Why are delivery times for new caravans/motorhomes and warranty repair parts taking so long?

Published: Jul 27, 2021

4 minute read

SUPPLY LEAD TIMES FOR PARTS AND NEW CARAVANS /MOTORHOMES

Coupland’s technical team answers your pressing questions…
Q - Why are delivery times for new caravans/motorhomes and warranty repair parts taking so long?
 

Extract taken from the Caravan and Motorhome Magazine

These are just two aspects of a global parts supply problem affecting the entire automotive sector; It is limiting the ability of caravan and motorhome manufacturers to produce new vehicles, even when sales demand is very strong. 

To keep factories running as well as possible, parts supply is being prioritised for new builds which limits what is available to the aftersales market. This affects everything from warranty work to insurance repairs and even, in some cases safety recall rectifications.

The parts affected include almost anything involving semiconductors, which are the basic building blocks of any electronic component or device. This means there are potential delays in the delivery of base vehicles for motorhome conversion (caravans also contain far more electronics than was once the case.) However, the problems are more widespread than that, with the likes of seat foam, windows and plywood being imperative in our sector, and many others overall. 

The origin of the problems lies in part in the inherent vulnerabilities of the long and complex supply chains for many parts but have been hugely exacerbated by the impact of the pandemic last year. When industries like vehicle manufacturing were shut down for months, so was much of their supply chain. 

Restarting assembly operations of the end products has meant restarting all the associated supply processes and logistics. In many cases, order dates for parts were missed, adding further to the delays. Demand in certain sectors, such as laptops and home entertainment increased hugely as people moved to a life of home working or lockdown. The chip makers switched production to those sectors and when automotive restarted, there was not capacity to support them anymore. 

A series of unfortunate events has added to the difficulties, such as the winter storm that knocked out the electricity grid in Texas of February. The storm massively disrupted the refineries that produce the materials from which seat foam is made. A fire in October at a Japanese automotive sensor factory was still disrupting supply of these critical component’s months later. In turn, this all adds to the ongoing issues with the movement of components around the world. 

Shortages of shipping containers, the disruption of airfreight (which relies in part on passenger flights) and the delays resulting from extra infection control precautions at each stage of movement all make moving items around slower and more expensive. 

On the bright side, things will gradually recover but for now it looks as though some degree of disruption will continue well into 2022 at least. We understand it is frustrating for anyone waiting for parts to get a repair done but we are doing our best to provide you with products at the earliest convenience. Unfortunately, this is a problem with which even global multinationals and governments are struggling. 

Supply timings will gradually recover but for now it looks as though some degree of disruption will continue well into 2022.

If you’d like further details, please contact us using the below details: