22nd July 2016
Bailey of Bristol has enjoyed a sustained period of sales growth over the past twelve months which has seen the company increase its share of both the touring caravan and motorhome markets and has necessitated a 20% increase in overall production volumes.
As far as touring caravans are concerned this has largely been driven by the continued popularity of the current Pegasus and Unicorn ranges which account for a combined total of 80% of Bailey caravan retail sales this year and in doing so continue to set the benchmark for products in their sector. With public demand for these two multi-award winning ranges remaining so high the company has decided to carry on with the production of both Pegasus and Unicorn in their current guise for the start of the 2017 model year (September 2016 onwards).
Feedback from both retailers and customers suggests however that the time is now right for company’s low-cost light-weight Pursuit range to be upgraded. Plans for the re-launch are well underway and the new models from the second generation Pursuit range will be appearing for the first time early in the New Year when buyers in this market sector are typically looking to make their first new caravan purchase.
Further good news for customers is that following these decisions Bailey is able to announce a price freeze on all of its touring caravan ranges going into the 2017 model year. Consequently, the recommended retail prices for these vehicles will remain unchanged from current levels (as at 1st March 2016 price list) until further notice meaning that Bailey touring caravans will continue to look excellent value in the market place and help maintain the recent sales momentum. In the current ‘post Brexit’ economic climate these retail prices cannot be guaranteed indefinitely however and this offer will be for a limited period only.
Bailey was the first manufacturer to break away from the old-fashioned caravan model year in 2005 and decided to realign their production and sales years more closely with the pattern of demand in the market place. Now rather than changing their models on an arbitrary fixed date every twelve months Bailey is more responsive to customer demand and develops its products as and when the market requires. As a result of this “series-based” programme the company has been able to adopt a more focussed approach to product development, by majoring on one range at a time, leading to more meaningful upgrades rather than purely cosmetic changes.
More recently Bailey has implemented a company-wide re-structuring programme, entitled Project Aurora, introducing modern manufacturing and business principles and procedures to the company, indeed to the industry, for the first time. In terms of product development this has meant the recruitment of specialist Design and Engineering staff, investment in new state-of-the-art IT software and the adoption of an automotive-style ‘Gateway’ product development system. As a result, Bailey now has four times as many people spending a three times as long developing better considered vehicles that will be easier to manufacture and will perform better in use once they have been brought to market.
Commenting on the plans for the Bailey caravan portfolio Managing Director Nick Howard said “The continued popularity of our existing Pegasus and Unicorn ranges is testimony to the longevity of our products in today’s marketplace. This in turn is a reflection of the amount of effort we put into the development process to ensure our caravans and motorhomes continue to successfully meet the needs of our customers year after year”.