Kampery Złotniccy is a family business that has achieved significant success in recent years - and not only in the caravanning industry. In addition to the sale of new recreational vehicles from renowned manufacturers, we can also use a professional service, as well as camper and van rentals.
However, the phenomenal development of the industry that we have observed since the pandemic has passed, and many companies are forced to adapt their business profile to the new reality. We managed to talk to the company's owner, Łukasz Złotnicki, about the challenges and prospects.
MK: Łukasz, welcome to our pages again and once again we have to ask the question: what are the moods and prospects in the industry?
ŁZ: Well… There is no doubt that we are currently dealing with a collapse in demand. Diagnosing the situation, we come to the conclusion that several factors contribute to this state of affairs.
On the one hand, the availability of new campers is still poor, but on the other, it should be emphasized that after repeated increases, there are much fewer people willing to rent them.
However, we notice another peculiar phenomenon. After 2 years of the Covid boom, a large group of users clearly come to the conclusion that buying a camper was not a good idea.
Especially private individuals and entities who, encouraged by the vision of easy money, have invested in one or several campers for rent, decide to part ways. Demand in this area has significantly reduced. Small, home-based camper rentals are no longer profitable, and maintenance/leasing costs remain.
Exactly. This brings us closer to the topic I wanted to ask about - can this state of affairs have any impact on your business?
We see an opportunity here, both directly and indirectly. There are offers for the sale of used cars - even one- or two-year-old cars, often associated with leasing.
Our idea is to act as an intermediary - we want to facilitate the sale and purchase of such cars.
Buying a used camper for sale is supposed to be as safe as buying a new car. That is why the vehicles we offer must have a real warranty, comparable to the factory warranty. It is to be 2 years or limited by mileage, which we have set at 40,000 kilometers.
It is not and is not intended to be an insurance policy of questionable quality, such as that available from companies selling used passenger cars on a large scale. Our warranty is given in writing. This requires us to thoroughly verify the technical condition of cars and their on-board systems. The tightness of the structure is also an important element.
So, in practice, will you focus on almost new campers?
Not necessarily. Of course, we will work hard with "fresh" cars, but not exclusively. There are many well-kept campers on the market that are even 10 years old and in impeccable technical condition.
After appropriate verification, such cars can also be covered by our program. However, we want to meet high quality standards and we will certainly not turn a blind eye to any shortcomings.
The repurchase value will also depend on the condition of the car and the condition of its equipment. We also reserve the right to offer used cars not covered by the above-mentioned warranty if they do not meet certain standards and do not pass the initial qualification.
What types of campers (brands, types of construction) are most attractive to you from the point of view of this program?
Of course, we first look at brands that we distribute as new cars, but we have no problem with servicing/purchasing other brands. For us, the most interesting are the alcoves and semi-integrated ones, full integrateds are rather rare, as are brass ones. However, we will consider every proposal.
However, customer needs are different - sometimes sophisticated. Can I ask you to look for your dream camper model/system, used e.g. abroad?
Of course, we have our sources and the possibility of looking for cars abroad, but we rather try to focus on the repurchase/exchange scheme. We have an extensive customer base and if you are interested, we are looking for who has bought a given model from us in recent years. We contact them and ask if they are interested in selling/exchanging the vehicle. This is a natural way for us to obtain proven cars.
I would like to return to the issue of warranty - do you have the technical potential to comprehensively support such a program?
Yes of course. Our strength and the apple of our eye was, is and will be a professional, fully equipped service. This is an essential issue for us in the context of company development and ensuring an appropriate level of customer service.
With the facilities we have, we are able to handle the full spectrum - from mechanical repairs, through the installation of accessories, to more advanced post-accident repairs.
You mentioned that many cars offered for sale are leased campers. Is the user change/assignment procedure a complicated process?
The financing and leasing process are generally similar. Such an assignment is not problematic. The annex to the contract is the only additional operating cost and amounts to several hundred zlotys.
Since in many cases the cars are largely paid off, the current user usually expects payment of the so-called transfer fee. From a formal point of view, we supervise the entire process , and as an intermediary, we issue an invoice for the intermediation service, most often including the mentioned fee amount.
What is the status of your rental camper fleet this year?
This year, due to the challenges we have to face, we will register further campers from the 2022 model year (and not 2023). The fleet of our Campery Złotniccy rental company usually has around 20 rental vehicles in the season (sometimes there are more).
This year, more cars will be equipped with amenities that were not available before - for example, we are focusing on powerful solar installations , including those capable of powering stationary air conditioning without being connected to external power sources. Many of our vehicles are already equipped with Gas Bank systems that enable refueling with external gas without the sometimes hassle of replacing the cylinder.
Moreover, it is worth emphasizing that we offer the camper rental service all year round and all models are winter versions.
During our last conversation, you mentioned the formal difficulties you encountered when planning a new headquarters. Is there any progress yet?
Yes, fortunately, things have gone in the right direction and we are currently waiting for the authorities' decisions. If everything goes according to plan, we will start construction in the first half of 2023, and the move could take place as early as next year.
Our new location will be quite close to the current headquarters, in Henryków-Urocze at ul. Gromadzka.
Thank you and wish you a successful season, we keep our fingers crossed for record sales results against all odds.
How can I contact you about the offer?
You can find our contact details on our company profile on CampRest: Campery Złotniccy .
This article was prepared in cooperation with Campery Złotniccy
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.