Whoever sets off from Christchurch on New Zealand's South Island towards Arthur's Pass thinks that after a good hour's drive he is in the middle of the film "Lord of the Rings". Gigantic valleys, snow-capped mountains, bizarrely shaped rocks, wild rivers - no human being for miles around. "Many visitors only travel to New Zealand because of the filming of the Tolkien novels," Shaun Newman says. "There's no better way to experience these natural wonders than with a motorhome as a starting point."
Newman is the managing director of TrailLite, a 70-member distributor and manufacturer of motorhomes headquartered in Pukekohe near Auckland, on the Pacific state's North Island. "I couldn't believe it myself when I first came to the South Island," says Newman. It is a landscape of extremes. You drive around a bend and in front of you a gigantic panorama opens up with lakes, mountains and valleys. Then you pass the next curve and again the view takes your breath away. It's really unique!"
It is even more unique when you travel in one of TrailLite's luxurious 500 Series models. This motorhome uses the Mercedes-Benz Sprinter as a basis and represents the top of the New Zealand market in its segment. "Being on the road in a motorhome is part of our national identity," says Shaun Newman. Unlike in Europe, there is even a law that gives every citizen the right to stop wherever in the country, to set up camp and spend the night. Only the rules of nature conservation must be observed, of course. TrailLite concentrates on those people who are looking for self-paced journeys and unique natural experiences, but do not want to forego comfort. We always say that we don't need product developers; we simply listen to our customers very carefully and succeed in bringing the best product onto market," says Newman.
The vehicle is simply the ideal combination of driving comfort, safety and reliability.
The most important customers are the baby boomer generation, who have left working life behind them and are now actively enjoying their retirement. But up and coming, younger people are also becoming increasingly important as a target group, people with small children and those looking for adventure. Shaun Newman: "They both appreciate the Mercedes-Benz Sprinter. The vehicle is simply the ideal combination of driving comfort, safety and reliability."
Everything started for TrailLite in the 1950s with the production of caravans. At that time, the company was nothing more than a small joinery. Today TrailLite still sells caravans. Craftsmanship is also still a hallmark of the in-house products . But Newman and his team now also operate a large service center and sales floor for motorhomes from the British manufacturer Auto-Sleepers in Pukekohe. In addition, a branch office in Christchurch looks after customers on the South Island. From there it is not far to the original locations of the "Lord of the Rings". And in a TrailLite motorhome based on the Sprinter chassis, you can simply drive right into the middle of it and become part of the gigantic scenery.