As you may or may not have noticed, there has been a small revolution on the Australian carvanning scene. As we head into 2015, America's biggest motorhome giant, Winnebago, has re-established its place in the Australian market with a new range of imported, superior quality caravans.
The first imported caravan to arrive is the 'Minnie', a US bestseller due to its adventurous styling and interesting colours. With four tandem-axle models available, three models come with slide-outs. Lengths range from 5.7m to 7.9m and some models have close to a 1-ton payload.
Destined to bring more than a splash of colour to the Australian highways, the Minnie is available in vibrant red, lime green and orange. Its interiors are tough enough to withstand the rigors of the Australian climate and conditions, and come complete with very welcome duct air conditioning.
The Minnie's success could lead to future Winnebago ranges designed specifically for Australia market. Winnebago is already planning to import other ranges over the next 12 to 18 months.
Some say it was only a matter of time before a major caravan manufacturer started to import to the region. Together, Australia and New Zealand represent the third largest market for recreational vehicles and caravans, behind North America and the European continent. A climate that is favourable to camping seals the deal, with the renowned 'grey nomads' leading the way in year-round travelling holidays.
Another attractive feature is that Australia has escaped the economic meltdown of the global recession, making it a stable environment for the introduction of new import lines.
The move follows an announcement last July that Winnebago had signed a partnership agreement with Brisbane-based Apollo Motorhome Holidays. Under this contract, motorhomes would be built by Apollo in Brisbane, with caravans being imported from the US. (Previously, Winnebago motorhomes have been manufactured in Australia by a company now trading as 'Avida, maker of the Australian Winnebago'.)
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