A Gold Coast motorhome retailer has been backed by a large financial services company to take European brand Auto-Trail nationwide. Elite RV was launched In 2013 by businessman Darren Nye, who saw a chance to carve out a niche by marketing a leading European motor-home brand to the luxury market in Australia. The motorhomes do not come cheap, retailing for more than $100.000 each, But Mr. Nye said the product’s quality and “state of the art” workmanship make it an attractive proposition. “We Saw a large disparity between what is currently being built in Australia and the type of modern, cutting-edge vehicles that are built for the European market,” he said. Mr. Nye previously ran a business bringing motorcycles to Australia from the US. “‘That got me into the importation industry,” he said, “From there, I started to venture out and see what other niches were available. What was available in Europe that wasn’t available here.”‘
He came across Auto-Trail motorhomes and was impressed enough to see if he could ink an exclusive distribution deal with the UK-based manufacturer. Mr. Nye said it had been tried before by other parties, and they had failed to get an agreement “it had been attempted (the sale of Auto-Trail in Australia) but it involved a compliance minefield,” he said, We got a company that was willing to wade into that minefield and tackle it.” Mr. Nye said Auto-Trail was willing to engage with Elite RV to make sure its motorhomes were built to comply with Australian design standards
He started selling the motorhomes from a yard in the Burleigh Heads industrial area and quickly found success. “Within one year we had five Australian dealers take the brand on,” he said. We thought this is going great guns. But, we realised that we did not have control over the way the product was marketed, we didn’t have expertise. in the brand, and there was a lot of dysfunction in the way that model was operating; So we canned it and decided to relaunch with Elite RV operated yards.”
Elite RV opened a branch in Melbourne in February this year and Perth earlier this month. Next year Mr. Nye plans an outlet in Sydney. He said that growth had come after backing from American multinational financial services company Wells Fargo. It is one of the largest floorplan financiers of automobiles in the world,” he said. “Floor plan is a facility that enables you to buy product “One of the motorhomes well over $100,000. So you get 10 motorhomes and you have more than $1 million in stock: Mr. Nye said the size and scale of the European market. with fierce competition between French, Italian, German and British companies, led to a different “dynamic from Australia. ‘They average 76,000 motorhome sales per year as opposed to 1400 in Australia,” he said. With those dynamics, if you are not state of the art you will not sell.” Alister Thomson ( firstname.lastname@example.org )
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