Aussie Builder Swagman Forms Dealer Network
Australian RV builder Swagman Motorhomes, which is gearing up to produce its first vehicles in China next year, is poised to step up its domestic business with the rollout of its first Australian dealer network.
The Gold Coast Bulletin, Queensland, reported that Swagman has teamed up with Brad Sugars, whose new company, Motorhome World, will establish dealerships in all mainland Australian capital cities and in New Zealand.
Swagman chief executive Neil Ingram said the dealership rollout marked “the next stage of building the company.” Swagman is owned by millionaire boat-racing and vintage aircraft buff Steve Searle, who took control of the company three years ago.
Meanwhile, Swagman also has announced it has been awarded a distributorship deal for Airstream motorhomes and recreational trailers across Australia, which will be distributed through the new dealership network.
A year ago Swagman signed a $100 million deal that will see its brand built in China and exported to the rest of the world. The deal with Yihong Group Investments, a Chinese company with property development and boat-building interests, will see a Swagman factory up and running in China by March.
Plans include bringing Chinese-built gas-powered Class A motorhomes on Monaco-built chassis to the U.S. sometime in 2008. For years, Swagman has produced Class A’s for the Australian market on Monaco’s Roadmaster chassis.
Ingram said Swagman’s move to establish an Australian dealer network came at an appropriate time in the development of the business.
“We have spent the past three years building a whole new brand,” said Ingram. “We have invested heavily in research and development of the product, and the result now is that we have a range of world-class motorhomes ready for the global market, available in volume.
“The signing of Motorhome World represents the next stage of our planned expansion and we have our eyes firmly set on North America.”
The China factory will export Swagman directly into the U.S. market.
Searle said he had been looking for the ‘right partner’ for the dealership network. “We needed someone who has a dynamic attitude towards the brand,” he said.