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    news from Freeborn

    I thought it would be both useful and interesting to give Romaclub members an update
    on the current state of Romahome manufacturing.
    Freeborn Group became a minority shareholder of Island Plastics, the manufacturers of
    Romahome, in 1991. This was simply because our car dealership in Southampton
    supplied Island Plastics (based in Ryde) with all the Citroen C15's and C25's they
    needed to convert into Romahomes. Freeborns subsequently funded a management
    buy out in the late 90's and many of you will remember the Island Plastics managers
    involved Brian Bailey, Ron Riley and Alan Day.
    This eventually led to a full takeover of Romahome by Freeborns in the early part
    of this century in which Brian retained a stake and became Managing Director.
    Manufacturing of Romahome and other conversions such as meals-on-wheels for local
    authorities continued until the lease on the factory premises in Cowes expired in
    September 2013. This coincided with Citroen France deciding Romahome could not
    convert the new Berlingo because it now had ESP fitted which would not work effectively
    with the chassis overhang. As the R20 and R25 are both built on the Berlingo and
    accounted for 70% of production we had little choice but to cease production when the
    lease ended. Thankfully, Brian's son and daughter, Dan and Jess Bailey, had already
    taken a lease on the adjoining premises and asked if they could take on Romahome
    production under licence from Freeborns.
    This was readily agreed and excellent news as it meant most of the experienced
    Romahome staff were able to get jobs with Addabak, the new company.
    The R10, built on the Nemo, and R30 built on the Relay, were not affected by the
    introduction of ESP as they are built on vans and production therefore continues as
    before with sales numbering about 2 per month. Thankfully, there is still a plentiful supply
    of Berlingo vans without ESP and low mileage examples are purchased primarily by
    Freeborn Group and converted into R20 Hi and Lo models and sold with an all new
    conversion. The sales of used R20's number about 5 per month.
    On top of that Addabak designed an all new demountable built on the DFSK pickup
    truck, the D20. This hasn't had widespread publicity but is a great little vehicle although
    sold in relatively small numbers as supply is restricted.
    Addabak usually run a demonstrator and Freeborn also have one on show at
    Southampton.
    Other good news is that Addabak won a big order to convert Mercedes vans into welfare
    vehicles in early 2014 and this will keep them very busy for some time to come.
    The Romahome name, all the parts, tooling and moulds are being bought from Freeborn
    Group by Addabak and the full purchase will have been completed by the end of 2016.
    While Freeborn Group has been delighted to have had responsibility for
    Romahome all these years this sale is great news as it means a young and enthusiastic
    team will be entrusted with the future of what has become an iconic and widely
    recognised brand.
    So, many thanks for supporting Romahome for so many years and on behalf of all
    the staff at Freeborns who continue to be involved with these amazing vehicles.
    Young men sow wild oats.Old men grow sage.

    #2
    This has already been posted Ian, by Andrew from Freeborn way back in December 2015

    You can find the post here: http://www.smallmotorhome.co.uk/foru...626#post144626
    ______________
    Guardian of the Ducks
    2 2 2 2 2 2 2 Quack!

    Comment


      #3
      Originally posted by Pauline View Post
      This has already been posted Ian, by Andrew from Freeborn way back in December 2015

      You can find the post here: http://www.smallmotorhome.co.uk/foru...626#post144626
      Sorry Pauline I'm a bit out of date

      but I don't think production has speeded up, and I wonder if all the property rights got transferred yet? I put this up as Folk were discussing this at the recent rally.
      Young men sow wild oats.Old men grow sage.

      Comment


        #4
        Originally posted by Ian.C.S View Post
        Sorry Pauline I'm a bit out of date

        but I don't think production has speeded up, and I wonder if all the property rights got transferred yet? I put this up as Folk were discussing this at the recent rally.
        Better on twice than not at all I thought you were thinking it was latest news, that's all
        ______________
        Guardian of the Ducks
        2 2 2 2 2 2 2 Quack!

        Comment


          #5
          According to companies house Addabaks accounts are overdue https://beta.companieshouse.gov.uk/company/08638242

          Although only late by a few weeks. Probably doesnt mean anything.
          Better a rainy day on the hill than a sunny day in the office!

          Comment


            #6
            The Addabak website has been down for several months now in spite of the fact that I have reported it to them.

            Their Facebook page hasn't been update since December, all of this could mean nothing but people are bound to make assumptions.
            Graham
            Did you know you can follow us on Facebook, YouTube and Twitter or you can visit us at our Website

            Comment


              #7
              Are they still producing vans?

              It could be that as they are buying back the Romahone name that Addabak will be disolved and a new company formed.
              Better a rainy day on the hill than a sunny day in the office!

              Comment


                #8
                Originally posted by Rob B View Post
                Are they still producing vans?

                It could be that as they are buying back the Romahone name that Addabak will be disolved and a new company formed.
                A quick look at the romahome website has a link to a sister company.

                http://www.special-vehicle-projects.co.uk/

                Julie

                Comment


                  #9
                  Originally posted by JazziJ View Post
                  A quick look at the romahome website has a link to a sister company.

                  http://www.special-vehicle-projects.co.uk/

                  Julie
                  Interesting, SVPs website states they are owned by the Freeborn Group. Brian Bailey is managing director. Seems to me that Freeborn have decided they can make more money out of converting vehicles for commercial uses than they can flogging Romahomes.
                  Better a rainy day on the hill than a sunny day in the office!

                  Comment


                    #10
                    As far as I know Romahome have had a special vehicles branch for many years; when we had a tour of the factory we saw some of them in the making - meals on wheels vans was just one of the projects, there were several others.

                    Comment


                      #11
                      Originally posted by VonUK View Post
                      As far as I know Romahome have had a special vehicles branch for many years; when we had a tour of the factory we saw some of them in the making - meals on wheels vans was just one of the projects, there were several others.
                      You are right Von when we visited we saw what I think were AA vans being made.
                      ______________
                      Guardian of the Ducks
                      2 2 2 2 2 2 2 Quack!

                      Comment

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