Not only is Germany the home of our partner, motorhome manufacturer Bürstner, but it's undoubtedly the centre of motorhome manufacturing in Europe. In fact, five of the six biggest motorhome manufacturers are headquartered within a few hundred kilometres of Bavaria, Southern Germany.
Last month I travelled to Southern Germany for my annual pilgrimage. At the top of the list was attending the Bürstner Dealer conference in Kehl and then visiting the team at Carado and Hymer, two of Bürstner's sister companies.
What's New at Bürstner?
Bürstner invites dealers from around the world each year to their headquarters in South West Germany to hear about the latest advances in motorhome technology and their new models for the next season. We joined dealers from South Korea, Iceland, Finland, Scandinavia and the UK at the English speaking conference. Unlike the caravan sector, the motorhome industry continues to experience growth and the Hymer Group (of which Bürstner is the biggest brand) is overrepresented, having four of its brands in the top six. The highlight of the dealer conference was the unveiling of the completely redeveloped Bürstner Ixeo, which made its mark by replacing the bulky cabover design with an aerodynamic semi-integrated concept. The drop down bed which tucks into the ceiling when not in use, has taken this space-saving concept one step further. The 2016 model features a 'north south' drop down bed which lowers to seat height making getting in and out of bed easier and doing away with the ladder. The prototype revealed had done away with the second bed in the rear and used the space for an extra large bathroom and kitchen allowing more room in the lounge. All in all, the latest reincarnation of the Ixeo is comfortable and super spacious - concepts I am sure will resonate well with Kiwis.
What I love about visiting Bürstner is that they’ve always got something new and exciting to show their dealers. They’re certainly going places.