VW campervan converters slip back into gear hopeful of a staycation boom

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ONE of Scotland’s best known employee-owned businesses has cautiously returned to the workshop this week to a backlog of orders for its bespoke VW T6 Transporter campervan conversions.

Jerba Campervans will bring back all 15 staff members to its premises following its decision to return to work in line with the latest government guidelines.

The North Berwick-based converters halted production as a result of the Covid-19 lockdown, with vans at varying stages of conversion – including one pristine motor fully ready to be taken to its new home, but unable to be picked up in time due to the restrictions.

With early evidence from AutoTrader suggesting demand for motorhomes, caravans and campers is increasing in line with an anticipated “staycation boom”, Jerba has seen its own web traffic for June jump nearly 80% year on year.

Simon Poole, founder of Jerba Campervans, said: “Thankfully we were able to complete a number of jobs prior to lockdown coming in, which ensured we were well placed to see out the lockdown.

“We’re now in a position where we can cautiously return our teams, on a phased basis, and begin completing the vans currently in the process of being converted.

“There is a lot of talk about surging demand for campervans, which is great, but we don’t want to get ahead of ourselves. Clearly we have a long way to go in the recovery from Covid-19 and speed bumps ahead.

“But thankfully, it seems we have no concerns with receiving vans from Volkswagen, who have been brilliant – as have our customers, who have stuck by us as their dream vans have had to sit idle in our base.”

Jerba became a 100% employee-owned business in 2018, and has seen an increase in productivity year on year, with employees fully engaged in the running of the business.

Employee ownership is one of the fastest growing business formats in the UK and is due to be celebrated on Friday 26 June, which is being marked as EO Day

The model enables greater transparency between directing staff and workers, involves employees in decision-making and gives them a real say in their working environment and staff benefits.

Simon and his wife Cath founded Jerba in 2006 after a decade of owning and hiring campervans all over the world, before deciding they could improve the design and overall user experience themselves.

The firm is now 15 strong – and recognised by Volkswagen as a registered vehicle body builder. The German manufacturer supplies Jerba with the skeletons of the vans, which it transforms into stylish homes on wheels, made individually to the customer’s specification.

To find out more about Jerba Campervans, visit www.jerbacampervans.co.uk

 
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