Overview

In 2017, the German economy experienced strong growth: GDP was 2.2 per cent higher than in the previous year. Even though exports continued to increase, most of the growth momentum again came from inside Germany. Consumer and government spending rose, as did corporate investment. The main reasons for this were the extremely favourable interest rates and low inflation. These factors also helped the other European economies, which grew by 2.4 per cent. As a result of these developments, the German caravanning industry broke all records in 2017:

1. Record number of newly registered leisure vehicles

In the fourth growth year in a row, new registrations of leisure vehicles increased by 15.3 per cent to 63,264 units. Motor caravans reached another record for the seventh year in a row, whereas caravans reached the best result in 16 years.

2. Record production

Record demand in Germany and double-digit increases in exports of German leisure vehicles (+10.1 per cent) had the effect of increasing production by 15.4 per cent to 117,088 units.

3. Record sales

A total of EUR 10.3 billion represents an excellent improvement of 17.8 per cent in 2017. In fact, sales have more than doubled since the year 2009, when the caravanning industry experienced one of its most difficult years due to the economic crisis. The greatest growth driver was new vehicle business, which grew by an impressive 22.8 per cent. Sales of EUR 5.92 billion represent a new record result. Sales of motor caravans increased by an impressive 25.5 per cent to EUR 4.97 billion. The caravan segment generated sales revenues of EUR 0.95 billion (+10 per cent). The market for pre-owned vehicles also continued to grow. Retailers achieved a total of EUR 3.56 billion in sales (+13.2 per cent). The growing accessories business generated sales revenues of EUR 0.86 billion (+5.6 per cent).

Development of registrations in Germany

 

According to experts, the German economy will probably continue to grow in 2018. The ifo Institute has forecasted a healthy 2.6 per cent increase in GDP this year. The Deutsche Bundesbank expects economic growth of 2.5 per cent. In a business survey conducted by the Institut der deutschen Wirtschaft, the great majority of companies surveyed believe that the current situation is better than a year ago. The boom is mainly carried by increasing exports and robust domestic demand. Employment numbers are steadily increasing, as are wages, and consumption also consumer spending to increase as a result of low inflation and interest rates. According to the German market research institute GfK, per capita purchasing power of consumer spending rose by 2.8 per cent across the country this year.

Therefore, the German caravanning industry has adopted a very optimistic outlook for the year 2018. In a survey, 90 per cent of CIVD members reported that they expected sales in the caravan segment to increase. In the case of motor caravan sales, 88 per cent of companies were expecting additional growth. The European economy is also expected to experience considerable growth in 2018. The ECB has forecasted a growth rate of 2.3 per cent for the Eurozone. The unemployment rate in Europe is declining, exports are increasing and European domestic demand is also up. This strong upturn is on a relatively solid footing, since it encompasses almost all countries and sectors. Therefore, the caravanning industry anticipates continued growth in exports this year. At 91 per cent, the overwhelming majority of caravan manufacturers expect a continued increase in demand abroad. With regard to motor caravan exports, 78 per cent of CIVD members anticipate continued growth.