THE COMPASS CARAVANS brand is set to return to the UK caravan market with three ranges – Corona, Rallye and Omega – from 1 September 2013.


The Explorer Group, the Consett-based caravan and motorhome manufacturer – which also builds Elddis and Buccaneer models  – will manufacture Compass tourers using its new SoLiD construction method, and will offer a 10-year body integrity warranty against leaking.


Each of the ranges will comprise four models, largely based on the best-selling floorplans from the equivalent Elddis sister range – that is, Corona will borrow floorplans from Avante, Omega from Affinity, and Rallye from Crusader.


This will mean that each of the Compass ranges will offer layouts from two- to six-berths, and there will also be some all-new layouts.


Compass was discontinued in 2009, when Explorer Group rationalised its line-up to focus on its Elddis and Buccaneer ranges. Why is now the time to revive it? Martin Henderson, Sales and Marketing Director at the Explore Group, argues there are not enough brands in the market and not enough choice for buyers: “Bringing Compass back is the right thing to do, at the right time.”


We spoke to Rachel Moncrieff, Marketing and Communication Manager, who stressed the reborn Compass ranges will not simply be badge-engineered versions of their Elddis equivalents, which they were when deleted from the line-up in 2009.


“The ranges will be completely different,” says Rachel. “Yes, there will be different wood colouring and interior furnishing, but crucially there will be substantial specification differences between the two brands.”


The Compass brand has a 35-year heritage, and first joined the Explorer Group stable in 1998. We were told 12 dealers have already signed up to the new Compass network, including some big names, and more were expected to follow suit.


“It means the Explorer Group will be able to offer a 54-van line-up at October’s NEC show,” said Rachel. “That represents real choice for caravan buyers.”