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Volkswagen Caddy Beach 2019: More VW campers likely

Volkswagen's factory camper offering could expand pending the success of the Caddy Beach.

Volkswagen Australia is pinning high hopes on its factory-fitout Caddy Beach Camper, saying that if the limited-run van is a success it could open the floodgates for more factory campers.

The comment seemed like a nod to the European-market Volkswagen California camper (based on a Transporter) and its larger sibling, the Grand California (based on the Crafter).

At the local launch of the Caddy Beach, Volkswagen was keen to highlight the booming campervan trend in Australia noting that over 66,000 campervans and 612,000 camper trailers are currently registered across the country.

The Caddy Beach is targeted to fly under the price threshold of most campers, with the limited supply of 120 vans pitched at $46,990 drive-away.

It steers far clear of competitor factory campers like the Mercedes-Benz Marco Polo Activity, which wears an MSRP of $69,990 and competes with the VW California in Europe.

If launched here the VW California would compete against the Mercedes-Benz Marco Polo Activity. If launched here the VW California would compete against the Mercedes-Benz Marco Polo Activity.

VW says the Caddy Beach lays claim to the title of cheapest complete camper in Australia and plans to hold that title for some time.

VW’s representatives said they were impressed with the reception to the Caddy Camper thus far, with an audience of not just “early retirees” but also a “younger, more well-to-do audience”.

The brand says more upmarket features available on its larger European campers like built-in kitchenettes were not necessary for an Australian audience who were after weekend adventures and would prefer to cook outdoors anyway.

If the Grand California does eventually land in Australia, it could easily cost over $100,000. If the Grand California does eventually land in Australia, it could easily cost over $100,000.

To give you an idea of pricing, in VW’s home market of Germany the Caddy Beach wears an Australian dollar equivalent MSRP of $31,677, the California at $61,508 and the Grand California at $87,665 at current exchange rates.

Australia is the main market for the Caddy Beach outside of Europe, where a de-specified version has been sold for some time. Volkswagen has actively promoted the social media tag #vwvanlife as “not a direct marketing tool” but “more of a place for owners to share their moments”.

Currently the Volkswagen Transporter is available to be converted into a ‘Trakkadu’ camper by third-party camper specialist Trakka starting from $91,000.

Do you think that there’s room for the Volkswagen California or Grand California campers in Australia? Tell us what you think in the comments below.