NEC Show 17th – 22nd October, Hall 8 Stand 8.25

Well, what a year! It’s incredible how fast this year seems to be moving along; it feels as though it was only a few weeks ago that we were all preparing for the NEC show back in February, and here we are yet again, October and ready for the next one!

 Derby Motorhomes, The Auto Sleeper Exhibition Centre are very pleased to announce, yet again, that Tim Lemon and Mike Smith will be available to meet and talk to on Auto-Sleeper’s stand all week.

However, as an indication of just how well anticipated this event has been, the organisers have advised that tickets for this show are selling well and in demand, so please make sure that you’ve booked your tickets in advance.

Tim and Mike are again very much looking forward to meeting customers old and new during the event next week and if you haven’t bought your tickets yet, but intended to come along to buy an Auto-Sleeper, please give Tim or Mike a call, we have a great selection of new 2024 model Auto-Sleepers on order with the factory and if you prefer, you’ll be able to reserve one over the telephone too.

Why not give Tim or Mike a call now? – (01332) 360222

If you have a new motorhome on order from Derby Motorhomes, please take a little time to read this update which (hopefully) will provide all with a very valuable insight into the issues currently affecting the motorhome market in the UK, Europe and more widely, globally too.

Derby Motorhomes would really like to take this opportunity to thank each of our customers who have a new motorhome on order and apologise for any delays that some may be experiencing at present.

Manufacturing insight

As you may already know, there is a severe shortage of new model motorhomes; this is in part caused by a global component supply issue affecting all new vehicle production – cars, vans and chassis cab production, which means that new vehicle and chassis manufacturers are currently unable to build in their pre-pandemic volumes.

There are other factors affecting new vehicle production too; we live in world which has become a global marketplace.


For example, simply shipping components (globally) has become eye-wateringly expensive and a logistical nightmare; the global pressure on manufacturers to become carbon neutral is also affecting vehicle and chassis production.

Components and parts

You may not know this, but as well as a severe shortage of components (needed to actually build vehicles and chassis), vehicle manufacturers, due to globally and locally imposed “carbon neutral or net zero” emission target regulation and commitments, now also have to keep a very close watch on all aspects of production and quotas, sometimes being forced to perform a very tight balancing act between production of zero emission vehicles and internal combustion engine vehicles, whilst also building and selling enough of each to remain viable as a business!

Net zero targeting

A consequence of this (almost impossible) balancing act is that should a vehicle manufacturer produce too much carbon or be in danger of producing too many internal combustion engine vehicles and chassis’ and not enough zero emission vehicles, for example, causing a targeting imbalance and thus missing their march towards “net zero”, the EU and other global governments will impose punitive and substantial financial penalties on them, penalties that run into multi millions of Euros, Dollars or Pounds sterling!

So, the ultimate consequence of these severe component shortages, logistics issues, production schedules and net zero balancing issues (with potential financial penalties), is that there is a massive disruption to manufacturing globally, with new vehicle and chassis production being very severely impacted on an unprecedented scale.

Dealers and customers

The knock-on effect of the sum of these issues is that motorhome manufacturers for example, can’t build their models without a chassis arriving from a vehicle manufacturer first! And they can’t even rely on their ordered and confirmed chassis actually arriving on time or as ordered and promised from the chassis manufacturer due to their particular and unique issues and circumstances too.

Information and updates

Buyers are becoming increasingly frustrated, turning to their dealers for more and more information or updates; for my part (and I would imagine every other dealer too), I would love to be able to provide more frequent, general or specific updates, but this is impossible; I’ll explain why.

The information update chain

Each party associated in the vehicle supply chain, from the initial dealer-to-customer order, through various manufacturing stages, finished vehicle-to-supplying dealer and ultimately supply to the end-user (customer), understands the importance of accurate information and their customers desire for that information.

So, an update request may seem like a relatively minor, simple matter, but to put this into perspective in these very challenging times, any demand for information means that each time even a single customer makes a request, their dealer must contact their motorhome manufacturer for an update.

The motorhome manufacturer then must consult their own production schedules, check when they are expecting the chassis enquired about to arrive with them (from the vehicle manufacturer); then check that each of the raw materials and components they need (to build that motorhome) are also going to arrive on time with them.

Finally, the motorhome manufacturer then must speak directly with the base chassis manufacturer (Mercedes, Fiat, Peugeot, Ford etc.), in whatever country each head office may be situated in, to confirm that the (particular) chassis enquired about is going to be built on time! They, the base chassis manufacturer, in turn may or may not require time to consult their own schedules and supply chains before replying to the motorhome manufacturer.

This (seemingly) simple request, actually, is a huge and time consuming task which is made even more complicated because although a chassis manufacturer such as Fiat, Peugeot or Mercedes will have computerised access to their own production information, unfortunately there is no guarantee that their own raw materials will arrive on time or if they do, will they actually be in a commercial position to build the chassis they have scheduled and want to, due to other issues previously outlined.

Then multiply this one seemingly simple request by several hundred (customers from every dealer, all asking for more information) and it’s very easy to see that manufacturers (and dealers) simply become overwhelmed and overloaded and are (anyway), just unable to provide information instantly and unfortunately, without the previous link in this production-information chain being able to provide their own information or respond to an information request, dealers simply can’t pass on accurate information, instantly, to their customers.

So, one can see that a seemingly simple request is, (in reality), quite a complicated and very time-consuming chain of action for each party involved and whist all parties concerned understand this desire for information, patience, a great deal of it, is also required whilst the requested information is gathered; sometimes it can take a couple of weeks to get (seemingly) simple information back to customers.

Vehicle Pricing

Another factor that is coming into play now is the actual cost of manufacture; I’m sure everyone will have noticed that prices for all goods have increased significantly over the last 12 months or so. This, unfortunately, is unavoidable due to each of the previously discussed pressures, and it applies to every sector of manufacturing and life in general too.

Each of the previously discussed issues are further compounded due to the Russia – Ukraine conflict that is ongoing; it is a fact that global manufacturing has relied on cheap energy and a diverse array of products, some of which are, or were manufactured and supplied by both Russia and Ukraine.

The conflict in this region has halted manufacture of vital components, blocked the export of others and seen the cost of energy surge dramatically globally, all of which have a direct and huge impact on manufacturing costs, costs which are ultimately always going to be passed on along the supply and retail chain, ending finally with consumers as the end users, that is of course, if a business is to survive.

Business models

Once (very) reliable supply chains are or have already fragmented and this means that manufacturers can no longer rely on either their published production schedules or pricing.

Put simply, vehicle manufacturers such as Fiat, Peugeot, Mercedes for example (and to list just a few), have (and I generalise here), previously worked to a well-proven business model which was largely based on high volume production with relatively low (per unit produced) margins – stack ‘em high, sell ‘em cheap, to coin a phrase!

With lower production volumes and higher manufacturing costs, all manufacturers, no matter what goods they produce, have been forced to revise their established business models to account for reduced production volumes and higher production costs; this, inevitably, has meant higher retail pricing to counter manufacturer’s reduced volumes and increased overheads including raw material and component costs; unfortunately, it’s either this or ultimately, they go out of business!


I would like to reassure everyone reading this that no dealer or manufacturer, us included, wants to disrupt a customer’s plans, delay a vehicle that may be on order, upset (in any way) their customers or finally, increase their prices – there is simply no benefit to any of us in this. However, the pressures faced by all business at present are immense and diverse and dealers, in particular, are stuck in the middle, having no control over any of these issues until their finished motorhome is released to them by the motorhome manufacturer.

Even then, there is one final hurdle to overcome and that is the DVLA, who are currently taking in excess of 4 weeks to complete vehicle registrations – again, yet another necessary process that dealers have absolutely no control over!

Here to help

One final observation though; as a main dealer, our role is to help and support our customers to the very best of our abilities and whilst it may be personally satisfying to vent anger and frustration at your dealer, my hope is that with this extra insight and information, everyone now has a far better understanding of what’s really behind any issue or delay that they may be experiencing, either with an ordered vehicle or if awaiting parts; none of these issues are your dealer’s fault and your dealer cannot control or manage them, so please, spare a thought for our staff too.

Please feel free to contact us any time, but please also understand that we may not be able to give you the answers requested immediately, however we are doing everything that we can, within our power and control, to manage the current situation for all concerned.

Thank you,

Tim Lemon – Managing Director

It’s always satisfying when our own beliefs and judgments are vindicated by others.

For that reason, here at Derby Motorhomes, we were delighted to see Auto-Sleepers motorhomes yet again picking a prestigious award at a major show.

The event

The results of the 23rd Caravan and Motorhome Club Motorhome and Campervan Design Awards 2022 were published on the 23rd of February.

Judges assembled for their final decisions on the design awards during the Caravan, Camping & Motorhome Show at the National Exhibition Centre (NEC), near Birmingham, in February. The design awards are one of the major industry-supported events of the year.

Where past awards have gone to Auto-Sleepers’ coach-built Broadway EB and Fairford van conversion, this year’s winning prize went to the entirely new Ford Air Camper. It walked away with the top prize for the best campervan under 5 metres in length.

Auto-Sleepers’ Ford Air Camper

As a custom conversion campervan, the Ford Air Camper is compact, easy to park, and will navigate narrow city streets or winding country lanes with equal ease and agility. It’s powered by Ford’s well-proven 170PS engine.

Its compact size, though, makes it no less a well-equipped and comfortable motorhome – one that gives you the freedom of the road yet might still offer all the possibilities and flexibility of working from home.

Custom-built by Auto-Sleepers on the timeless Ford Transit chassis, this campervan has such generous interior dimensions that it will sleep four in comfort and provide travel in style for up to five passengers.

Switching between daytime and night-time layouts is simple, quick, and straightforward.

Design Awards judging

The judges at this year’s awards had the challenging task of evaluating no fewer than 72 different vehicles – on which they were required to give their views on a vast range of features, including:

  • the safety of electrical systems;
  • ventilation systems;
  • the ergonomics of the driving cab and driving positions;
  • all-round visibility and safety;
  • driver and passenger comfort;
  • kitchen and washroom equipment and functionality;
  • air conditioning;
  • heating;
  • and a full range of other factors too – our representative list is by no means exhaustive.

Although the judges did not have to test drive every vehicle, they still got up and close and personal with their inspections at the NEC and also spent thousands of hours sifting through hard copies of manuals and online content.

The Director General of the Caravan and Motorhome Club thanked the judges and congratulated all the award winners, commenting how the event helped to make available to the buying public as much useful information as possible in a completely impartial manner – so assisting any decision for the purchase of your next motorhome or campervan.

Why awards are important

Of course, as one of the country’s leading dealers of Auto-Sleepers, Deby Motorhome is always over the moon when one of these models wins a prestigious award. But our satisfaction by no means tells the whole story.

Most important of all is the way in which results such as these exist to help consumers to decide which vehicles are likely to be the most suitable for them and to reduce their risks of getting things wrong – thanks to the fact that a panel of experts has given a very close examination and subsequent thumbs-up to these motorhomes and campervans.

That’s why we are pleased to publicise these successes and to encourage you to check out the vehicles concerned and others from the same stables. We’re looking forward to hearing from you!

The Glorious 12th !!

The Glorious 12th !

Well, it’s finally here, the glorious 12th !

Don’t worry though, you haven’t been caught up in a lockdown time-warp and the poor Grouse are safe for a good few months yet; I’m talking about today, the 12th April 2021.

Reopening to the public

Today Boris is allowing motorhome dealers, caravan dealers, non-essential retailers everywhere, caravan sites (with a few restrictions) and pubs outdoors, to finally reopen to the public.

We are all still going to have to be a little careful for a while yet though, but for a moment, let’s just savour the freedom that today, the 12th April is going to bring us all…………………

The team at Derby couldn’t wait to get going again, we haven’t been able to invite our customers into our dealership for such a long time, it almost feels like forever!

That said, we’ve been working very hard on-line helping our service customers remotely where we can and also completing motorhome sales and customer outright purchase orders too; we’ve even had the time to revamp and update our customer waiting area inside the showroom too.


Whilst we would appreciate our visitors making an appointment to visit, we aren’t going to insist on this but please rest assured, we are each still taking every reasonable precaution possible to ensure the safety of our staff and customers.


Not quite normal – yet…..

Things in the showroom aren’t quite back to normal yet and visitors aren’t going to be able wander in and out of every motorhome on site – this simply isn’t safe enough just yet or practical because to keep us all safe, we will still have to sanitise each vehicle once a visitor exits it so, please, if you are visiting, respect our efforts to keep everyone as safe as possible whilst here.

We look forward to welcoming you to our dealership, soon.




It’s a question we’re often asked – just why do we like Auto-Sleepers?

It’s a straightforward enough question, after all, and at least part of the simple answer is because we recognise the skill and experience that has gone into manufacturing motorhomes these past sixty years or so. That fact alone speaks volumes about them and just one reason why we like Auto-Sleepers.

The long road to producing what has become probably Britain’s leading caravan marque began with the application and dedication of a young family business back in the early 1960s. Through a commitment to superior craftsmanship and design expertise, the business eventually evolved into the manufacturer you see today – producing the very best of British in motorhomes from its factory based at Willersey in the Cotswolds.

We like and respect the enormous amount of time, talent, and effort that continue to be applied to the manufacture of every single Auto-Sleepers motorhome. They are the qualities that shine through every motorhome produced.

Just take a look into the interior of any Auto-Sleepers motorhome and you’ll see once again why we like them so much. Not only is all the furniture, the fixtures, and fittings top-rate quality but it is also stylish and modern, handcrafted to ensure it gives you many years of pleasure and pride.

It’s clear that the people at Auto-Sleepers not only know every inch of the vehicles inside-out they must actually live with the motorhomes they produce. Only such first-hand familiarity can inform the evident knowledge of what’s going to work and what makes the fullest possible use of every corner of space within a motorhome.

There are many other reasons – many of them stemming from the fact that the range of models offers something for everyone. From the top of the range Mercedes Benz luxury motorhome to the very flexible Peugeot van conversions. Alongside those, you have the Peugeot coach-built range and the all-new Peugeot built on the AL-KO chassis.

We love Auto-Sleepers – coming up for sixty years in business

Another reason for our having taken so fondly to Auto-Sleepers is the fact that the manufacturer is a UK-based business – and that makes life just so much easier. Parts and servicing issues just disappear most of the time. Yes, there is always an exception but with Auto-Sleepers, there are not many to be concerned about.

Factory collections and a destination that is easy to get to, situated in a beautiful part of England. The English Cotswold’s take some beating for a taste of real England. Also, there is a matter of residual values and whilst every motorhome devalues over time, Auto-Sleepers remain extremely popular and sought-after.

Wanted second hand – good Auto Sleeper motorhomes

In fact, they hold that desirable appeal second hand and the trade likes them as well! We tend to find that they really do sell well. This is also an important factor for all our customers who have an Auto-Sleeper. It’s probably why so many of our customers keep coming back to us.

Selling well – great residual values

Having the ability to sell any model in the Auto-Sleepers range quickly is another good reason for choosing this marque. If a customer’s circumstances should change, for example, and cash is needed in the bank, then we would always be a potential buyer.

Need our help? Just ask, happy to help anyone

A final reason – a financial one at that – for our continuing love affair with Auto-Sleepers is that they are now part of Trigano one of Europe’s largest Leisure groups and leading European manufacturer of motorhomes.

So, there you have some of the reasons why we like Auto-Sleepers.

The winners of this year’s Tent, Caravan and Motorhome Owner Satisfaction Awards have been revealed, and Auto-Sleepers have been awarded Best Motorhome Manufacturer (UK New and Used)!

Club President Julia Bradbury was on hand to present the awards at The Midland Hotel in Manchester on the evening of 17 January.

As in previous years, winners were crowned based entirely on the feedback given by the thousands of Club members, Practical Caravan and Practical Motorhome readers who completed the 2019 Owner Satisfaction Survey, which ran from February to November 2018.

“This year we introduced a new category – that for Best Motorhome Manufacturer (UK New and Used volume sales). This recognises the British manufacturer that impressed across the board.” It was in this category that Auto-Sleepers took home the award, having been voted the Best Motorhome Manufacturer of 2019!

About the Awards

A total of 24 awards were presented at the ceremony, which is run by The Camping and Caravanning Club in partnership with Practical Caravan and Practical Motorhome magazines.

Robert Louden MBE, Director General at The Camping and Caravanning Club, said: “We are pleased to continue our annual celebration into the best products on the market at the 2019 Owner Satisfaction Awards.

“Over the three year’s we’ve been running these awards jointly with Practical Motorhome and Practical Caravan magazines, we’ve collected invaluable feedback from tent, trailer tent, caravan and motorhome owners. This is then shared with manufacturers where appropriate to help to improve the quality and overall reliability of their products. Ultimately, this then helps consumers and our members to spend their money wisely.”

Alastair Lewis, Managing Director (Hobbies) at Future Publishing, the publisher of both Practical magazine titles, said: “We’re delighted to team up with The Camping and Caravanning Club once again to deliver this important survey of caravan and motorhome owners – our brands are all about helping people get the most out of their passion for caravan or motorhome travel and to buy the best kit to help them do that.

“This survey is an invaluable tool both for readers keen to get insight from other owners and for the industry to help them continue to deliver great ‘vans and motorhomes and the highest levels of service for their customers. It’s testament to the strength of our brands and their position in the market that this year we received more responses than ever before, and we continue to develop the survey and our presentation of it to best reflect the changing markets we operate in.”

The caravan and motorhome awards both feature new categories for 2019, Best Motorhome Manufacturer and Best Caravan Manufacturer, awarded to the brands which score highest across both new and pre-owned categories based on UK new and used volume sales. Meanwhile, there was an increase in the number of 31-50 year olds who completed this year’s Tent Owner Satisfaction Survey, with more people paying less than £100 for their tent.

The full results from the surveys, and detailed analysis, will be published in the February issues of Camping & Caravanning and Practical Caravan and the April issue of Practical Motorhome. To view the full list of gold and silver award winners in this year’s awards visit: or

Just been to the Auto-Sleepers factory for 2019 model updates prior to the NEC Show next week.

Managed to sneak a few photographs to give everyone a bit of a preview of the new Mercedes range cabs and dash and the latest wood-finish for the Mercedes range too.

The furniture finish is called Santana and is lighter than the current Valencia finish, which is still available to order.

The dash is very car-like, a huge improvement and there’s also paddle change for the “enthusiastic” drivers; still rear wheel drive and automatic too!

New Sargent control panels are very clever, updating them regularly with vital system data bursts.

Working on the Auto-Sleepers stand at the Nec next week so hopefully see some you there.

Tim – Derby Motorhomes

Well, it comes as no surprise to see Auto Sleeper awards winners the coach built Broadway EB and the Corinium RB winning prestigious awards. Yes. scooping not one, but two awards at the prestigious Caravan Club awards ceremony in Birmingham. This years awards coincide with the Caravan Club changing its name to the Caravan and Motorhome Club.

In some ways this achievement is nothing new, as Auto Sleepers who have been winning awards over many years. This comes from a long established company who have been in business for over fifty four years. With a vast wealth of experience in designing and making hand built, coach built motorhomes.

Award winners.

More prestigious awards.

We here at Derby motorhomes and all of the staff at the Auto Sleeper Centre offer our congratulations. This great achievement again enables us to help promote this great brand of excellence. We are equally happy to see a British motorhome manufacturer win these awards.

Auto Sleeper Broadway EB.

Coach built success.

The ever popular Broadway EB, built on the Peugeot Boxer chassis, scooped the winning prize for the coach built from £51,000 – £65,000′ category. The many long establish Auto Sleeper Broadway owners will not be surprised by this award.

Auto Sleeper Corinium RB.

AL KO chassis award.

The Corinium RB is built on the Peugeot AL-KO chassis achieving the top spot in the coach built over £65,000 category. There seems not stopping the Corinium range a hit from the moment it entered the motorhome charts. The layouts in all of the three current Corinium models certainly provides customers with a choice. The AL KO chassis has been providing Auto Sleeper with a whole new set of options.

See the awards winners.

Pay us a visit.

If you would like to know more about these Auto Sleeper award winners then please let us know. In fact, we extend an invitation to book a personal appointment with a sales team member. We are easy to find and we hold all of the Auto Sleeper range in our heated indoor showroom in Derby.

Now in the sixth year the Auto Sleeper Exhibition Centre continues to go from strength to strength. Following on from record sales of new Auto Sleeper motorhomes in 2016. The company continues to develop the new technology and promote their social media platforms. Now get that seat belt on and relax while we demonstrate our services.

The start of 2017 has seen the company develop a very new website and trade as Derby Motorhomes. This will become the motorhome marketing strategy. Brought in to enhance the growing number of enquiries from the website.

Exhibition centre.

In Derby in the UK.

The company has been very innovative from introducing the idea of a dedicated centre for one manufacturer. They have developed new sales of Auto Sleepers using their indoor showroom in Derby to display all the models.

This has created a friendly but professional environment for customers to see different layouts in their own time. On site is full after sales services and no bad weather to brave.

Internet and social media.

Spreading the news fast.

The work has been carried out by Speedie consultants a PR company renowned for its social media expertise. They have designed a new website that will act as the platform of Auto Sleeper information.

With interaction of stock information and a log in for customers and lead introductions and tracking. This has been the turning point to drive the business forward.

Comments from Speedie PR.

PR specialists in the UK.

Jason Hulott the Speedie MD explained ” its refreshing to see a company make use of our social media skills to obtain new customers. As well as understanding the importance of a secure Internet presence”

“We have vast experience in finance and insurance lead generation, something that we will adapt to help the Derby Motorhomes brand to tap into. Also, we see the leisure market expanding at a rapid rate so the timing is right”.

Return on investment.

Counting the costs.

In fact, there will be other plans to develop further customer friendly leads and integration with customers old and new. Something that the Derby Motorhomes branding can add value to. So, exciting times ahead in Derby.