Kate Taylor
Digital Content Manager

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WIGAN-BASED VANMASTER CARAVANS, which bought the Bentley Motorhomes brand last September, went into administration yesterday (Monday 29 April 2013). Sadly, both brands are affected.

Practical Motorhome magazine spoke to Tim Downs, spokesman for the administrators Geoffrey Martin & Co, to ask where customers stand if they bought a Bentley motorhome or Vanmaster caravan.

WIGAN-BASED VANMASTER CARAVANS, which bought the Bentley Motorhomes brand last September, went into administration yesterday (Monday 29 April 2013). Sadly, both brands are affected.

Practical Motorhome magazine spoke to Tim Downs, spokesman for the administrators Geoffrey Martin & Co, to ask where customers stand if they bought a Bentley motorhome or Vanmaster caravan.


Mr Downs said that anyone with outstanding deposits and orders, or with questions about warranties and servicing, should contact Geoffrey Martin & Co on 0113 244 5141.

We're also saddened to report that unfortunately all 20 members of staff have been made redundant at Vanmaster and that production of the caravans and motorhomes has halted at both plants.

 

A drop in orders, together with supplier issues, have been blamed for the current fate of Vanmaster. Under Lesley and Ian Thompson, Vanmaster specialised in making bespoke luxury caravans – and bought the Bentley Motorhomes brand last September because it was 'a good fit' in the market. 

 

The administrators have issued this statement:

Vanmaster Ltd statement 30.04.13


James Sleight and Geoffrey Martin of Geoffrey Martin & Co have been appointed as joint administrators of Vanmaster Ltd, which operates under the trading styles of Vanmaster Caravans and Bentley Motorhomes. The company employed 20 people on two sites in Wigan. All staff have been made redundant as ongoing production is not possible.


James Sleight, partner at Geoffrey Martin & Co, said: “The business entered administration due to a drop in orders and supplier issues which affected production. We are hopeful that a buyer can be found, as we believe that either or both businesses could be complementary to existing manufacturers or retailers.”


Anyone with outstanding deposits and orders, or with questions about warranties and servicing, should contact Geoffrey Martin & Co on 0113 244 5141.

 

KEEP CALM AND CARRY ON ENJOYING THE 'VANS

When asked for their comments on the situation, Mags Symonds, the Secretary of the Vanmaster Owners' Club, replied:

 

"The Vanmaster Owners' Club would like to say that we have been 'The Owners' Club' for over 15 years and the Vanmaster factory going into administration will make no difference to us whatsoever. We shall still carry on as before, rallying with other Vanmaster caravan owners." 


COMMENTS FROM READERS

Readers of Practical Motorhome Facebook page, Practical Caravan and Caravan Sitefinder Facebook pages posted sympathetic messages.

John Rawlings said: 'What a shame. I'm sorry to hear that' and Squibs Dibble wrote: 'Very sad news...', while Far View Campsite in Scotland wrote simply: 'Very sad'. Premier Sundecks wrote: 'Another business that was trying to struggle through. Good luck to everyone working there at the moment.'


John Davies wrote: 'Might not be the end, administration is a form of insolvency action to prevent any third party taking legal or collection action against them whilst the accounts are looked into with one of three options.

1 restructure and continue
2. Sell the business as a going concern usually a pre pack sale.
3. Close business and arrange for all the assets to be sold to benefit the creditors.
I do hope a rescue package can be put together as love the quality of these vans.'
David Conroy wrote: 'OMG - I would never have thought that - when I saw them at the show, they said they were taking orders for six months' delivery! Such a shock, I do hope someone takes the business on.'

 

Kate Taylor

Practical Motorhome
30 April, 2013


 

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