the Continent’s largest trade/consumer show, they are feeling optimistic because the past year was more upbeat than many expected.
Caravan Salon, Europe’s largest RV show, will open with a trade-only day Friday (Aug. 30) at the exhibition grounds in Dusseldorf, Germany.
The consumer portion of the event, which will cover a little more than 1.9 million square feet of space including two show buildings and some outdoor exhibit space, will begin Saturday (Aug. 31).
A total of 491 companies will exhibit at this year’s Caravan Salon, which will end Sept. 8.
The exhibitors include manufacturers of caravans, the name Germans and many other Europeans give to towable RVs and small motorhomes, and motorcaravans, the Class B motorhome-type vehicles that Europeans also call van campers.
Additionally, the exhibitors will include European manufactures of Class A motorhomes, which the Germans call reisemobiles, along with supplier firms, campground operators and tour companies.
Elixir Industries Inc., a California-based supplier of RV doors, siding, roof vents, roof materials, plastics and aluminum extrusion products, will be the lone U.S. firm exhibiting at this year’s Caravan Salon.
The French and Dutch subsidiaries of Euramax, parent of aluminum, fiberglass and laminated metal products supplier firm Amerimax Building Products Inc., also will show its wares at this year’s Caravan Salon.
Meanwhile, 368 German firms will be exhibitors, by far the largest contingent. There also will be 49 Italian firms and 13 companies from the Netherlands at this year’s event.
Companies from 18 other countries, including some from as far away as Turkey and South Africa, also will be exhibitors in Dusseldorf.
Although no U.S. or Canadian OEMs are exhibiting at this year’s Caravan Salon, some North American OEM company executives will attend the show to learn about innovative technologies, materials and design concepts.
Because tow vehicles in Europe have lower horsepower ratings, North American OEM company executives can learn new ideas from the ultralight design concepts of their European counterparts.
Concerning the status of the European caravan market, Messe Dusseldorf, the promoter of Caravan Salon, reported that “despite stifled economic growth in Europe and consumers’ hesitancy to invest over the last year, the European market for leisure vehicles enjoyed heightened demand for camper vans. The European camper van sector gained 3.3% in 2001.
“With the exception of Denmark, Scandinavian countries in particular are notching growth in the caravan industry,” Messe Dusseldorf continued. “The Netherlands look to be a future hotspot for the market, according to a report by the VDWH (German Association of Recreational Vehicle Manufacturers). Meanwhile, Germany’s caravanning industry recorded 4.3 billion euros ($4.23 billion in U.S. currency at current exchange rates) in sales of new and used vehicles and accessories, for an 8.9% increase over 2000.”