Industry leader Jucy campervans have launched into the premium motorhome market by acquiring the Star RV business in Australia and New Zealand. The move is timed to capitalise on the strength of the tourism recovery in both markets.
Dan Alpe, CEO of JUCY Group, says the $50m acquisition significantly changes the Australasian motorhome rental landscape.
“With the number one and two operators in each market merging, there is scope for a strong challenger brand to bring fresh thinking and innovation to the marketplace.
“We have built JUCY to be the market-leading brand in the youth sector over the past 21 years, and given the strong international market interest in a rejuvenated Star RV, the acquisition is perfectly timed to expand our service offering to meet the requirements of this premium segment,” he says.
Alpe says with the return of international tourists, their new multi-million dollar fleet of 310 premium Star motorhomes is expected to be rented at almost total capacity during the upcoming peak season – just weeks after they were acquired.
He says the forecast demand for this product will see substantial investment into additional capacity across both brands in coming years, allowing the company to double its annual revenue in the near term.
“This high-value tourism segment is primarily European or North American, aged 35+, move around Australia and NZ in a more structured way and are prepared to spend more for a premium product when they travel the countries.
“The feedback we are getting from our global wholesalers is there is a high level of demand for the markets, and while we will see the first wave of this group arrive over the coming weeks, we are expecting to see a return to pre-pandemic volumes during 2023/24 seasons,” he says.
He says over the coming 12 months, they will also invest over $1 million in developing the brand and improving the delivery experience for tourists.
“We have spent the past few months overhauling our service workflows to align with the needs of premium travellers.
“To help reduce the time spent on ‘holiday admin’, we have redesigned our check-in process to the point it can be completed in just a few minutes, and we will offer travellers a free linen exchange service along with the option to prepay for gas bottles – all of which will help them get on the road faster,” he says.
The company has also signed leasing agreements for five new trans-Tasman rental locations, including a new 14,000 SQM site at Auckland Airport.