In a significant development within the camping and caravanning industry, Leefek has announced that it will cease all caravan and trailer manufacturing operations with immediate effect.
Leefek is the company that in 2021 took over the reins of manufacturing iconic caravan brands like Jurgens, Gypsey, Sprite, and Safari after former Jurgens CI and Jurgens Campworld companies were liquidated. During the business closure process of the former companies, the naming rights for the manufacturing of these caravans were sold and acquired by Quantum Caravans in early 2022. You can read more about this acquisition here.
In mid-September 2023, in an email sent to various parties in the caravanning industry (including CaravanSA), Managing Director Tiaan Muller writes: “It is with regret that we need to inform you of a decision made by Leefek (Pty) Ltd to cease all caravan and trailer manufacturing operations with immediate effect.
“Leefek will continue to fulfil its warranty obligations on all sold and unsold products within the appropriate warranty periods since Leefek (Pty) Ltd as a company will continue to exist, but is ceasing caravan and trailer manufacturing operations due to an unsustainable market in South Africa.”
Following the announcement, CaravanSA spoke to Tiaan, who reiterated that tough economic trading conditions were the main reason for the decision to stop manufacturing, and that running generators consistently during extended periods of loadshedding at their factory in Ga-Rankuwa was having a massive impact on business finances and resources.
Leefek’s acquisition of the beloved caravan brands followed the liquidation of Jurgens Campworld around the turn of the decade, a move that seemed promising for the continuity of these iconic caravan names. Tiaan Muller, the Managing Director of Leefek, had ambitious plans to rejuvenate and enhance the quality of the caravans and trailers produced under these brands with their development of the Enduro Tourer and Leefek Sprint, Swing and Splash ranges.
“When we acquired the brands from the old company, the first thing we did was to have extensive design meetings to see how we can improve the products and give the public what they want,” said Tian Muller. “We are making all our products better, of higher quality, and ensuring they are long-lasting.”
Despite the challenges faced by the industry, Leefek initially showed great promise. At the time, a spokesperson for Leefek confirmed that production had not been affected by the liquidation of Jurgens Campworld, stating, “Currently, there are three months’ worth of orders in the production line.”
Furthermore, Leefek introduced three new models to its Tourer range with the Tourer SP Tourer SW and Tourer SX, reflecting their commitment to innovation and product improvement. Additionally, they teased the introduction of other new caravan models in the near future, sparking excitement among caravan enthusiasts.
However, it appears that the South African caravan and trailer market has presented insurmountable challenges for Leefek, leading to their decision to cease manufacturing operations.
The company expressed their commitment to fulfilling warranty obligations on all sold and unsold products within the appropriate warranty periods, assuring customers of their continued support despite this change.
The decision to halt manufacturing operations comes as a heavy blow to our local Industry, as these two new caravan brands are set to exit the marketplace and their absence will undoubtedly leave a void in the hearts of many camping enthusiasts.
Leefek (Pty) Ltd expressed their gratitude to CaravanSA and all their supporters over the years, acknowledging the role of the caravan and trailer community in their journey. The future may be uncertain, but the passion for outdoor exploration remains undiminished. CaravanSA has reached out to Leefek for further comment and more details on the decision to cease manufacturing and will inform our readers as the situation develops.
In related news, Quantum Caravans who has acquired the manufacturing rights for Jurgens Caravans currently are proud to announce that they will be releasing their own versions and adaptations of these well-known and iconic Jurgens caravan brands which are said to include Gypsey, Sprite and Wilk.
It is believed that Quantum Caravans will be launching three new models within the popular Sprite brand before the end of this year. These are said to be called Sprite Spin, Sprite Spiral and Sprite Space.
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