If the news is correct from another forum - then Avondale is about to go into receivership! The factory was due to reopen after their summer closedown about 10 days ago but has failed to do so. Apparently an announcement is due tomorrow (Thurs 28th) regarding its future. This seems a great pity as they had just announced new models for 2009 in the Practical Caravan this month - including a new model with a folding island bed with a shipping length of just 6.23m; which looked quite interesting. Eyes open for further developments over the next couple of days.
Alan (the kiaman) & Sylvia - recycled teenagers (i.e. over 60!) 2013 Bailey S2 Unicorn Cadiz & 04 Kia Sorento CRDi XS Auto with Griffin Tuning Powerbox (175bhp)
It really would be a shame if such a big manufacturer was to go into receivership, But on reflection having owned an Avondale Caravan recently and having dealings with them directly over quality issuses i cant say i'm compleatly suprised in my personal opinion the quality of their vans does not come close to some of the others on the market. But what hope for the little bloke trying to make a living when big companys like this are going to the wall.
I'm hearing rumours about problems at The Swift Group, is this another manufacturer giving cause for concern? I understand they are going on a 4 day week and may even close for 1 week in every month?
Has anyone else heard about this?
After the problems at Avondale it would be another nail in the coffin of the caravan industry.
There seem to be an awful lot of rumours flying around at the moment, but the only one with major substance at the current time is Avondale. I think the true picture of the industry will become more clear immediately after the NEC in October; for the last few years the industry has been announcing increased sales year on year at the show, if there is indeed a significant downturn then it will show in the sales figures at the show.
My guess is that there will be a signifcant decrease in orders at the show as the current economic climate causes people to delay replacing their current units. The number of people attending the show will probably remain about the same, but more of them will be just browsing rather than ordering their new units. I expect sales on the accessory side of things will probably remain fairly constant. One area that might show growth is the trailer tent section.
If you are friendly with your local dealer talk to him after the show and he will probably give you an idea of how it went, although last year figures were being published in Practical Caravan mag following the show!
I am not surprised to hear that the swift group may be in trouble, I p/x a 2006 challenger for a 2008 conqueror & the build quality in the challenger was far superior. You can definately tell that they were cutting corners to reduce costs. The only trouble is that you only find out these things when you buy one. If you dont believe me, look at the elastic band that holds the plates when you are on the move.
Today we've spoken with several people who have given us the story as follows: Most recently, there was an offer from a German firm, not in the caravan business, but this collapsed last week. The only interest at the moment is in the production facilities. Be interesting to see what happens next.
Must admit that having started this thread a couple of weeks ago by now I would normally have lost interest in what appears to be a hopeless situation, however I am still following the situation on three forums because when they announced their 2009 designs (prior to the shut-down) one of them got me really interested to the point where I was actually considering a change of van in the new year!
Lets hope they dont go under - I had a Rialto not long ago and was very pleased with it and with the help I got from Avondales customer service about the warranty - unfortunately there are too few British caravan manufacturers these days which means less choice for all of us when buying new - just think how many different makes and models of motorhomes there are in comparison