Number 10,000 – A GREAT AUSTRALIAN MANUFACTURING STORY
Avida Managing Director and co-founder, Bruce Binns (centre) handed the keys to the 10,000th motorhome manufactured by Avida, to customers Michael and Lucy Davis, from Camira, Brisbane at a ceremony held at Hinterland Motorhomes/Avida Gold Coast.
For Michael and Lucy, this is their first motorhome and they are looking forward to travelling full time in the Esperance C7934SL to experience the wonderful Australian lifestyle. “The honour of owning the 10,000th Avida motorhome was unexpected” they said “We love our motorhome and we are so excited to get out there and live a dream we have had for a long time”.
The brand new Avida Esperance luxury motorhome is a far cry from vehicle number one, an aluminium sided slide on unit designed for a 1964 EH Holden, built by Mr Binns in his parent’s garage at home in North West Sydney way back in 1965.
“Number 10,000th was a long time coming” said Mr Binns “but it certainly has been an exciting and enjoyable journey” he said.
The Freeway Motor Camper Company was established by the Bruce and his wife Ruth as an adjunct to their building/joinery business in Hornsby NSW where they began manufacturing ‘slide-in’ campers on a build and sell basis, but soon found that demand was outstripping supply.
The first unit Bruce built was for his Holden EH Ute and this stimulated enough interest to warrant greater investment in production. It wasn’t long before dedicated staff and facilities were required to cater to demand.
In 1978 the first of the Australian Winnebago branded motorhomes rolled off the production line.
Over the next few decades demand for Motorhomes continued to grow as did pressure on factory space until a technologically advanced, purpose built facility was opened at Emu Plains, a suburb of western Sydney, in January 2001.
Featuring dedicated manufacturing, R&D and service facilities, the Emu Plains facility is a 10 acre site with the factories covering 17,000 square metres.
In recent times, Avida has been embroiled in a legal battle over the rights to the Winnebago name in Australia, “we are hopeful that we will win the appeal” said Mr Binns “we have had the Winnebago name for 35 years and it would be disappointing to lose it now”
The company has recently undergone a rebranding exercise, transforming itself very successfully into Avida RV, offering a younger look and feel to its vast motorhome line up, “I’m asked constantly where the Avida name came from” said Bruce, “simply put, it means passion and that is what our team have always felt about our motorhomes and the motorhome Industry in Australia”.
Avida now manufactures more than 34 models in eight model ranges of motorhomes all of which offer unsurpassed comfort and lifestyle.