RVs Are on the Rise, Why Isn’t VW Selling Their Campers in America?
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As travel restrictions continue, RV sales have been on a high. RVs are an increasingly popular way to stave off cabin fever and make vacationing possible. However, one famous camper-making brand has not capitalized on this surge in the U.S.
Volkswagen (VW) has decided not to release its new campers, like the California and the T6.1 Transporter, on the American market. Here are more details about why VW made this decision, based on reports from The Drive.
Why doesn’t Volkswagen sell campers in the U.S.?
The COVID-19 pandemic has given people across the country a reason to buy an RV. Since contact with other people needs to be at a minimum, RVing is one of the easiest and safest ways to travel. The used RV market is essentially dried up, and even manufacturers are having a hard time keeping up with buyers.
There’s also a market for VW vans specifically. The vans became a popular hippie symbol, and their status as a fun vintage item makes buyers loyal to the brand.
The VW California is an expensive van, but the main selling point could be its value. The Drive reported that it costs around $76,350, which is on the lower end for Class B campers. By most accounts, it’s a good time to give the U.S. a new RV.
However, several factors are keeping VW away. The main obstacle would be federal homologation, which is the process of modifying the vans to fit U.S. safety and roadworthy standards. This could cost VW upwards of $10 million per model.
The T6 lineup might help VW make up the costs by competing in other segments, but it seems like VW doesn’t think this is worth trying. The demand for RVs could change as we start to recover from the pandemic. VW might not want to make this investment without knowing if the brand will see good returns.
How will RV sales be affected as we recover from the pandemic?
The pandemic heightened demand for RVs, so it’s unclear whether this will be sustained as restrictions are lifted and other forms of travel become available again.
According to The Drive, the RV market saw a 20% growth over 2019. But, manufacturers like VW know that it’s simply a matter of time until sales take a dip. This uncertainty makes it hard for companies to try to join the RV market.
As things start to return to normal, consumers that bought an RV during the pandemic might ditch the camper in favor of their normal travel methods. This could cause an influx of used RVs onto the market.
Which vehicles might buyers opt for instead?
Already, it seems buyers might be looking toward another spacious option for their road travel—the minivan. Recently, these vehicles have been selling up to 8% above their sticker price.
Minivans have enough space to fit travel gear and people and are much less expensive than a camper. It’s not as easy to sleep in a minivan, but with hotels opening back up, it’s not a big concern.
But if you’re looking for a VW van, there’s some good news. The brand will bring the ID Buzz electric van to the U.S.
If you’re looking for a new minivan, you’ll need to make sure you have adequate car insurance to keep it protected on the road. Sign up with Jerry and get affordable insurance quotes in under a minute. The app will compare rates from 50 top providers to get you the best price for the coverage you need.