The German-built Westfalia motorhomes manufacturer, CVC Camping Van Conversion GmbH, has been saved, according to a news release.
Insolvency administrator Rainer Eckert has sold the business operations of the company to the French Rapido Group. Rapido, one of the leading enterprises in the development, production, and sale of recreational vehicles in Europe. The French firm has agreed to take on all of the over 100 employees and preserve the Rheda-Wiedenbrück, Germany, site. The parties have agreed not to disclose the purchase price. The creditors have already approved the transfer.
“With Rapido we have found an investor that offers a viable strategy for the future of the Westfalia brand,” explained Eckert, after the contract of sale was signed. “Rapido, furthermore, has the necessary industry and market know-how at its disposal and is ready and in a position to make the necessary investments.”
“As an innovation leader in van conversion, Westfalia is the perfect addition to our product portfolio in the Rapido Group,” emphasised Rapido CEO Pierre Rousseau. Rousseau went on to explain that Westfalia is not only a brand with prestige but also a synonym for innovation and quality. “We are very confident we can soon lead the company back to its former strength again,” he said and added that the Rapido Group has an in-depth knowledge of the dealer networks in Europe, which represents a significant development potential for Westfalia. With the purchase, the Rapido Group is pressing ahead with its activities to expand its international presence.
CVC Camping Van Conversion GmbH had filed for insolvency in January after a severe slump in sales. Despite the difficult market environment, Eckert managed to stabilise the business operations quickly and restructure the company. He also succeeded in retaining the interest of the important OEM partners Mercedes, Opel, Ford, and Fiat – besides its own models, Westfalia also produces motorhomes for automobile manufacturers, such as the Marco Polo for Mercedes, the Transit Nugget for Ford, and the Opel Vivaro Life.
This gave Eckert time to search calmly for a suitable investor. During the insolvency proceedings, Eckert even spurred on the development of new products. Thus, only recently, at the end of August at Caravan Salon Düsseldorf, Westfalia presented the new “Columbus” motorhome with its innovative interior concept, which caused a sensation amongst customers and the trade press alike.
Westfalia motorhome manufacturer, CVC Camping Van Conversion GmbH (CVC), Rheda-Wiedenbrück, Germany, is undergoing restructuring.
The company wants to utilize insolvency proceedings to bring about an effective and sustainable realignment of its business, according to a news release.
Important prerequisites for this realignment have already been established. After the company filed for insolvency last Wednesday (Feb. 3), Mercedes, Opel, Ford and Fiat assured their full support for the restructuring of the motorhome manufacturer.
CVC, which acquired Westfalia products from Daimler AG in 2007, produces various models for its OEM partners, such as the Viano Marco Polo, Ford Transit Nugget, and the Opel Vivaro Life.
The vehicle manufacturers have assured delivery of the base vehicles as well as their purchasing of the finished models.
”The support of the OEM partners clearly shows the confidence of the manufacturers in the future of the company and the Westfalia brand,” emphasises the preliminary insolvency administrator Rainer Eckert of law firm Eckert Rechtsanwälte. ”This also includes development partnerships, such as those that exist with Fiat, being continued as planned.”
Thus, a new Westfalia model based on the Fiat Ducato is expected to be launched already in a few months time. Development of the prototype is currently continuing in full swing.
Alongside the OEM partners, the main suppliers have also assured their support. ”Full production is currently continuing and is also guaranteed for the coming months,” Eckert said.
After the slump during the first half of 2009, incoming orders were in the meantime staying at a constant level, he added. The salaries and wages for the approximately 170 employees are assured for three months through the insolvency allowance.
With the application for the opening of insolvency proceedings, the search for a suitable investor has at the same time also begun: ”We shall shortly be getting in contact with potential interested parties,” Eckert explained. The contract will be awarded to the investor offering the best, most viable strategy for the future.