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Old 06-10-2019, 12:46 PM   #21
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Big expensive (and proven) $150K+ coaches have the profit margins to support new "Westfalia" initiatives. Expect those models to be initial focus for Rapido. More accessible price points might have to wait.
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Old 06-11-2019, 02:10 AM   #22
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This is likely the start of Rapido's effort to build a dealer network for the Westfalia brand. That would go along with their highlighting Westfalia as part of their purchase of Roadtrek. Both are iconic brands. They are already building at least some Westfalia RV's on the Mercedes Sprinter chassis. Moving those to the North American version likely will not require much of a learning curve.
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Old 06-11-2019, 02:16 AM   #23
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This is likely the start of Rapido's effort to build a dealer network for the Westfalia brand. That would go along with their highlighting Westfalia as part of their purchase of Roadtrek. Both are iconic brands. They are already building at least some Westfalia RV's on the Mercedes Sprinter chassis. Moving those to the North American version likely will not require much of a learning curve.
Actually, they have not been building on the Sprinter for awhile. They are getting ready to reintroduce the James Cook model on the new Sprinter which would be a good choice for North America...
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Old 06-11-2019, 02:17 AM   #24
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https://www.westfalia-mobil.com/en/

According to their website, they offer a VW van-based "Club Joker" model that is much like the '05 Sprinter Airstream Westfalia floor plan. Now THAT might be interesting!
Does VW have any plans to reintroduce vans into North America?
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Old 06-11-2019, 02:21 AM   #25
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Once established as the expensive Westfalia brand in NA it would be difficult to attract young families, feeding retirees market has its time limits. Hymer had right strategy but failed in execution of quality products, remember the 4 hours builts.
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Old 06-11-2019, 02:38 AM   #26
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Does VW have any plans to reintroduce vans into North America?
I doubt very much, VW Crafter is a different vehicle these days, I think VW had a better chance when Crafter and Sprinter were siblings. But they could repeat Nissan, Ford, or Mercedes old style pop-up Westfalias sold via dealers or Roadtrek channels.

VW has its own California based on VW T6 for about $65K but not in NA.
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Old 06-11-2019, 02:40 AM   #27
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Once established as the expensive Westfalia brand in NA it would be difficult to attract young families, feeding retirees market has its time limits. Hymer had right strategy but failed in execution of quality products, remember the 4 hours builts.
Exactly. Why compete in the crowded and some would say overpriced end of the market when they could instead import their existing designs and import the bulk of their conversion materials, resulting in a high quality, but affordable Promaster-based camper van.
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Old 06-11-2019, 02:56 AM   #28
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Exactly. Why compete in the crowded and some would say overpriced end of the market when they could instead import their existing designs and import the bulk of their conversion materials, resulting in a high quality, but affordable Promaster-based camper van.
I agree, start with lower priced and family oriented Promaster based Westfalia models and if successful then slowly expand to include the higher end models like the James Cook. I could see a future where the Westfalia brand is the major seller with the Roadtrek brand taking a lesser role, maybe even ending the Roadtrek brand at some point if they can carve out a Westfalia niche market for themselves with no major competition in that market. Why continue to go head to head with lots of competitors if you can get a niche market for yourselves.
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Old 06-11-2019, 03:02 AM   #29
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Right now our Trend is our second vehicle. At some point our family will need to add a second "car" into the mix. Right now I'm leaning towards a high roof Transit, but I could be convinced to buy a Promaster based Westfalia if the layout and price was right.

I see a lot of old camper vans in the NW. I'm sure Westfalia would have a lot of success selling new, affordable camper vans.
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Old 06-11-2019, 03:09 AM   #30
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Bringing Westfalia designs directly will also bring their upfront engineering for manufacturability, for reliability and overall fit and finish quality without 4 hours staplers. Westfalia Amundsen 540 is about $56K.

https://www.campersales.co.uk/camper...alia/amundsen/

https://www.campersales.co.uk/guides...-600D-640E.pdf
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Old 06-11-2019, 10:11 PM   #31
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This story about Westfalia James Cook Sprinter Camper was posted today on RV Business news. Also has embedded link to original story from Motor1.com. Doesn't specifically say this is coming to USA.Canada, but seems to imply it will.

https://www.rvbusiness.com/blog/west...e-out-bed.html

Endit: Followed all chained links that took me to the original Westfalia story:
https://www.westfalia-mobil.com/en/n...gotha_engl.php

This is just another story about the early May introduction at Caravan Salon in Düsseldorf. Don't know why Motor! or RV Business is making this news now.
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Old 06-12-2019, 01:41 AM   #32
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Considering that Roadtrek's attempt a few years back to sell the concept of the bed pushing out from the rear was not successful (or popular), it would seem an odd choice to start with in a new market.
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Old 06-12-2019, 07:36 PM   #33
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Attracting young families to simplicities of camping by bringing simple, high quality camper vans at right costs could rejuvenate the camper van market. Young family van means 2+3 sitting and 2+3 sleeping with designed in fixability at any RV dealer. I don’t know if it is possible to design such a van today but it was possible in the past, my 77 Westfalia had 5 seats, 2+3 sleeping, my 85 Westfalia had 7 seats, 2+3 sleeping and both of them were less than 15’ in length.

I hope Westfalia will strive for B class rejuvenation and with past efforts of Hymer and good vans from Winnebago (still too expensive) this market segment will grow.
I wonder what the demographics say about the market, since that should determine where VW (and other manufacturers) concentrates it's R&D and marketing efforts. So, which is larger: The demographic bubble of Baby Boomers retiring with discretionary income and capital to spend on leisure time and vehicles, or growing families with new mortgages and other expenses and financial commitments? Personally, I want to see more 2 person Class B vehicles rather than small RVs that try to cram too many people into too small a space, and usually with too many compromises on effective usage of that limited space... In either case, I heartily welcome the increased competition from European manufacturers with what I think are superior designs and quality control compared to the often corner-cutting American RVIA members.
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Old 06-12-2019, 08:31 PM   #34
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I am positive that marketing study will be done by Rapido/Westfalia to determine the best strategy. NA B-class manufacturers went after baby boomers’ easy money skipping more price sensitive market segments.

Unfortunately, the retirees’ market will not last forever, without new younger buyers this B Class market will struggle, I hope Rapido/Westfalia are here for long term. Westfalia has many models aimed at different market segments in EU, why not here. Hymer tried, Winnebago is slowly heading that direction as well.
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Old 06-13-2019, 02:01 PM   #35
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I am positive that marketing study will be done by Rapido/Westfalia to determine the best strategy. NA B-class manufacturers went after baby boomers’ easy money skipping more price sensitive market segments.
I expect that they will be looking closely at the sales of the Hymer rigs which were directed to the younger Class B buyers, and based on social media, were very popular with young families and young active couples. Lots of FB threads on how to connect child seats and how to carry the surfboards, canoes, and serious bicycles that are too expensive to strap on the back. The introduction of the Aktiv loft brought even more.

EGHNA left the boomer market to Roadtrek.
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