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Estonian Respo to start making caravans

BC, Tallinn, 28.11.2017.Print version
The trailer manufacturer Respo based in the village of Torvandi near Tartu is planning to start the manufacture of caravans in 2018 and is currently testing prototypes of its new product, Tartu Postimees said, cites LETA/BNS.

"We wish to offer hi-tech solutions, caravans included," Toomas Antons, CEO of AS Respo Haagised, told the newspaper.

"Our caravan will be a step further from a tent," Antons said. "It will have no WC or shower, but will offer space for sleeping. It will be weatherproof, warm and beautiful. The basic ones will be without furnishings, the more sophisticated ones with a bit of equipment, such as a kitchen kit."


"We saw that there was a void on the market in that place which the big manufacturers of caravans were unwilling to fill. They fear eating away their own market," Antons said. "At the moment the void is filled by small time manufacturers, from Latvia to America. They are called teardrops."


Respo has built the first prototypes, and if everything goes as planned it will present the first product of its new range at a big outdoors fair in Sweden next spring.


Respo believes that price will speak in favor of its product offering basic amenities alone. Where bigger brand new caravans offering a wider range of comforts generally cost more than 15,000 euros, Respo is eyeing a price tag of approximately 3,000 euros.


Respo currently manufactures open-top and closed-top trailers, trailers for boats and construction equipment, car trailers and mobile site huts, making from 13,000 to 14,000 units per year.


Its most popular product is a boat trailer, the main markets for which are Finland, Sweden and Norway. The fastest growing product segment meanwhile is the mobile site office.


"They are an alternative to regular site huts at construction sites, which come in the form of containers. If work at a site lasts only a week, the transport of an item so big does not pay. If you need mobility, hauling containers from one place to another makes no sense," Antons said.


Respo employs a workforce of 130 and its revenue is expected to hit 17 million euros this year. Profit is expected to total 1.5 million euros.


In 2018, Respo either needs to switch to working in two shifts or expand its manufacturing area. "We are at the end of the season now and we can do with these premises for one more year, but then it will be time for decision-making," the CEO said.


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