THE STORY SO FAR…
22 March 2018
This Aussie success story began when retired pharmacist JK Fagan purchased a small block of flats and with an adjoining box trailer business in Lakemba in South West Sydney. The idea was to rent out the flats and outsource the business – but when JK’s son Roger came on board, he had other ideas.
Roger saw the potential in the RV market. He invented what is believed to be the first soft floor camper called the Trailer Camper. It was little more than box trailer with a canvas roof – but it would be the start of an Aussie RV empire that would go on to produce 20,000 camper trailers, and counting.
“The process was more of an evolution rather than a one off design” says Cub co-founder Roger Fagan. “We used to manufacture horse floats and sell them to buyers in Western Queensland. The roads there were very rugged with lots of corrugations – so we had to strengthen the chassis and suspension to make sure it could cope with the conditions. We then adapted that design to suit our camper trailers” Fagan says. Since then Cub has remained a leader in the off-road market.
In the 1990’s Roger invented the ezy-wind system that revolutionised camper trailer setup, making it quicker and easier than ever before. This invention allowed Cub to expand its market to cater to the booming grey nomad sector. Roger also invented the first deep-sided “Spacevan”, now the Longreach. This innovation gave Australians the ability to venture off the beaten track with the comforts and roominess of a caravan – without the bulk. In the RV market, Cub has a strong reputation for being easy to setup, light to tow and practical to use. Those simple but key qualities is why Cub has been around longer than any other camper trailer brand.
Cub’s longevity has not come easily. The business has experienced the ups and downs of several recessions. Roger says the toughest period was the 1980s when there was a massive downturn in the caravan and camping market. At the end of the 70s there were about 35,000 RV units being produced in Australia. That figure plummeted to 6000 by the end of the 80s.
While many of Cub’s competitors went bust, Roger entered the export market. It was risky move but it paid off. At a time when Paul Hogan was starring in Aussie tourism campaigns and Crocodile Dundee was raking it in at the box office, the Americans couldn’t get enough of Aussie made. Roger even found himself the star of his own news story.
Roger, who has now retired has handed the business over to his three adult children. His son Shane, Cub’s Managing Director, began as a factory worker at Cub more than fifteen years ago.
Cub also recently hired its first CEO, Simon McMillan to oversee the next phase of growth. “I was attracted to Cub as it is a classic, authentic Australian company. Our strong customer focus combined with our high quality, easy to use products means that we are in an excellent position for growth and plan to be here for at least 50 more years”.
Now in 2018 Cub is looking to the next 50 years. In order to make the buying process simpler for customers Cub has rationalised its range from 13 to 7 models.