All systems go at Jayco

IT was back in 2007 when the Lustri brothers decided to combine their collective business experience and buy the local dealership of caravan giant Jayco.

The brothers, Roy, Frank and John, were all managing their own small businesses, but were attracted by the growth potential in the caravan industry.

And with Frank Lustri looking to upgrade his own personal caravan, the other two brothers sent him in on a reconnaissance mission.

"I was actually looking for a new caravan, and I said to the lady I'll either buy this one here, or all of them. So I ended up buying all of them with my brothers," Frank laughed.

"But it was a big step for three brothers.

"We basically borrowed as much as we could borrow, and it was a big venture for the three of us."

However the rapid growth of the Lustri's dealership along with the industry more broadly saw Jayco Canberra outgrow its original location on Uriarra Road, moving to a larger 4,000 square meter site in 2010 at 92 Yass Road. The dealership has now expanded again, last week opening a second yard at 43 Yass Road, which will house its used caravan division.

The dealership offers a 'one-stop-shop' for experienced and novice caravanners alike, from new and used caravans, to a full accessories shop, car electrics setup and load level distribution systems and a servicing.

"The business has just grown to the point where we can't display the full Jayco range here at 92 Yass Road, because the Jayco factory is always innovating and always offering new models," Mr Lustri said.

As for the caravan industry itself, Mr Lustri said he'd seen it defy a global economic downturn in 2007/08 and steadily grow in sales.

"I relate it to being like buying a thoroughbred race horse. We had to learn how to sit on the saddle and hold on, because it was a growth industry and it just took off."

He also said the cost-efficiency of caravanning compared with other holidays made it an attractive option for couples and families.

"You've got all different types of holiday experiences, but this one caters for people who want to get out and travel, but they can bring along all their food with them and overnight accommodation.

"For a couple or family without a caravan, you can get away for a night or two, but it gets expensive. You can go away for a week at a time in a caravan and it's affordable," he said.

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