Vacations in a van or caravan are trendy tourism that benefits expert Bürstner’s Alsace region

The health crisis has reinforced a deep-rooted trend: the desire to move with your family whenever and wherever you want. Vans and campers, long considered obsolete, are on the rise, and the German company Bürstner is taking advantage of it. Launched a year ago, the minibus model moves its factory in Wissembourg (Bas-Rhin).

Located on the border between the Lower Rhine and Rhineland-Palatinate in Germany, the Lauterbourg campground still enjoys a certain tranquility before the big summer influx. However, the occupancy rate will already reach 75% for the 2022 Easter weekend. After two years under Covid, the season has started.

32 sites for caravans, motorhomes and vans, clearly visible at the entrance of the establishment. A dozen cars are already parked, the tables are open, the bikes are waiting for their owners in the middle of a coffee break in the sun.

“We have mainly German customers.At the head of this municipal camp for two years, Beck explains his wives. They’re great regulars on these touring excursions in caravans or converted vans. It’s true that we’re seeing more and more French people get into it too…even if camping is a last resort, because the purpose of this type of vacation is to be able to stop anywhere, not at the campsite but wherever. people!”

Great freedom is what appeals to these road trip enthusiasts, who appreciate the autonomy these vehicles offer as well as their comfort. The feeling of traveling while at home. Andrea and her husband from Mainz (Germany) agree. “Sometimes we travel differently, but this is what we prefer: to be in the middle of nature, to stop, to start over, to stay as long as we want.”

They chose a trailer. However, the last point in this vehicle range is now the minibus. “Multifunctional, It excites the production manager of the Alsace field of the German company Bürstner, based in Wissembourg. With its ultra-compact size it acts as a second car, it doesn’t stay in the garage all winter! And when you want to go out for the weekend or vacation, four people can sleep comfortably and cook there…”

The German camper and caravan specialist launched the van model a year ago. Sold for 45,000 euros, a huge success. “We had planned the first year of testing with 400 units. In the end, the number produced was more than double!”Makes the CEO of Jens Kromer happy.

The thousandth van rolled off the assembly line in Switzerland in March, just a year after its launch. Although no model has left this site for 8 years, 22 employees are currently working on the assembly of the vehicle. Furniture was produced there to fit only vehicles manufactured at the German parent company in Kehl.

Now eight pickup trucks are assembled every day in Wissembourg, and nine soon as demand is strong: the order book has been full for several months. “The extreme flexibility of this model is pleasing. With its height of 2m08, it goes everywhere, fits in all parking lots, Details by Jens Kromer. You can take your kids to school in the morning, go shopping with them in the afternoon, and decide to put on your bikes on Friday and go for the weekend!

The van stands out for its extreme flexibility: you can take your kids to school with it, do your shopping, and on weekends you can put your bikes in it and go wherever you want!

Jens Kromer, CEO of Bürstner

It has been a real “caravan life” fashion for several years, with a real community very present on social networks. The Covid effect did the rest: Going by boat is not ideal, traveling abroad has become complicated… There, you can decide to go to Italy; Italy is closing its borders, and you are going to Sweden!”

It’s a niche the group can’t get past. And a real boon for the Alsace region that produces it. He’s living again after losing 180 jobs after going through a social plan in 2014. “We are really happy, Wissembourg is a historic district of Bürstner that has gone through tough times. Emphasizes the CEO. Now we have confidence in the future, there is real momentum again.”

The 200-person team operating in Wissembourg could also be strengthened, hiring will follow if improvement is confirmed.

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