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Growth despite market weakness

Bürstner increases sales in a falling market / Ixeo time motorhome and the completely revised Belcanto and Trecento caravans are the highlights of the new season

(PresseBox) (Kehl, ) The leisure vehicle market is going through a difficult time. After an initially positive start to this year, sales have collapsed across a wide front in the spring. A key reason for this, according to Klaus Peter Bolz, Managing Director of caravan and motorhome manufacturer Bürstner, with responsibility for the areas of sales, marketing and development, has been the cool weather, which has suppressed the urge to buy for many a prospective customer. But above all economic insecurity, dominated by the weakness of the currency and uncertainty about the future in large sections of the corporate landscape in Germany, is the cause of the average drop in sales.

"However at Bürstner we have managed to buck this general trend," says Klaus Peter Bolz. "Careful development of the model range and an effective programme of costreduction measures have enabled us to achieve good results even during the slack months. Bürstner produced and sold 3,500 caravans in the past season, along with a total of 5,000 motorhomes.

These sales results match the forecast made last year for the caravans. In the case of the motorhomes, on the other hand, the forecast figure was exceeded by 11 %. Turnover took a major leap in the course of this development. It amounts to 285 million euros for the past financial year, which is 47 million euros more than in the comparable period in the previous season. The results point to a positive trend: "We are finishing the financial year clearly in the black," says Bolz.

The costsaving measures that have been implemented at the parent plant in Kehl and in the French subsidiary Bürstner SA in Wissembourg, Alsace, have not been at the expense of the workforce. Bürstner currently employs 968 staff and is training 23 young apprentices in commerce and the trades. This trend is rising. "We have primarily worked on process optimisation and we have harmonised our purchasing," says Klaus Peter Bolz. Bürstner belongs to Hymer AG and cooperates with the parent company as well as its sister companies in order to achieve better purchasing conditions.

"Above all we have optimised our model range. We are in an intensive dialogue with our trade partners and our customers, so we can respond quickly and effectively to the requirements of the market in order to be able to offer suitable products at attractive prices," says Bolz. One of the most important forums for the exchange of ideas is the Customer Service Centre inaugurated in 2004 in Neumühl, a suburb of Kehl, with which Bürstner still enjoys a USP in the market and has created a platform on which customers can get rapid technical assistance and find out about new products, but also pass on their suggestions and wishes.

"The market has become extremely pricesensitive, especially in the midrange sector," says Klaus Peter Bolz, explaining the behaviour of buyers. "In addition to which there is the gross vehicle weight limit of 3.5 tonnes, which is becoming ever more important and which is frightening off young new customers, as they need an LGV licence if the motorhome weighs more than this. On the other hand there are growing expectations in terms of comfort and convenience. At the top of the list of these requirements are a large refrigerator and a bike rack, older customers in particular are interested in single beds, and a satellite dish and receiver are also among the most frequently selected extras. And all these comfort features, whether offered as a package or ordered individually, add extra weight to the vehicle. "But we are sure that we can expect noticeable weight savings in these areas in the next few years, which will make the development work for new products considerably easier for us as manufacturers," says Klaus Peter Bolz.


Belcanto and Trecento with comprehensive revisions

Among the caravans, the new model year is marked by the comprehensive updates to the upper midrange and luxury class Belcanto and Trecento series. In its standard format the Belcanto has a smart, gleaming white body with a sturdy, hammered finish, while the Trecento has smooth exterior panelling with an exclusive Champagne paint finish and elegant chrome trim strips. For the Belcanto the customer can also choose the option of a silver paint finish, as well as an elegant smoothpanelled version. Another striking feature is the stylish drawbar cover, which is standard equipment on the new Belcanto and Trecento models. New external graphics and new aluminium wheels in gleaming Black Polish finish with a new design (optional in the case of the Belcanto) round off the exterior looks in a harmonious way.

The new onepiece entrance door with a useful rubbish container built into it is equally striking both inside and out. A window plus a mosquito net in the entrance door are a standard feature of the Trecento, and are available as an optional extra in the case of the Belcanto. The rolling waste water tank is also part of the standard equipment package in the Trecento. In the Belcanto the furnishings are produced in a fresh, elegant cedar look, while the Trecento has the sophisticated Merano walnut wood finish.

The Belcanto gets new kitchen fronts in Sahara Beige design, as well as a new lighting system for the 2010/2011 season. The individually adjustable headrests have also been upgraded. Cold foam mattresses on the beds provide a more comfortable night's sleep.

A large number of new floor plans make these two model series even more attractive. The Belcanto series is augmented by the 510 TS, 540 TL and 540 TS versions. In the case of the Trecento, the dealers can expect six different new interior layouts. The newcomers are the 460 TL, the 510 TS, the 535 TL and the 535 TS, as well as both 560 and 650 TK versions. There are altogether nine versions each of the Belcanto and the Trecento.

In the case of the remaining caravan model series, Bürstner has revised the range with some comprehensive model updates. The Premio is positioned in the upper entrylevel category; all seven floor plans get a new floor covering with a tiled look, as well as new work surfaces and table tops in Venezia finish. The quality and finish of the upholstery will in future match the quality in Bürstner luxury model series. It is now possible to choose from a total of seven upholstery designs. The Premio 495 TK is a new floor plan in the model range.

The Averso has turned into a bestseller at Bürstner. This successful model series now gets a new topoftherange model in the spacious Averso 800 TK, while the Fifty package developed in the anniversary year of 2008 remains in the programme as a result of its tremendous popularity, and is now available for all Averso models. The new Golden Teak furniture décor enhances the feeling of homeliness in the Averso versions. The new floor covering bearing the name Nizza Pearl gives this model series an even more sophisticated look. Work surfaces and table tops have also been redesigned, creating a cosy feel with their Venezia design. Bürstner also offers the option of new head restraints in each of the round seating groups of the Averso (a component of the Fifty package), which with its excellent valueformoney price structure is equally attractive to entrylevel customers and those moving upmarket. The body panels have a hammered finish and Bürstner offers the option of alloy wheels in Black Polish design (also a component of the Fifty package).

The Averso plus with its clever interior layout has achieved outstanding positioning from a standing start. Not only has the layout with a dropdown bed above the seating group already been awarded some much soughtafter prizes by the trade, but the Averso has also impressed campers who do not want to have to make up a bed every night, despite the short body length. The manually operated dropdown bed (with the option of electric operation) enables bedding such as pillows and blankets to be "parked" ready prepared under the roof. In the evening the bed offers a relaxing night's sleep with the minimum of preparation and effort. The best thing is that despite the lowered bed, there is still enough room to sleep 'downstairs' on the conventional seating groups. Children can sleep in comfort on these (not in the case of the 410 TS), and the Averso offers impressive flexibility. New features of this caravan series, comprising three floor plans, are the onepiece entrance door (standard equipment) and the alloy wheels in Black Polish design (optional).

In model year 2011 Bürstner will be offering five caravan model series with a total of 40 different floor plans. There are 10 different upholstery designs available for the interiors (seven in the case of the Premio). A majority of them are supplied at no extra charge.

The new floor plans:

Premio 495 TK

Averso 800 TK

Belcanto 510 TS, 540 TL, 540 TS

Trecento 460 TL, 510 TS, 535 TL, 535 TS, 560 TK, 650 TK


Ixeo time - the right product for a pricesensitive category

With the launch of the Ixeo and its dropdown bed, Bürstner has revolutionised the market for partially integrated motorhomes. Highly comfortable sleeping arrangements with a short body length, a feat that is like squaring the circle, and which ensured the Ixeo a meteoric rise. The model range in this category is being supplemented in the new season. The Ixeo time rounds off the bottom end of the product spectrum in the partially integrated segment.

The Fiat lowframe chassis with widened track forms a sturdy, wellproven basis for the Ixeo time. Safe driving characteristics and good loadcarrying capacity are the distinguishing features of the comfortably sprung chassis. The technically permissible gross vehicle weight is either 3,500 kg or 3,850 kg in conjunction with the Fiat Ducato 35 Light, and 4,000 kg in the case of the Ducato Maxi. Customers have the choice of the more easyriding chassis with the 3,500 kg maximum vehicle weight or, if they take a lot of gear with them on holiday, they can make full use of the higher load limit. The Ixeo time models have the Fix and Go kit on board as standard in case of a puncture, and the heavy spare wheel has been dispensed with. There is a choice of three different fourcylinder diesel engines, delivering 100, 130 and 157 HP, with ABS and ASR (traction control) as standard.

Although the Ixeo time is positioned in the lower price segment, its equipment package is nothing to be ashamed of. The sturdy Hartal entrance door with optional mosquito net is just as much part of the standard equipment as the electrically operated extending step. Above the cab the popular Skyroof allows light into the interior. The third brake light at the rear is in the form of the Bürstner logo.

The Fiat seats for the driver and front passenger are extremely comfortable when on the road. Depending on the floor plan they can be swivelled round, and height adjustment is also part of the package. At night the cab can be blacked out with strong textile blinds, and the opening windows in the body are fitted with combination roller blinds. Just like its more upmarket brothers, the Ixeo time has ventilated storage cabinets, and the fixed beds are equipped with slatted frames and elaborate pocketsprung mattresses. For weight reasons the developers chose a light foam mattress for the dropdown bed, but a cold foam mattress can be ordered as an optional extra.

The kitchen is equipped with a threeburner gas hob and glass cover; the refrigerator has a capacity of 104 litres as standard. The waste water tank holds 90 litres and the variably usable fresh water tank holds 60 or 120 litres. The electrical system of the Ixeo time includes a powerful 250 VA inverter, the Service Centre as the control instrument and an RCD. An awning light is available as an optional extra, while the Truma Combi 4 heating system is part of the basic equipment package. The same applies to the extending and pivoting screen mount with prerouted aerial cable. The Ixeo time also has the option of a radio system with aerial and speakers in the living area. Further equipment options include the chassis package and the winter package.

Five different floor plans, one of which includes a rear garage, are available for the Ixeo time. One outstanding example is the Ixeo time it 650, which is available for the first time with the option of six seats which are approved for use when travelling. This is an especially powerful argument for professional rental firms. On the other hand as an entrylevel model the Ixeo time it 585 offers highquality holiday comfort for two campers, in a vehicle less than six metres in length.

Further improvements at a high level: Ten model series for leisure mobility.

The Ixeo time extends the range of Bürstner motorhomes to no less than ten model series. In the new model year the customer has a choice of 48 different floor plans. Above all the integrated models, the Aviano and the Elegance, are getting a fresh look in the new season. Both models are getting daytime running lights with modern LED technology. This lowers energy consumption and improves visibility. On the inside the two Bürstner flagships have undergone numerous detailed improvements and the Aviano can now be equipped with two different furniture schemes. One new exterior paint finish is reserved exclusively for the topoftherange Elegance model. The colour Opal exudes quality and freshness and goes perfectly with the balanced proportions of the integrated motorhome.

In the other model series the changes include the floor coverings, the laminated veneers of the tables and work services, as well as furniture décors and toilet compartments. The design of the Black Polish alloy wheels has been modified so that it better matches the graphics of the Bürstner motorhomes. These wheels are standard equipment for the Ixeo plus and the Elegance, and they are available as an optional extra for the other model series. On the inside the seating group in semidinette format will be standard in the Nexxo and Viseo model series, with an Lshaped seating group available as an optional alternative for these versions.

A new look: The Travel Van

The Travel Van model series, the compact motorhomes from Bürstner with their external width of only 218 cm, line up for the 2011 season in their current, wellproven exterior styling, which guarantees a high level of recognition. The standard colour is white, with the typical Bürstner graphics. The Travel Van is also available in the Silver paint finish options, which give the customers an individual choice. The new entrance door, which can also be ordered with a mosquito net, and the new Golden Teak furniture décor are distinguishing features of the new model year for the Travel Van. The kitchen is now in Sahara Beige and Silver Ash has been chosen for the toilet compartment, giving it a modern look.

Range extended: The Nexxo

Bürstner is adding a new floor plan to the Nexxo range, bringing the total to six floor plan versions. The t 720 with its low single beds will primarily satisfy senior citizens with high expectations in terms of comfort and convenience. The standard version is in gleaming white and in a typical Bürstner look. The Nexxo models vary between 5.69 and 7.44 metres in length. Stylish transitions between the cab, body and roof emphasise the fresh design of the Nexxo. Available options include the special paint finishes, Silver and Champagne.

Newly configured layout: The Solano

Two new or modified floor plans constitute the model range in the upper midrange sector, the Solano. In 2011 the t 727 is replacing the t 725 and the t 729 is replacing the t 728 G. In the case of the t 727 the bathroom has been revised and significantly upgraded, with more generous proportions as a 'spacious bathroom'. The freestanding queensize bed can be adjusted at the push of a button and can thus be easily moved into a sleeping or reading position, as required. The Solano t 729 offers an enlarged wardrobe and lower single beds, to make getting into bed easier for senior citizens. All the floor plan versions have cold foam mattresses on highquality bed frames to guarantee a restful night's sleep.

Classleader, reinterpreted: The Ixeo

The upwardly mobile member of the Bürstner family gets a touch more finesse in the new model year. The special paint finishes that are available include Fire and Champagne. Golden Teak furniture décor with floor coverings in Nizza Pearl design ensure a cosy feel in the interior. There are two new floor plans in the Ixeo range. The it 645 is a comfortable twoperson floor plan, boasting a generously proportioned lounge. The Lshaped seating group and the side bench offer both room for an afternoon nap and, in combination with the rotating pilot seats, space for a large number of guests. The it 710 G is replacing the it 674 G model. The new floor plan with a side bench integrates the cab into the living area better, and the now Lshaped kitchen has been positioned further to the rear, offering significantly more work surface area and storage space.

With that little bit extra: The Ixeo Plus

Last year Bürstner raised the bar again in terms of comfort with the Ixeo Plus. With stylish furniture including sturdy, finely fashioned handles and a whole string of unusual comfort features, this top model in the partially integrated sector has satisfied the most demanding customer requirements. The standard paint finish in white and the various Silver and Champagne special paint finishes underline its quality. On the inside the Ixeo Plus boasts an electrically operate dropdown bed, plus in the case of the it 724 version, an electrically operated extending queensize bed at the rear. The total number of floor plans remains at four, with the it 674 G being replaced by the it 710 G with rear garage.

The two smaller models of the Ixeo Plus, the it 664 and the it 710 G, still have the Fiat Ducato lowframe chassis. The two large models, the it 724 and the it 726 G, are mounted on the AL-KO AMC lowframe chassis.

Optimum price for optimum performance: The Viseo

Plenty of room and storage space, along with an extremely attractive price structure. At Bürstner this combination bears the name Viseo. This fully integrated motorhome can be ordered in a smart, twotone design, if required. In the interior the furniture décor of the table and work surfaces has been replaced by the new pattern, Venezia, the toilet compartments are in Silver Ash and the floor is covered in the new Nizza Pearl design. The practical semidinette will in future be fitted as standard in all Viseo models, though the visually attractive Lshaped seating group will still be available on request.

With the face of the brand: The Aviano

With the model year changeover the Aviano is getting the same face as the more upmarket Elegance. LED daytime running lights are now standard. In addition to which there are three new floor plans in the range. The i 645 is a comfortable twoperson vehicle, with an attractive, generously proportioned lounge. The Lshaped seating group and the side bench offer both room for an afternoon nap and, in combination with the rotating pilot seats, space for guests. The i 684 P is based on the i 684, but instead of the side bench it is equipped with an additional pilot seat and a panoramic window. The i 727 is replacing the i 725. It too has the electrically operated extending double bed, an Lshaped kitchen with a 160litre refrigerator and an Lshaped seating group. In contrast to the previous floor plan, the i 727 has a shower separated from the washroom, making the design of the bathroom even more generously proportioned and convenient.

Only the best: The Elegance

The top model from Bürstner, the integrated Elegance, has gained yet more sophistication with a new exterior design. The graphics skilfully pick up the styling and colours of the front end and extend them across the entire side of the vehicle. This significantly enhances the proportions of the luxury liner. Two new floor plans in the range are aimed at customers who are used to an especially high level of comfort and convenience. Both have a kingsize bed and a fullsize garage. The i 800 G in its twoaxle format is based on the floor plan of the i 730, though with greater comfort. This floor plan offers a longer Lshaped seating group and a larger sleeping area with a freestanding double bed. A double floor for additional storage space is part of the standard equipment package. The floor plan of the i 900 G is similar to that of the i 800 G. However, as a threeaxle design with an overall length of 8.99 metres and an even more generously proportioned bathroom, as well as more storage space and stowage options, it offers even more comfort and convenience than its smaller brother. The living area benefits in the form of a 1.32 metre side bench.

When size is what counts: The Argos

The three models in the Argos series place the emphasis on spaciousness and winterability. With uncompromising technology, up to six seats and sleeping accommodation for up to seven, these alcove models are aimed not least at motorhome rental firms. A new feature for the season changeover is the Merano walnut furniture décor in the A 640-2 and A 650-2 twoaxle models, which was introduced last year in the topof the range model, the A 747-2. With a length of 7.30 to 8.86 metres and a width of 2.30 metres, the Argos models offer an extremely spacious interior, and in the double floor there is not only room for all the motorhome's technical equipment, safely protected from frost, but also any amount of luggage. All three Argos models, the A 640-2, A 650-2 and A 747-2, are equipped with Fiat Ducato and Alko widetrack, lowframe chassis.

A love of detail: More comfort on board

Numerous other updates make the Bürstner motorhome model range even more attractive. For example, the Alden Allin-One Entertainment-System represents a significant gain in terms of comfort and convenience. Bürstner will install this on request in the new model year. The TV system can receive both free and pay-TV channels, thanks to an integrated digital CI receiver. There is also a builtin DVB-T tuner and a control unit that controls the TV, an 18.5inch HD flatscreen set with 16:9 format, as well as the aerial unit. Only one remote control is required for all this; it can be used to operate all the functions.

Bürstner is making increasing use of the advantages of the Alde hot water heating system. In the new season it will be fitted as standard in the Elegance models from the i 800 upwards, as well as the Argos A 747-2 The Alde heating system can be ordered as an option in the Solano t 615 and t 729, as well as all the Aviano versions (except the i 645).

Bürstner is increasingly employing the new AMC lightweight chassis from Alko, wherever technically possible, which offers not only excellent handling characteristics but also considerably improved load capacity. The low frame of the chassis permits the use of doublefloor technology while maintaining low body height, and moreover it can be tailored for the individual vehicles, thanks to variable wheelbases and overhangs. Even though the chassis in its standard form displays suspension characteristics that are very similar to those of a car, comfort can be increased even more with the optional full air suspension system, Air Premium X4. This also enhances the agility of the vehicle.

Another new feature is the use of the CPU crash unit, which allows the gas system to operate even while travelling. The control unit is standard equipment in the Aviano, Elegance and Argos; its installation is recommended by Bürstner in other models.

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