STARCO sole tyre/rim supplier to Coachman caravan range

Mirroring the direction the car industry took a number of years ago, the rim of choice on today’s caravan is increasingly alloy. STARCO recently entered into a 100 per cent supply agreement with UK caravan manufacturer Coachman. Under the terms of the three-year deal, STARCO will supply tyres and alloy rims to the entire Coachman range.

Ian Kershaw, technical director for Coachman, comments that the Hull-based manufacturer has fitted alloys as standard equipment for more than 15 years now. “This is mainly for aesthetic reasons and is expected from our customers,” he adds.

Coachman is one of the top ten caravan manufacturers in Europe, and employs around 180 people. The company has worked with STARCO for a couple of years now. “Our ability to provide a high quality bespoke product, supported by our in-depth knowledge of the application is key to our success,” says Shaun Jones, Trailer & Caravan segment director at STARCO.

“Unlike our competitors, we don’t just offer a range of alloys with designs chosen by us,” adds Jones. “We do of course have standard styles, but what appeals to more and more manufacturers is the option to have a bespoke design, thus creating and enforcing their own brand identity. Once a design is chosen, we then look at paint and finish. The customer can choose colour, finish and even diamond cut.”

Most of the alloy wheels offered by STARCO are manufactured in-house. Last year, it supplied more than 30,000 alloy wheels across Europe, and the volume is growing. “We are currently having a new 15-inch alloy wheel developed in the existing Coachman style,” shares Kershaw. “This is for a new model which is being prototyped now and will soon be launched to the market. Specifications have changed in regards to weight, and hence we will fit and upgrade to the 15-inch bespoke wheel design to match the design trends better.” The new 15-inch complete assembly with GT Radial KargoMax tyre from GiTi will soon be ready for TÜV testing.

While Kershaw concedes that aesthetic considerations is the main reason for fitting a caravan with alloy rims, Sean Jones notes that alloys are lighter than their steel counterparts and thus reduce unsprung weight, and they are also offer greater corrosion resistance.

The UK caravan and motorhome market is currently growing. Coachman anticipates significant growth in the coming years and states that most competitors predict that sales this year will increase by around ten per cent compared with 2016. The UK is the largest touring caravan manufacturing base in Europe, where eleven manufacturers account for 98 per cent of all caravans produced.

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