Mike Le CaplainSee other News articles filed in ‘Motorhome’ written by Mike Le Caplain
It is perhaps inevitable that a manufacturer with just three line-ups and eight motorhomes on its books will have relatively little news to impart at its annual press conference. And certainly Westfalia is planning to add just two models to its catalogue for 2016 – for the time being, at any rate – with negligible change planned for existing models.
However, the company claims to have big plans in the pipeline for the future, with particular emphasis on new base vehicles.
Westfalia’s sales have been healthy over the past 12 months or so, with UK sales alone up by a healthy 26 per cent. To wit, the company has chosen to work directly with dealers across Europe, rather than through dedicated importers. Here in the UK, this translates into ABC Marine on Hayling Island, Roseisle in Edinburgh, VW Camper Sales in West Sussex and, of course, Lowdhams in Nottinghamshire.
The 2016 line-up appears broadly similar to 2015, with Amundsen, Club Joker and Columbus remaining core to Westfalia’s offerings. Columbus remains essentially unchanged, but the Amundsen and Club Joker line-ups are being expanded for the coming season.
Amundsen, which was first launched two years ago, gains a new 600E model, which provides the bigger 640E’s rear sleeping accommodation in a 6m-long motorhome. In many ways, it’s the star of the whole line-up, offering as it does the 640E’s flexible beds, which can be used as a pair of longitudinal single beds, or one large double, together with a spacious central washroom and a forward lounge capable of seating four. A third single bed can be specified in the lounge area as a cost option.
Over in camp Club Joker, the standard quirky high-top model launched two years ago remains, but is bolstered by the new Club Joker City, which made its debut at last year’s Düsseldorf show – and indeed appeared at the NEC show – but only went on general European sale a little earlier this year and never here in the UK. Intended very much as a daily driver car that can also be used for holidays, the Club Joker City sports an elevating roof and a novel rear kitchen/toilet area.
The big news on this front, of course, is the switch to the new Euro 6 Volkswagen T6 base vehicle, which will come on stream in October. Despite a whole raft of detail improvements, Westfalia is promising that there will be no price increases. And with Westfalia reporting that some 70 per cent of all of its VW-based motorhome sales pack the 150PS engine, expect this to be the spec most likely to come to the UK.
Longer term, Westfalia is looking at reintroducing the range-topping James Cook, but only once the new Mercedes-Benz Sprinter has come on stream in 2017.