Get to know... EHC Travelworld
Those newer to the world of motorhomes may not remember Travelworld’s RV-centric past, but this Stafford-based dealer was the UK’s largest American RV dealer dealer for most of the first 30 years of its four-decade history. But all that changed with the 2008 recession, which decimated the American motorhome market.
“We were incredibly lucky with timing and the same year we lost our main US brand, Monaco Coach (through insolvency), Niesmann + Bischoff were also looking for a new UK partner. It was a great fit for us and it laid the foundations for Hymer to approach us only a couple of years later,” explains Ross Edwards, Managing Director of Erwin Hymer Centre Travelworld.
Today, Travelworld is a very different business, as the UK’s only dealer selling exclusively Erwin Hymer Group vehicles – Carado, Dethleffs, Hymer and Niesmann + Bischoff.
It also moved to a brand-new purpose-built site in February 2019.
Travelworld's new premises - five years of planning
The new premises were the result of five years of planning, but moving 35 miles from the previous site (in Telford) was not without its challenges, especially regarding staff.
The new location was chosen because of its “incredible position” by junction 14 of the M6, and it was hoped that a 25% increase in sales could be achieved in the first year, although that growth has been thwarted by “Brexit negotiations in disarray and our market struggling with confidence,” says Ross.
Nevertheless, Travelworld sells some 400 vehicles each year, 60% of which are new, with Hymer models proving to be its buyers’ favourite.
Unusually for a UK dealer, 60% of all sales are A-classes, and a similar proportion are heavy vehicles (over 3.5 tonnes). That said, Travelworld also includes campervans in its portfolio and it has recently started selling another coachbuilt brand, Dethleffs.
This gives the dealer a rival to marques like Adria, Bürstner, Pilote and Rapido, as Ross explains, “Dethleffs has given us an aggressively priced, quality mid-range brand that competes very strongly with the other products out there.”
Travelworld has also added some additional complementary brands to its core motorhome portfolio... and these are proving very popular with buyers. It has seen a dramatic rise in interest in air suspension and levelling systems and, now, is not only the sole UK agent for Goldschmitt products, but has recently become an agent for VB air suspension, E&P levelling and Al-Ko’s HY4 levelling system.
Once again, the company’s history with American RVs is seen as giving it an advantage in this area, as is its huge investment in staff training, which gives it that sought-after expertise that buyers look for.
As Ross explains, buyers want a quality product sold by passionate experts. “We don’t want to be all things to all men, we want to passionately specialise in the world’s finest motorhomes. I truly believe that Erwin Hymer Group is the greatest company in our industry and I am honoured to be their partner.”
All premium German motorhomes
Erwin Hymer Centre Travelword is the UK’s only dealer exclusively selling brands built by the Erwin Hymer Group. Its comprehensive portfolio means it now has a model for all buyers: Niesmann + Bischoff serving the premium liner and A-class market, Hymer for the luxury coachbuilt market, Dethleffs to serve the mid-market sector and Carado for the entry-level market.
It also retails campervans, with Hymer campers sitting at the luxury end and Carado campervans aimed at buyers looking for something below this luxury sector. “We focus entirely on German brands. Our experience within those brands is better than most of our competitors. Motorhome owners are very discerning, so they want to deal with experts when making sales enquiries or servicing their vehicle,” said Ross (pictured below).