Campervan conversion supplier set for growth

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KIRAVANS, a mail order supplier to the campervan conversion trade, has said it is on target to more than double its turnover in the next 12 months after teaming up with a Yorkshire manufacturer.

The company is expecting to increase its turnover from £300,000 to more than £600,000 over this period. Otley-based Robert McCandless, a partner in Kiravans, approached the Manufacturing Advisory Service (MAS) for help in sourcing a Yorkshire-based manufacturer to respond to rising demand for its products.

In 2005, Robert was living in Scotland running a business with his brother Mike, buying and converting VWs into camper vans and renting them out. But 2008, Robert’s life took a different direction when he met a Yorkshire girl, moved to Otley and started a family. “My new circumstances were not compatible with running a camper van rental business so Mike and I took the decision to set up Kiravans with the aim of sourcing and importing parts including seats, windows, electrical items and elevating roofs and supplying them to UK van conversion companies.

“One of the products we supplied was swivel systems to rotate single front passenger seats round to face a table”, he said.

Their mechanical engineer father, David, who lives in Northern Ireland, then began visiting small engineering companies in the province to set up a supply chain to manufacture the seat swivels. When the product appeared on Kiravans’ website earlier this year, orders flooded in, said Robert, who approached MAS for advice in setting up a second supply chain. He met one of its advisors, Peter Rooney, whose brief was to find a manufacturer in Yorkshire who could help Kiravans to double its output. After visiting a number of companies, Kiravans decided on PCT Engineering in Sheffield.

The new MAS is available to all manufacturing businesses across England.