Bentley Motorhomes, the multi-award-winning U.K.-based motorhome manufacturer that went into receivership in August, has been bought by a caravan manufacturer.
Out And About Live reported that Vanmaster, a Lancashire-based manufacturer of quality caravans, has acquired the Bentley name and business from the administrator, Begbies Traynor.
Richard Saville, the administrator responsible for the sale, said he was very pleased the business has been sold, although he was disappointed it could not have be sold as a going concern. The sale, he said, has been completed and all of the tangible assets of Bentley Motorhomes have now passed to Vanmaster, including the Bentley name, motorhome design and production equipment.
The directors of Vanmaster are now working with suppliers and other interested parties with the objective of recommencing production at Bentley’s Mexborough factory.
It is planned that some of the staff laid off when the motorhome manufacturer went under will be re-employed by Vanmaster. It is also understood that Vanmaster is in discussion with Gordon Bentley about how his skills can be used in the company.
Vanmaster is also meeting with the Bentley dealer network to determine if they will sell Bentley motorhomes again when production restarts.
However, Ian Thompson, Vanmaster managing director, said when production of Bentley motorhomes restarts, it will be at a lower volume than previously. “We will not be mass production, we will be direct selling to customers.”
He also said that a primary focus of the on-going discussions with Bentley’s suppliers is to ensure that Vanmaster will be able to honor the warranty cover on Bentleys that are already on the road.
An English motorhome manufacturer has been forced to close its doors, blaming its failure on significantly reduced sales in recent months.
Caravan Times reported that Mexborough-based Bentley Motorhomes has ceased trading, with 26 people losing their jobs as a result of the closure.
The company’s failure is made all the more shocking by its recent success – at the 2012 Caravan Club Awards, it picked up first and second place in the “Coachbuilts $70,000 to $86,000” category for its Cerise and Amber models respectively. It also won the top two spots in the “Coachbuilts over $86,000” competition for its Oulton and Mallory models.
But this success was not enough to save the company with insolvency specialist Begbies Traynor blaming a downturn in sales for the failure.
Andrew Cordon, from the administrator’s Nottingham office, said: “It is particularly disappointing to be called into such a well-run company and one that has an excellent reputation for the quality of its products.”