Peter Baber
Reviews Editor

See other News articles filed in ‘Motorhome’ written by Peter Baber
   
The Rapido Group expands its empire with the acquisition of Yorkshire-based van converter WildAx Motorhomes, the French firm's first British takeover

Well-respected British van converter WildAx Motorhomes has been bought by the Rapido Group – the latest in a series of takeovers in the UK motorhome industry this year.

The West Yorkshire-based company is the French group’s first acquisition in Britain, which it describes as “an essential country in the universe of recreational vehicles”.

It already owns Westfalia in Germany and Fleurette in its home country. Alongside Rapido itself, it also manufactures the Dreamer and Itineo brands.

Rapido Group says the WildAx acquisition allows it to strengthen its presence in key European markets.

The WildAx story

Duncan Wildman founded WildAx 12 years ago.

He has seen it grow every year since then, to the point where it now produces 150 ’vans a year

Wildman told Practical Motorhome he had been hoping to move to larger premises from its current rather hemmed-in site in Elland, just south of Halifax, and had been planning changes to the company’s way of working.

He adds that he’s impressed by the “nice feel to the management team” at family-run Rapido.

“I was reassured by this that we would have a good working relationship and be able to work together to grow the company,” he said.

Maintaining brand values

Rapido’s directors, Pierre and Nicolas Rousseau, said: “We are very proud to work with Duncan who has a high customer value and product knowledge.

“This co-operation will certainly help to create a strong network and enhance customer satisfaction.”

Although Rapido does own Westfalia, Wildman said the group runs each of its divisions as completely separate operations, so there would be no “co-operation” between the two brands.

He explained: “We will be altering the way we build, not in the specifics of how the ’vans are built, but more in the processes and manpower usage.”

The acquisition comes just weeks after Lunar acquired Wellhouse Leisure, although it seems to have taken the industry much more by surprise.

Share with friends

Follow us on

Most recent motorhome reviews

The Practical Motorhome Wellhouse Terrier Lux-XL review – 1 - The Wellhouse Terrier Lux-XL is priced from £42,000 OTR – this example is £44,175 OTR (© Nick Harding/Practical Motorhome)

Devon Vitesse

£52,536OTR

The Practical Motorhome Devon Vitesse review – 1 - You get an unusually high pop-top in this Mercedes-Benz-based camper van from Devon Conversions (© Peter Baber/Practical Motorhome)

Auto Campers MRV

£47,500OTR

The Practical Motorhome Auto Campers MRV review – 1 - The Auto Campers MRV is priced from £47,500 – this example with its options comes to £53,836 (© Phil Russell/Practical Motorhome)
The Practical Motorhome Adria Coral 690 SC Platinum review – 1 - This Fiat Ducato-based 2017-season Adria is £57,990 OTR,
 £62,474 as tested – the Thule awning costs £675 (© Phil Russell/Practical Motorhome)
The Practical Motorhome – Mobilvetta K-Yacht Tekno Line MH-85 review – 1 - The Mobilvetta K-Yacht Tekno Line MH-85 costs £67,995 OTR, £69,745 as tested (© Phil Russell/Practical Motorhome)

Swift Escape 685

£48,215OTR

The Practical Motorhome Swift Escape 685 review – 1 - This six-berth 2017-season Swift Escape 685 is priced from £48,215 OTR (£49,910 as tested) (© Practical Motorhome)