Blair Jacobs catches up with Nick Page, Swift Group Commercial Director, at the NEC Motorhome and Caravan Show Oct 2012 to see how the new seasons models are being received and talks to some of Swift’s key suppliers about working and developing products with Swift.
Hello and welcome to the 2012 Motorhome and Caravan show at the NEC, I am Blair Jacobs and I am here for Swift TV to bring you all the Swift news and views.
As the leading caravan manufacturer in the UK, the Swift Group occupies a huge space at the show with the whole range of 2013 models across caravans, motorhomes and holiday homes available for the public to look around.
With a host of exhibitors at the show we took the opportunity to talk with some of the key suppliers to the Swift Group and get their feedback on working with Swift, but before we meet them we first talked with Nick Page, Commercial Director at the Swift Group.
Hi Nick, we last met at the launch of your new models at the Lawns show in early September. What has been the reaction since?
Unbelievable Blair, we are seeing incredible growth on our new mid-priced ranges like the Swift Challenger SE and Sterling Eccles SE and the Swift Bolero and Bessacarr E500 Motorhomes, driven by the high quality specification that’s delivering real value for money and also a strong uplift in sales on the entry level ranges like Sprite and Escape. It’s early days on Holiday Homes but we are seeing some very large orders coming through their as well.
I know we are only at the start of the NEC but what are the big interest items that customers are looking for when visiting the Swift stand.
Obviously, the new ranges are proving particularly popular, as we predicted customers are primarily looking for the best value for money they can find: the work we have put in to keep prices competitive along with boosting specification and all underpinned by the ‘built by Swift’ …….. is a compelling offering.
Thanks Nick, I’ll let you get back to your customers, all the best for the rest of the show.
During the development of new models, the team at Swift work with a host of suppliers to deliver a host market leading innovations to their customers that make a big difference. Joining me now is Martin Fitzpatrick from Truma.
Martin, Truma has been a supplier to Swift for some time now, what are the main products you supply to them?
Well Blair, the two key products are a Truma Combi Boiler that is fitted on a variety of Swift caravans and motorhomes, and the Truma Drive Safe Regulator that is standard in the all Swift motorhomes except for the Escape and Kon-tiki ranges and one Autocruise model.
What do you think makes these attractive options for Swift?
Well the Combi boiler is a real space saver compared with separate units for heating and water heating as well as being more visually appealing. The Swift design team have been very clever in how they have utilised this space to improve the overall layouts.
For motorhome owners the Drive Safe regulator is a big benefit as they can travel with the heating on so that maintaining a comfortable habitation area for when they reach their destination.
How long has Truma been working with Swift and what are they like to work with?
A bit like their caravans, tough and they keep going until they get you where they want to! Seriously, we’ve been working with Swift for many many years, they are very demanding, of course they want the best for their customers and they challenge Truma to deliver that for them, but we work together as partners with both teams delivering the best kit/equipment for the price.
Thanks for your time Martin, I hope the rest of the show goes well for you.
With security becoming ever more important, Swift has fitted to all their model a Thatcham approved Tracker Retrieve system as standard. With me know is Martin Forro from Tracker. Martin, why is it important to have a Tracker fitted?
Well Blair, for many people it is about peace of mind, knowing that your caravan or motorhome is protected but more than that, it also means savings on your insurance costs. The new trackers are also self-powered, which is ideal during storage.
How long has Tracker been working with the Swift Group?
We’ve been working together on and off for about 3 years but this is the first year Swift has fitted a tracker product into every motorhome and caravan.
What has Swift been like to work with?
Hard but fair I would say, their drive has been to have the best value for money models on the market and they have pushed us hard to deliver a great product at a price that means they can fit it into every model in every range. And for Swift customers it means they will be saving several hundred pounds as they will not have to fit one later on.
Thanks Martin, a pleasure to meet you.
Not all of us have the cash on hand to fund the purchase of a new caravan, motorhome or holiday home. That’s where Paul William can help, Paul works for Blackhorse, part of the wider Lloyds Banking Group.
Hi Paul, tell me a bit more about how Blackhorse can help people?
Hi Blair, today Blackhorse helps over 200,000 customers every year to finance new and used cars, caravans, motorhomes or motorbikes mainly through our network of dealers. We have a number of hire purchase products we use to help people buy the vehicle they want.
How does it work at the show then?
Well let’s say a customer comes onto the Swift Group stand and is wowed by one of the models they see, so much so they want to buy one, but don’t have the available funds. There is a Blackhorse booth on the Swift stand where we can talk confidentially with the customer and help them find a suitable product that will mean they can fund their purchase.
So everyone wins. The customer gets their chosen vehicle, and Swift and Blackhorse have another satisfied customer. Thanks Paul.
For the first time we have seen the Alde central heating system fitted as standard in mid range caravans and motorhomes. Leigh Marsden from Alde joins me know. Leigh, what makes the Alde central heating system so sought after?
Blair, it’s a combination of a high quality wet based heating system, creating a comfortable, home from home, environment.
In addition, for Swift we have fitted an easy to use touch screen control panel that is exclusive to them and similar to domestic controls. You used one when reviewing the Challenger and Eccles SE for Swift TV.
Your right, it was very straight forwards to use. Can you tell us a bit about how Alde came to work with Swift?
We have worked with Swift on and off for many years. In recent years we have started to work very closely with them. When Swift start the development of a new caravan or motorhome, we sit down with them, understand the challenges and then the experts from both companies work together, sharing vital information and conducting an extensive testing program to deliver the best product possible for Swift customers.
Sounds like a real partnership! Thanks for your time Leigh.
The motorhome and caravan show appears to be in full swing, if you haven’t been able to make it this year, you can see many of this years new models at your local Swift Group dealer or go to the website Swiftgroup.co.uk, where you will find the all the details on the full range of Swift caravans, motorhomes and holiday homes.