After the 2009 financial crisis and the accompanying, sometimes massive, decline in registrations, some countries or continents already recorded higher sales as early as 2010 – a trend that gained in strength in 2011. In 2011, the three large markets for leisure vehicles, North America with 240,500 deliveries, followed by Europe with 155,960 and Australia with 23,200 new registrations, achieved growth rates of between 3.6 and 13.2 percent compared to 2010. Unfortunately, Japan (– 4.8 percent) and South Africa (– 5.8 percent) did not fare so well in 2011 in terms of newly registered vehicle statistics.
Overall, sales of leisure vehicles around the globe improved by 5.2 percent in 2011 as compared to the previous year, a figure equivalent to 21,240 vehicles. A more detailed analysis of global markets reveals the following pecifications: With 212,900 caravans and 27,600 motor caravans sold, North American customers are mainly interested in mobile homes, while Europe’s leisure vehicle enthusiasts still prefer the caravan, with 81,000 newly registered caravans and 74,950 motor caravans sold. But the developments of the last few years are evidence of the motor caravan’s popularity. It is expected that in 2012/2013 more motor caravans than caravans will be registered for the first time.
The Australian leisure vehicle market is characterised by 21,500 new registrations in the caravan market and approximately 2,000 motor caravans sold. Vehicles in use in the two largest leisure vehicle markets also reflect customer preferences. North America, with its 7.2 million caravans and 2.3 million motor caravans, demonstrates clearly why the ratio of new registrations for caravans and motor caravans is 7 to 1. Vehicles in use in the European leisure vehicle market (5.4 million) are divided into 4 million caravans and 1.4 million motor caravans. The high proportion of caravans is still evidence of the great interest in caravans n the 1960s, which resulted in a large number of purchases.
Motor caravans only started to become more popular in Europe in the 1980s, which explains the different figures for caravans and motor caravans. Growing demand is forecast for the North American leisure vehicle market in 2012. European sales figures will depend on the stabilisation of southern European markets and growth in northern Europe. Sales developments in the other countries and continents will be influenced by commodity prices and purchase or trade barriers.