What Manufacturing Decline? Family Business Shows There’s A Lot Of Ticker Left In Australian Industry
14 January 2016
While many Australian manufacturers are doing it tough, the Australian camping industry is continuing to thrive.
Cub Campers began in 1968 in a small workshop in Lakemba. Almost 50 years later it operates from a large factory on three acres in North Rocks, 10 minutes from Parramatta.
Australia’s largest seller of flip top camper trailers is now in the hands of the third generation of Fagans. Shane Fagan is the General Manager. His father Roger held the reigns before him and the business was founded by Shane’s grandfather John Fagan.
Shane began as a factory worker at Cub more than a decade ago. “I remember dad just dropped me off and told me to answer to the foreman. There was no favouritism. I just had to join the production line and learn.”
Because of the time spent on the factory floor, Shane feels he has now earned the right to take over the top job. Looking forward he plans to grow sales by at least ten percent over the next year.
To remain competitive against the growing number of cheaper imported campers, the company has changed its manufacturing process. “It’s about keeping our overheads down” says 38 year old Fagan. “Pouring money into high quality machinery has paid off.” “We are also pushing ourselves to remain leading innovators in the industry. Our design team, also based at our North Rocks factory are constantly working on new ideas and concepts to revolutionise the camping industry.
Shane’s sister Fiona, a former TV Producer has also recently joined the business as Marketing Manger. Fiona has spent the past decade working for the Seven Network hit show Sunrise and she hopes that experience will help the business grow further.
“You have to be so savvy with your marketing now. The platform changes all the time. You need to communicate to potential customers through social media, using pictures and videos and you constantly need to think outside the box.”
Cub now employs more than 40 people and it has retail sites throughout Australia. The boom of Grey Nomads wanting to see Australia has also been great for business.