Long-time cornerstone of the British caravan industry The Explorer Group has a new German owner.

The Erwin Hymer Group has announced its outright purchase of the company whose brands include Elddis, Compass, Buccaneer and Xplore caravans.

Although the German company is really only known in the UK for producing Hymer and Eriba caravans, it is a major player in the European motorhome market, owning around half a dozen motorcaravan brands.

The new owners say it will be very much business as usual, with Rob Quine becoming managing director of what will now be known as Erwin Hymer Group UK Ltd, and the rest of the management team remaining the same.

Indeed, production is set to remain in County Durham, with The Explorer Group’s caravan ranges continuing unchanged.

Another European buyout?

It has been quite a year for takeovers – and we’re only in February!

This news comes hot on the heels of the Trigano Group buying Adria caravans. Which came mere days before Trigano announced it had taken a majority stake in the UK company that owns the Marquis Leisure dealer network and Auto-Sleepers, a motorhome manufacturer.

The Erwin Hymer Group UK Ltd will also take over UK sales and marketing activities for all other Erwin Hymer brands including Dethleffs.

And according to the Erwin Hymer Group, this new deal gives it ownership of a company that already has 17% of the UK caravan market.

Securing the future

Chief executive Martin Brandt commented: “By acquiring The Explorer Group we are strengthening our involvement in the UK. Our aim is to further expand our strong position in Europe and to become a global supplier of high-quality motorhomes and caravans.”

Joerg Reithmeier, an Erwin Hymer Group board member with particular responsibility for caravans, added that in acquiring The Explorer Group his company is “positioning ourselves as the leading manufacturer of premium caravans in Europe”.

Rob Quine said: “It is fantastic that a successful organisation like the Erwin Hymer Group is investing in our future. As a new member of the group, we will have access to unique know-how and expertise. We will exploit this strategic opportunity to create permanent added value for our customers.”

He also revealed that the introduction of SoLiD construction in recent times had made The Explorer Group products more attractive than ever, with sales doubling over the past eight years: “This makes us the only provider of fully structurally bonded caravans and motorhomes in the UK.”