CarGO! and market development - industry in the eyes of an expert (part 1)

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The end of the year is the perfect time to sum up. We had the opportunity to talk to the manager of CarGO! Pomerania , Witold Tłuchowski. Witek is not only a passionate traveler, but also an undisputed authority in the caravanning world. In an extensive conversation, he told us about the development of the company, plans for the future and the current problems and challenges facing the industry. We invite you to read!

Interview with Witold Tłuchowski

The end of the year is usually a time for summaries and evaluations. How do you evaluate these last seasons on the caravanning market for your company?

CarGO! company Pomorze, which is one of the companies belonging to the CarGO! Group, is a young company. It started operations in February 2019. Thanks to the trust I developed in private relationships with the managers of the largest manufacturer of caravans in the world, the HOBBY company, I received an offer to open a dealership in northern Poland. I was wondering how to use this opportunity and implement it. Having extensive knowledge of the industry and knowledge of the potential of individual companies, I turned to Mariusz and Radek Gogulski with a proposal to create something new together: a strong company with development potential that would have a chance to succeed in a short time. Privately, we have known each other for many years, I have observed their difficult path in building a company on the caravanning market, which looked completely different in Poland 10 years ago. Niche market is probably the correct definition of what they were dealing with in 2009-2015.


Combining my many years of experience in business with their recognizable brand CarGO! allowed us to develop a cooperation model and create a real group, which is intended to integrate several independent companies from the caravanning and recreation industry. My partners and I assumed that our business as CarGO! Pomerania will develop quickly, but I think I was the only one optimistic about such rapid development. The company is the fulfillment of my dream: combining work and business with my fascination with motoring and being an active caravanner. Today I am in an industry that I love and where working is pure pleasure.

In a short time, we managed to open a professional sales point and, above all, create a solid service base. This plan quickly gave us results in the form of starting the sale of HOBBY trailers in Wejherowo along with wide possibilities of retrofitting them. We sold the first trailers in May 2019. By the end of August 2019, 20 Hobby vehicles had already been sold.


A key moment for the company was the Caravans Salon fair in Poznań in September 2019. CarGO Group stand! it had an area of over 1,800 m2 and we presented 30 vehicles there. For the first time as CarGO! Pomerania - authorized dealer, we showed HOBBY trailers and campers. The success of these fairs was a driving force for us to further develop sales. I remember the look on Mariusz Gogulski's face when he saw that I had placed an order for over 50 vehicles at the HOBBY factory for the 2019/2020 season. Everyone had some concerns about whether we were acting too quickly and too optimistic. Life has shown that this was a key moment for our company - a secured contingent of vehicles gave us an advantage on the market.

The next development step of CarGO! Pomerania was the inclusion of ADRIA vehicles in the offer - from January 2020, we became an authorized dealer of the ADRIA brand in Poznań and Wejherowo. The second brand appeared practically when the pandemic broke out.

What was he like for CarGO! Pomerania and your entire group - the period from the outbreak of the pandemic until today?

For the entire CarGO Group! It was a period of titanic work, but crowned with significant success. After the outbreak of the pandemic in March 2020, our first reactions were that either this situation would completely freeze the market or we would see a dynamic leap forward for the entire industry. Personally, I have been a supporter of the thesis from the very beginning that if there is any way to relax during the lockdown, it will be traveling with your own home on wheels.

We must also honestly say that until 2020, the Polish market was a very small market compared even to medium-sized markets in Western Europe. The first positive signals were already in the years 2015-2018, but overall it was still a fledgling industry in Poland.

The outbreak of the pandemic, educational and promotional activities carried out by the professional press, industry portals, activities of PGC and the dealers themselves, as well as the self-propelling boom in caravanning as a form of spending time during the pandemic among our potential customers, driven by social media, led to the market explosion.

After 3-4 weeks of hesitation, everything started, and we couldn't keep up with the deliveries of trailers and campers, which were then easily available from manufacturers. Western Europe stopped and we moved. We closed the 2019/2020 season in August 2020 with record sales of both campers and (and perhaps above all) caravans. After a year and a half of operations, CarGO! Pomerania achieved the best sales of HOBBY vehicles on the Polish market (78 units). We became the leader. We had a very successful start to the 2020/2021 season thanks to the only industry fair that took place at the end of September in Poznań (Caravans Salon 2020). We implemented our plan for this season in 100% and at the end of July 2021 we again received the title of HOBBY dealer of the year in Poland.


Sales of ADRIA vehicles were also record-breaking. In total, the 2020/2021 season in CarGO! We closed Pomerania with over 130 vehicles sold. Among them were gems - for example, the luxurious ADRIA ASTELLA trailers. It was a very exhausting season. Suffice it to say that at the peak (April-May 2021) we delivered 20 HOBBY and ADRIA vehicles retrofitted in our service center in Wejherowo. It was a huge effort of our service technicians who met this challenge by working 12 hours and 6 days a week. The entire CarGO Group! achieved record sales among all the brands we represent on the Polish market. There has been a huge jump in the sales of FRANKIA vehicles - i.e. luxury campers with a GVM of the area. 3500kg. The budget Challenger brand was also very successful, and PILOTE became one of the most recognizable brands on the market.

How do you assess the beginning of the 2021/2022 season?

Due to the pandemic conditions, this season promised to be very difficult from the beginning. Not because of concerns about vehicle sales, but rather about their availability. Our orders placed to factories in February and March 2021 have been significantly reduced.

Both HOBBY and CHAUSSON as well as the PILOTE Group and ADRIA have significantly reduced our record orders. Despite these reductions, the number of vehicles we have for this season is still considerable. CarGO! Pomerania offered customers over 140 vehicles for this season. The plans were definitely bigger, but this is the reality of the market.


Caravanning in Poland has gained record popularity and it seems that this is not a seasonal enthusiasm for the freedom of travel, but a permanent trend. This gives the industry the prospect of stability, which has certainly been lacking so far. Signals from the market are very positive.

Have sales started normally in the 2021/2022 season? How do you assess the effectiveness of the fairs in Poznań and Nadarzyn?

Sales in the 2021/2022 season started in June. Today, customers are perfectly informed about vehicle availability problems and did not wait for the fair. They placed orders for vehicles already in the period June-September 2021. Record holders ordered trailers that will be available in May or June 2022. The CARAVANS SALON fair in Poznań was very successful for our entire Group. We sold over 35 vehicles directly during this event. Right after the fair, we finalized many more transactions. Our stand - over 1,900 m2 - was one of the most attractive. The number of vehicles on display was also record-breaking. As CarGO! In Pomerania, we presented 12 trailers of the HOBBY and ADRIA brands and - for the first time as an official dealer of the MORELO brand - the PALACE 93 LSB model, which found a buyer at this fair and attracted crowds.

The fair in Nadarzyn turned out to be quite a challenge. As CarGO! Pomerania, we had our hands full at the factory stand of the HOBBY brand, while at the same time taking care of the exhibition of the ADRIA and MORELO brands as well as FRANKIA, PILOTE and CHAUSSON at the stand of the CarGO! group. The result was extremely satisfactory - we sold another dozen or so campers and over 20 caravans. There was a bad taste due to the fact that the date of the fair in Nadarzyn was too close to that in Poznań. This situation is not conducive to effective work and deserves a negative assessment. The fair in Nadarzyn was held regularly in the second half of October.

Mark Morelo in CarGO! Pomerania

CarGO offers! Ultra-luxurious campers from the German company MORELO have recently become available in Pomerania. How do you assess the current interest in the brand among customers and its sales potential?

We became an authorized representative of the MORELO brand in November 2020. Practically in the middle of a pandemic, without the possibility of full technical and commercial training. Everything was done exclusively online. The choice of MORELO as our most luxurious brand was dictated by the very large increase in customer interest in the FRANKIA brand. It is also a very luxurious brand, but its price is more accessible to the average customer. In our opinion, customers who appreciate the FRANKIA brand are also future potential customers for even more luxurious vehicles.

By entering the world of MORELO, we entered a field previously unknown to us, but with enormous potential. Thanks to the canceled trade fair in Stuttgart in January 2021, we managed to buy the first, ready-made MORELO model - immediately from the PALACE series - perfectly configured. With this model, we started brand promotion and active sales on the market. After a year of operation, I can confidently say that it was a very good step in the development of our company and the entire Group. Our brand portfolio is now complete.


Returning to the assessment of the potential of our market regarding the MORELO brand, it is enough to mention that in the first year of our activity we sold 3 different MORELO vehicles: two from the PALACE series and one PALACE LINER . I consider it a great success. We have also ordered two more exhibition campers for 2022 - LOFT and PALACE. Detailed offers will soon hit the market. Sales could certainly be higher, but the availability of vehicles and long delivery times are starting to discourage customers. If you order a vehicle from the PALACE or PALACE LINER series with a garage today, you must wait for collection until the end of the third quarter of 2023. EMPIRE LINER models will be available later. The situation is slightly better with the LOFT and HOME models. This is a difficult time for both us dealers and customers. We all need to be patient and keep working.

The rest of the interview will follow soon. Stay tuned!

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Maciej Kinal
Maciej Kinal

I feel best in the form of trade fairs and meetings with enthusiasts. Technical freak. In my life I have dismantled many motorhomes for the first time. Fan of large vehicles, mountain biking and traveling without weight and financial restrictions. At CampRest, I am responsible for all publications on automotive topics.

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