South Wales Caravan Centre

Origins

South Wales Caravan Centre Limited was established in Treorchy in 2002 by three brothers - Simon, Andrew and Jonathan Bound. Simon had wanted to establish a vehicle related business for some time whilst brothers Andrew (a corporate lawyer) and Jonathan (an accountant) provided some of the initial funding requirements, professional expertise and moral support. The company faced the challenge of being established with limited funds and initially a small amount of stock. All three wanted the business to be based in the Rhondda, although finding suitable premises was difficult. They eventually acquired a former Austin Rover dealership and, as well as establishing the business, needed to renovate the derelict site to bring it up to the appropriate standard for a new caravan dealership. Another challenge faced was persuading suppliers that it was viable to operate a caravan business based in the Rhondda and there were some questions raised at the start over the location of the firm.

Success Factor

Without Simon’s drive and ambition, the business would not have been established nor have grown to its present size. He had the vision as to what the business could become and his persuasion skills with suppliers and incredible hard work has paid dividends. Simon worked in the business during the days and at weekends, whilst continuing employment with this nightshift job. Once the business was safely established after nine months, he gave up his well-paid, secure job to drive the Caravan Centre forward. Also, through Simon’s vision and drive, two new caravan dealerships were secured against the odds and, in 2004, South Wales Caravan Centre Limited was appointed the sole South Wales dealer for new Adria Caravans, one of Europe’s leading caravan manufacturers. In 2005, the Company won a national award from Adria as the best new caravan dealer in the UK for 2005. Finally, the founders have invested heavily in advertising and marketing the business and building up its reputation. They have taken stand at a number of caravan shows and won the award for best stand at the Welsh Caravan and Camping show in 2005.

The Future

The plans for the future are to consolidate the business. For example, workshop facilities have just been redeveloped and the firm has taken on more trained staff to handle the repair and insurance side of the caravan business. The business is continuing to expand very rapidly and as main dealers for Adria and Fleetwood, it can supply caravans that are both high quality and at a price that customer wants to buy. However, one of the major challenges remains the handling of the volume of caravans that need to go through the site to meet demands and, with that in mind, the business is actively seeking a second site to expand its workshop and storage facilities.