Detleffs - Special Purpose Caravan
Dethleffs was founded in Germany in 1834, and the first 100 years of its existence were whips and ski poles. However, in 1931 its automotive history of the company began, when Arist Detleffs, the general director, was tired of frequent separation from his family and designed the first motorhome in Germany. So his wife and children could accompany him on business trips, without losing home comfort.
The first caravan was ready in 1932 and turned out to be so good that people who wanted to have a similar one began to turn to Detleffs. So there was the company Dethleffs Wohnauto, by 1936 consisted of 6 people who assembled the first campers in a small barn. Unfortunately, in 1937, German industry went over to martial law, and the project was closed for a long time.
With the division of Germany in 1945, most of the Detleffs factories were lost, but this helped Arista Detleffs to concentrate on the production of motorhomes. In 1947, buyers were already offered a choice of 150 parameters, from which they could choose the optimal configuration for their camper. Until 1956, the motorhomes were assembled only on order, but their popularity made the company management think about the mass production of the most successful models and finally abandon the production of whips.
The decision to launch the series was successful. The design of the first motorhomes was awarded several awards, and sales grew. The company continued to experiment, and in 1961 the first Camper trailer was created, and in 1971 the model line consisted of five motorhomes: Camper, Globetrotter, Tourist and Comfort. In 1983, the company ventured to create an autohouse on the basis of a Fiat Dukato car, the first and for a long time unique in Europe. By 1990, Detleffs was already the largest German manufacturer of motor vehicles, motor homes and caravans.
Motorhome in which you want to live
In 1995, the slogan “Detleffs is a family friend” appeared, because most of the motorhomes were used for family trips. Developing the idea, club cards for regular customers were called "Family Cards" and since 1999 they began to organize annual "family holidays" for their holders. Detleffs family values are also reflected in charity. In 2004, the company founded the Family Foundation, which provided an opportunity for country rest for orphans and low-income families.
Among the values of Detleffs and concern for the preservation of the environment, therefore, since 2009, the company uses the energy produced at its own 6 MW thermal power plant. The company also introduced paperless production.
From the 1950s to 1984, the Daimler concern supplied transmissions and power units for motor homes. But the cooperation came to an end when Detleffs decided to use the Neoplan StarLiner bus for the next development. Then the company began to cooperate with Peugeot, which provided for the Detleffs campers not only individual parts and blocks, but also entire basic platforms. Although components are supplied from France, the main production is still in Germany, attracting buyers with the impeccable quality of the famous German assembly.
The main plant "Detleffs" is located near the town of Isny. It was built in 1972, and its area is 12 000 m. Another large enterprise "Detleffs", with an area of 6,200 square meters. m., was built in 1993 and cost the company 12,000,000 German marks. The following expansion of production capacity occurred in 2001 and 2003, and in 2006 a subsidiary company, Sunlight GmbH, was created, to which the development and production of premium motor homes was completely transferred.
All Dettleffs models are tested for durability by the Federal Motor Transport Agency, but those who want to be convinced about the quality of a future purchase can see the assembly process with their own eyes: they organize tours at the Detleffs factory.
It should be noted that the company has always paid a lot of attention to working with customers, both at the camper's selection stage and at the after-sales service stage. Since 1993, the company conducts seminars for motorists owners dedicated to safety. Regular customers who own "Family Cards" are granted an extended warranty period. For those who are not going to travel all the time, an alternative to purchasing is provided - in the McRent rental center you can rent a motorhome.
The main customers of Detleffs are still Germans, but the expanding dealer network allows ordering a camper in the right configuration almost anywhere in the world. Thus, the company became the leader in sales of campers in Estonia, Finland, Holland and Scandinavian countries.
A happy ending story
In 1996, Arist Detleffs died at the age of 88, but the company did not stop developing: new models, complete sets and layout of motorhomes, often receiving prestigious awards, are constantly being developed. For example, in 1998, the Aris and the Aero Tourist trailer added to the lineup. In 2002, the first model of the insulated trailer for traveling in the winter season was created, and in 2005, the Tourist Light trailer of a lightweight construction made of composite materials. Also "Detleffs" masters the production of low-profile motorhomes and minivans.
The last 10 years, almost every year, “Detleffs” surprises with innovations. This furor in 2006 produced the "female" Esprit motorhome, demonstrated at the CMT in Stuttgart. Just a year later, in 2007, the public was surprised by the “BestAger” model, designed for people over fifty, and in 2008 a unique family model was released. Then the low-profile autohouses were updated: in 2009, they began to equip them with folding beds. For many years, the company's products were produced only in white and silver colors, but in 2010, the designers decided to add brightness, and in the lineup came the campers of gray-brown, blue, green and sandy colors. 2015 was no exception. In January, Detleffs presented a youth van Trend ST 6617 and a new winter trailer at the SMT, and the Advantage model was modified.