Record trading year for city caravan manufacturer

Director of Arronbrook Leisure Homes, Paul Coombs

A family-run business which has been at the heart of Hull’s caravan industry for the last three decades is hoping a record trading year can act as a springboard for further growth.

Arronbrook Caravans, which was established by director Ron Kerr in 1987, has successfully increased turnover by just over 25% after enjoying an increase in orders during 2018.

The company, based on Popple Street off Hedon Road, currently exports almost 60 per cent of their products to customers in Belgium, Holland, Norway and France.

In October, a bumper deal was secured with a major Dutch holiday company to create two bespoke models which can be hired by holidaymakers at their parks in the Netherlands during summer 2019.

On the back of this success, Arronbrook’s management team are confident their overseas order book will continue to grow.

Director Paul Coombs, who joined the company in January 1994, said: “Our exports have always been strong and I’m confident they’ll be a key part of our business moving forwards.

 “A lot of the caravans we build are for importers we’ve worked with for a long time, and that was again the case in this record-breaking year.

“European dealers like doing business with us because we do not place a minimum value on orders. This means they can buy as little as one or two caravans at a time, which helps their cash flow, and allows them to order based on actual demand, rather than a projected forecast.

“The deal with this Dutch company means our reputation is continuing to spread and we’re very hopeful this will lead to further growth. In my experience, once we establish a trading relationship, it tends to flourish for years to come.”

The success of a new model with an unfurnished lounge was another key factor behind the growth achieved in 2018, along with a £100,000 investment in machinery which helped improve production times. A new bonus scheme was also put into place to recognise and reward the efforts of our hard-working team.

With over a million leisure caravans and almost 100,000 residential park homes currently in use throughout the UK, the future looks bright for the industry.

Having competed against the industry’s ‘Big Boys’ for more than 30 years, director Steve Park believes building bespoke models will continue to be the secret to future success.

He said: “Designing and building one-off caravans or two of a kind has always stood us in good stead. 

“You can send us a drawing and we’ll price and build your holiday home to your exact requirements and that’s what sets us apart.

“We believe this is the best way to differentiate ourselves from the competition and I think that’s why we’re so popular with our customers. Long may it continue.”

[Mark Fewings, Arrival]