Campervan manufacturer secures Mercedes-Benz partnership

By Antao Greer Communications

28 Jun 2024

Crozier Campers 2 Small.jpg.jpg

A Made-Smarter backed campervan manufacturer has secured a ‘transformational’ partnership with Mercedes-Benz after investing in new technology.

Crozier Campers, based in Lancashire, is now part of the automotive brand’s Bodybuilder programme.

It means the Poulton-le-Fylde company can order pre-registered Sprinter vans directly from the factory in Germany to convert and sell.

Mercedes-Benz agreed to the collaboration following Crozier’s £40,000 investment in leading edge design software and CNC machinery which was supported by a £20,000 grant from Made Smarter’s North West adoption programme.

Conor Crozier, founder and managing director, said: “We are thrilled to have established a formal partnership with Mercedes-Benz. Accreditation to its Bodybuilder programme is a transformational boost for our small business and is a direct consequence of the support of Made Smarter.

“For a small business, navigating the investment in new technology is very difficult. Made Smarter has backed us all the way, accelerated us years ahead, and changed our business forever.”

The company was launched by engineer Conor in 2020. Its team of six designers, engineers and carpenters, produce a range of conversions from day vans like Volkswagen Transporters to full size off-grid tiny homes in Minibuses.

Crozier turned to Made Smarter to help solve its capacity challenge caused by its reliance on subcontracting some parts of production.

Adopting an Apollo 1325 CNC for the precision cutting, milling and drilling of sheet wood, metal and plastic, and Autodesk Fusion 360, a cloud-based CAD, CAM, CAE, and PCB software platform, Crozier brought all production back in-house.

With complete control, the company has been able to reduce build times of its Beyond range from eight weeks to seven and increase capacity by 50 per cent. This is forecast to grow profits by 25 per cent over the next three years.

The technology has created a new production role and freed up its team to work on R&D projects and devote more time to social media marketing which has given the business international exposure.

The software enables the business to reduce wood waste which is used to create biofuels and donate to local woodworkers and artists. This supports Crozier’s 2027 net zero target.

Commenting on the partnership, Donna Edwards, director of Made Smarter’s Adoption Programme in the North West, said: “I am delighted that Crozier Campers has reaped such immediate and substantial benefits from adopting new technology.

“We supported Conor and the team firstly through our digital transformation workshop process to help identify potential technologies to overcome their challenges, and armed them with a digital roadmap and a grant to adopt those solutions.

“We look forward to offering them our ongoing support as they drive forward their growth ambitions.”

Launched in 2019, Made Smarter has engaged with 2,500 manufacturers, with hundreds receiving support through grant funding, impartial technology advice, leadership, and skills training to help transform their businesses.

The programme has delivered 334 technology projects in the North West, which are forecast to create 1,550 jobs, upskill 2,772 existing roles, and increase North West GVA by £242m.

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