From the Birmingham Mail THERE may never be a better time to buy a motorhome! The Chancellor’s VAT cut has already helped to make prices even more competitive, while manufacturers focus on producing new downturn-defying models for next year. The market leader, Swift Group, says their motorhomes will now cost between £632 and £1,338 less depending on the model while Auto-Sleepers has reduced prices by around £1,000. All the manufacturers are also absorbing some price rises from their base vehicle suppliers. New affordable motorhomes will also play their part – AutoTrail were ahead of the game with their highly acclaimed Excel value-for-money range launched in October at the Caravan and Motorhome Show. Lunar Caravans reported their motorhome sales were also strong, led by their new Ford Transit-based Pinnacle over-cab compact coachbuilt. Swift has just announced its affordable range, the Escape. There are four variations of this entry level coachbuilt where prices start at around £30,000. There are three, four and six berth high line vehicles and a four berth low-line all based on the Fiat Ducato 100psi Multijet engine. The specification includes full kitchen and shower room, plenty of storage, double glazing and central heating. Externally, the vehicles have dark blue cabs with white habitation bodies and stylish graphics. Swift’s first entry level vehicle, the Escape, will make its debut at the season’s curtain raiser, the Boat Caravan and Leisure Show from February 19th-24th at the National Exhibition Centre in Birmingham. Auto-Sleepers, whose November sales this year exceeded last year’s, also plan to launch two new vehicles at the show – a compact coachbuilt and what they say will be a revolutionary new campervan. Also new will be the Compass Avantgarde 155 and Elddis Autoquest 155 models. An entirely new layout is promised with these new two-berth lo-line vehicles boasting a fixed double bed and front dinette. Looking ahead, the Motorhome Information Service says the motorhome market will have to weather the storm like everyone else. A spokesman said: “People want to enjoy motorhomes and in the slowdown it may be that there is no better way of getting great value leisure. Besides the crunch busting new models, there’s plenty of interest in second hand vehicles which are selling well. “Looking ahead to next year, the two user clubs say they expect bookings to continue to go up, as people look for the ‘stay at home’ option and the best value they can get for their leisure pound.