Who is….. Adria
Adria is one of the longest-established and best known of all the imported brands sold here.
It was founded in 1965 in Slovenia, where its factory is still located. In those early days, like all of its peers, it only built caravans and then, in 1982, it moved into motorhome production and, 13 years later, launched its first campervan. It had – and still has – huge success with its campervans, especially its Twin range.
Now, it manufactures the full suite of leisure vehicles, from compact two-berth caravans to full-sized A-class luxury motorhomes and everything in between. It even makes a range of holiday homes, including floating homes!
Over the past 56 years, Adria has grown to become a significant force in the European leisure vehicle industry, employing over 1,600 people at its Novo mesto plant, as well as establishing a European network of over 500 dealerships.
Britain is one of Adria’s main markets and it has been selling here for over 50 years.
“Adria entered the UK for the first time in 1969,” explains Slavica Sterk, Managing Director of Adria UK.
“Adria has had a presence in the UK for over half a century, so we understand our customers’ needs and we fulfil our customers’ expectations.”
Four years ago, one of Europe’s mega-manufacturing groups – Trigano – bought the majority share (85%) of Adria (the management team retained the remaining 15%).
At the time, Trigano promised it would keep the tradition and values of Adria’s brand.
So now, almost half-a-decade on, did that happen? “Trigano [is] a strong strategic partner who offers all the support when needed but also enables us to remain independent with development and production of vehicles,” says Slavica.
“Trigano has accepted Adria as a strong partner and the sharing of good practice within the Trigano Group brings a lot of benefits to Adria and to the Trigano Group.”
You can now easily access and read reviews of Adria's motorhome range in issues of MMM magazine, using our new digital content library. The search function means you can browse the online archive of content, dating right back to January 2012, and find reviews of every single model featured in the magazine since then. Start by using the search bar below:
What has been a massive success for Adria over the past 12 months has been its ability to react quickly to the pandemic and the subsequent huge increase in demand for motorhomes, campervans and caravans in Europe.
Following its shutdown of its factory in Slovenia in spring 2020, it quickly restarted production after just three weeks – much quicker than factories here, which remained unproductive for months.
The Adria factory has been working at full capacity ever since. Not only this, but Adria also increased its production workforce and lengthened the shift patterns so it could produce more models to meet demand.
Here in the UK, it hosted a socially distanced launch of its all-new 2021 models during last summer to dealers and the media. This was at a time when factories elsewhere were still not producing and many manufacturers delayed or cancelled launches of their 2021 models.
“During the first lockdown in spring 2020 we recognised a pattern between all countries around Europe that the demand for RVs had increased significantly,” explains Slavica.
“We also noticed the pattern very early on in the UK through the increased number of visitors to our website and our dealers’ websites. We expected a strong bounce back. Adria has a very strong relationship with our dealer network, so we reacted quickly and we were able to support our dealers to enable them to fulfil the increased demand.”
She goes on to explain that, because of the high number of orders Adria had received early in the season, the manufacturer was confident enough to increase production – something it is continuing to do in a step-by-step process to ensure high quality control.
When motorhome and campervan dealers opened again in summer 2020, many were desperate for new models to sell to all the new buyers who were abandoning foreign holidays in favour of leisure vehicles.
“As the demand for RVs is high and Adria was the only one in the UK who was able to offer increased capacity to follow the increased demand in the UK, the result was that we were able to follow our target to offer the best service to our customers at the same time as we were able to support the dealer network with additional vehicles that they needed to fulfil customer demand,” says Slavica.
But Adria didn’t stop at just supplying its existing dealers with new models, it also appointed 16 new dealers across the UK.
“Adria required a larger network to offer the best possible customer sales and aftersales experience. We can’t expect that customers will travel much more than one hour to visit the nearest dealership and to have their vehicle serviced,” explains Slavica.
However, she adds that appointing new dealers is not a quick decision and these new appointments were not snap decisions.
“Appointing a new dealer is a long-term process and long-term decision. We don’t look at our dealers as just a selling point, but as a long-term partner with the target that each dealer is well integrated in all our processes – sales and aftersales – and also have good knowledge of Adria vehicles.”
Adria's sales growth – 100% up year on year
As a result of appointing these new dealers and manufacturing and supplying so many more new models, Adria has seen its sales grow 100% over the last 12 months compared to the previous year.
The significant growth in sales, which Adria describes as “nothing short of astonishing” is also thanks to the company’s 21 dealer roadshows that it hosted over a three-month period in the UK last year.
These shows alone resulted in the same number of sales that Adria would normally see at the annual October NEC show in Birmingham, which was cancelled last year.
“This year we will sell around 650 motorhomes,” says Slavica, talking just about the number of new Adria motorhomes that will be bought in the UK. “We could have sold much more if the Adria factory would have been able to produce more. And this year we will sell around 500 van conversions and, again, we could have sold much more if the Adria factory would have been able to produce more!”
These are huge figures for an imported brand when one considers the entire British market is averaging around 13,500 new motorhomes and campervans sold here each year (final year figures for 2020 have not yet been released, but it is likely that the total registrations last year will be lower than 13,500). And Adria expects to be attracting even more UK buyers throughout 2021.
With the concerns over Brexit now sorted – Slavica confirms the Brexit agreement means no price increases or longer delivery times – the future, when lockdowns ease, looks positive.
“I strongly believe that, with a lot of new customers coming into the market, we’ll finally be able to present the great lifestyle that owning an RV enables to a wider audience. We’ll be able to present to customers that they can go hiking, biking, fishing, skiing, swimming and running all around the country, and have a great rest after in a warm, cosy, luxurious RV every day or week in a different location within the beautiful GB or around Europe,” she says.
“People do not change – with or without a pandemic – we all want to explore, be active, get close to nature and spend time with our families and friends… and with an RV we can fulfil our DNA instinct.”
Adria is attracting a lot of new buyers and Slavica says she knows why. “Adria’s USPs are also the Adria DNA: designed for living and built to perform. I believe that this sentence explains the DNA of Adria – we offer the most contemporary design, the highest quality and reliable vehicles that offer our customers the best comfort all year round and peace-of-mind holidays.”
The Adria new best sellers
Adria is predicting even more customers will come into its showrooms. “We’ll double our sales during this year comparable with the previous year,” confirms Slavica. “The increased sales this year is partly the result of the growth of our dealer network – we increased our dealer network by 30%”
So what are these Adria customers buying? “The best-selling van conversion model is our Twin Supreme 640 SGX, this unique layout offers an electric drop-down bed over the spacious garage at the back.
“All Twin Supreme van conversions offer our customers a big panoramic rooflight over the front of the conversion to bring maximum natural light to the interior, but this model also gives our customers possibilities to travel with their valuables (sport equipment, bikes, etc) inside the garage and, by evening, enable them to sleep in a huge bed over the garage at the back of the ’van.”
As for those looking for a coachbuilt motorhome, it is the Matrix Supreme 670 SL (pictured) that is attracting most buyers. “The Matrix Supreme is one of the Adria new-generation range of motorhomes, which we presented this year alongside the new-generation Coral range,” explains Slavica.
“The Matrix Supreme 670 SL is a layout that offers complete comfort for a couple with long and wide twin beds at the rear that can be transferred with one movement into a king-size double bed over the spacious garage. At the same time, it is also the perfect choice for families of four with the additional pull-down bed over the cabin as standard, that kids will adore.”