Mercedes-Benz targets 25 per cent growth in campervan sales

“We are very satisfied with the current order situation for our Marco Polo campervan family – in 2021 we want to sell around 25 per cent more of these vehicles,” says Klaus Rehkugler, new head of sales and marketing at Mercedes-Benz Vans. It’s a bold ambition for someone new in the job, but when you analyse the background of the market, you can see why targets like this are being set. According to the German Caravaning Industry Association (CIVD) about 80,000 new motorhomes were registered in 2020, with a particular slant on smaller and mid-size vans that can be used for other facets of daily life as well as camping. It seems ‘van life’ is here to stay.

Klaus Rehkugler, new head of sales and marketing for Mercedes-Benz Vans.

“To do that [increase sales by 25 per cent], we will be surprising our customers with new product features, amongst other things. We also see real potential for growth in the following years, and we will generate additional sales from that.”

Feature comforts 

So, what new features exactly is Klaus referring to? For starters, its Marco Polo Horizon and Activity motorhomes will benefit for the first time from an external power connection, which will help facilitate longer camping stays in the units and make them more comfortable. Another innovation that all Marco Polo vans will benefit from in 2021 is Urban Guard driver protection. This sophisticated system warns both audibly and visually when a break-in or theft in detected and ensures vans can be tracked and traced using Mercedes me connect. You will also see blind spot assist and rear cross traffic alert added. 

Size matters

The second half of 2021 also promises to be exiting for Mercedes-Benz Vans – it has revealed it will be launching a new Citan into the small van market. It will be the successor to the existing Citan and is a completely redeveloped van that has been a long time in the making. Compact external dimensions teamed with a generous amount of space in the interior also open up a diverse range of possibilities for the new small van in the motorhome conversion segment. Wide-opening sliding doors both on the left and the right side of the vehicle and a low loading sill enable comfortable access to the interior and easy loading of the vehicle. In addition to its high functionality and variability, the vehicle concept promises comprehensive safety equipment and a high level of ride comfort.

Klaus said: “The new Citan is one of our highlights in 2021. But there is even more to come. Wait and see which other trends Mercedes-Benz Vans will address in the motorhome segment.”

International flavour

In addition to what’s happening with its own ranges, Mecedes-Benz Vans will continue to work closely with existing and new motorhome manufacturer partners. Klaus said: “Vanlife is popular worldwide. Increasingly, the trend is leaning towards camper vans that are as suitable for everyday use as they are for travelling. We will meet this demand, not only with our Marco Polo family, but increasingly with suitable base vehicles. Here our midsize vans, the Vito and the V-Class, play a particularly important role due to their compact external dimensions.”

To that end, Germany motorhome manufacturer Pössl will launch two new vans based on the Mercedes-Benz V-Class and the Vito into Europe: the Campstar and the Vanstar. Across the Atlantic and Mercedes-Benz is making in-roads into the midsize van market there too – Driverge Vehicle Innovations from South Carolina will be using the Vito for its Metris Getaway van.