The History of Zion

The journey of Zion Motorhomes to where it is today has been one of love, commitment, hard work, family and friends new and old!

    • DEC 2006 and DEC 2007 – The seed is planted when Jonas and Irene take a family motorhome holiday in New Zealand. They were still living in Singapore, having raised their family there. But they love New Zealand’s space, its unique scenery, and the freedom of the motorhome experience, having been used to a city environment in Singapore all their lives.

 

    • FEB 2008 – The family moves to New Zealand. With a career in sales back in Singapore, Jonas looks to buy his own business.

 

    • SEP 2008 – Jonas launches Acacia Products & Services, an online business selling laptops, electronics, and Christian books. But still reminiscing on the motorhome holiday that created such wonderful memories and wanting to create this for others, he searches for an opportunity to enter the motorhome industry.

  • 2009 – Jonas purchases the booking website RentACampervan.co.nz

 

  • 2010 – Jonas launches the new Campervan Booking Agent Website. Within two years he becomes top agent of some of the leading names in the campervan rental market. He also notices the strong demand from European customers for vehicles with island beds (rather than beds against a wall). 2010 was the first year that European Premium motorhomes were imported to New Zealand – the start of a new era.

 

  • 2011 – To address the demand Jonas visits Germany and orders his first vehicle from Dethleffs – the Globe 4 – which he plans to rent out via the RentACampervan website.

 

  • SEP 2012 – Before it can be rented, Jonas grows concerned about how to manage potential vehicle damage with customer expectations, so he ends up selling the vehicle (the new owners are still part of the ‘Zion Friends’ family today and proudly share the fact that they were Jonas’ first clients).

 

  • 2013 – The name of the business changes to Acacia Motorhomes. Acacia comes from the bible when the tabernacle was built: Exodus 35:24 Everyone who could make a contribution of silver or bronze brought it as the Lord’s contribution. And everyone who possessed acacia wood of any use in the work brought it.

 

  • MAR 2013 – Jonas sells two further Dethleffs vehicles at the Covi Motorhome Show. He hosts the Dethleffs parts department in his garage at home.

 

  • 2014 – Jonas opened his first display site, at the churchyard of Christian Life Centre (his resident church) in Howick. Viewing was only possible by appointment because he had to open and close the yard himself.

  • 2015 – Jonas ’employs’ his helpful Pastor Owen Mounsey to help out as a part-time driver. He remained a helping hand for more than a year

 

  • 2015 – Jonas appoints UCC as a Sales agent for the South Island

 

  • 2016 – Jonas appoints Central RV as a Sales agent for Caravans in New Zealand

 

  • 2016 – Sales yard moves in with RSE into their premises in Takanini and the business employs its first real employee for the workshop.

 

  • 2016 – The managing director for McRent Germany (largest rental campervan company in Europe) meets with Jonas and agrees on a partnership to run the rental operation for Premium Luxury German Motorhomes across New Zealand. By the end of the same year, the first 60 McRent vehicles arrived on New Zealand’s shores.

 

  • SEP 2016 – The McRent Christchurch office opens in Greywacke Road, Harewood, ahead of the start of the first season. It has humble beginnings: a very basic container office with portaloo facilities across the road from a noisy, dirty wood mill.

 

  • End 2016 – Jonas purchases 50 Gateway Park Drive in Pokeno with the aim to build a world-class motorhome showroom (and New Zealand’s first).

 

  • Early 2017 – The business now imports approx 80-90 units annually, and moves to a new yard at Smales Road in Highbrook

 

  • End 2017 – Building construction starts at the Pokeno site.

  • JAN 2018 – Zion Motorhomes was founded and all names and processes changed to reflect the new brand. Zion – known also from the bible – is a hill that stands tall as a symbol of strength, reliability and protection for the Royal City of Jerusalem.

 

  • FEB 2018 – The business moves to a temporary yard nearby while the Pokeno building is constructed. Business operates now in two locations from an office container and a workshop tent.

 

  • SEP 2018 – Business moves to the finished building and current office location at 50 Gateway Park Drive

 

  • 2019 – Jonas purchases the plot next door to allow for sufficient parking for Zion & McRent’s approximately 500 New Friends and 125 rental vehicles.

 

  • OCT 2019 – Christchurch office moves to a new, improved and professional yard at 12 Holt Place in Burnside.

 

  • 2020 – With the continuous growth of the Sales and a strong, industry-leading position now generated, plans are made to build a new, more impressive showroom that will reflect the quality, reliability and integrity the business, its people as well as its products stand for. With the thousands of New Friends generated, another adjacent plot of land is purchased and consent process started

 

  • 2021 – Ground-breaking work is completed to realign the business, its people and the two brands with the Core Purpose and the Company Values (link to values page here please) – the reasons why Jonas went on this wonderful journey of creation in the first place.

What does the future hold?

  • BHAG – working towards our ‘Big, hairy and audacious goal’ of wanting to generate 20,000 friends by 2030
  • Build Motorhome City – The Premium Motorhome Capital of New Zealand – right here in Pokeno. A place for people to relax and enjoy visiting us – like a visit to the family, with relaxation and shopping spaces, cafes and entertainment opportunities. We want to offer our Friends the No-hassle, one-stop-shop experience that has it all…  coupled with our Concierge-Supported Luxury Motorhomes. The reason why we all love what we do.
  • Everyone that knows Jonas also knows that this man never stops – new plans and ideas are always in the making
  • 2012 marks the beginning of an era: ZION Motorhomes joins forces with one of the best brands the Luxury German motorhome market has to offer: Dethleffs. ‘A friend of the family’ was always the core focus of the brand making it attractive for many different types of families and couples alike. Values that resonated with New Zealand’s customers very quickly.
  • After some turbulent and highly enjoyable 10 years in June 2022, it was then finally time for ZION, represented by Jonas and Irene in person, to accept the 10-year partnership certificate and award at the Dethleffs dealer conference in Friedrichshafen, Germany.

  • We were due for a COF, which was knocked back due to an incorrect fuel cap.The NZ agents of the chassis manufacturer had been unable to supply a replacement fuel cap and we were using an emergency cap. Enter Jonas and his team who even though they were closed for the Christmas break opened up and offered their assistance which enabled us to get a COF. I can’t thank Jonas and his team enough for their help, going the extra mile & enabling us to have a summer break. With service like that to a random stranger you excel at service and am happy to recommend you to everyone looking for a MH or associated services. So grateful

    Ian Ross Dec 2021

  • We purchased our Dethleffs Esprit in 2019 we love our Motorhome. Jonas helped us a lot with decisions we needed to make on models and interior, always making himself available to answer our questions. The after sales service is great!! we have added extras at point of sale and after, making living in our Motorhome comfortable. Wouldn’t hesitate to recommend Zion Motorhomes for sales and service.

    Fay and Robert Grigg May 2021

  • We highly recommend Jonas and the team at Zion Motorhomes, their customer service is amazing, they “walk the talk” and are professional, yet friendly! The Dethleff’s motorhome we purchased from Zion was delightful, warm and comfortable, and the after sale support was awesome! Unfortunately, due to a significant change in our lives, Jonas sold our motorhome for us on our behalf, selling it in under 3 weeks for more than we expected! We have no hesitation in highly recommending Zion Motorhomes, you won’t be disappointed!

    Elizabeth Dittmer Apr 2021

  • Thankyou Jonas and Sid for your advise in our purchase of our Frankia Platin. We have been away for a total of over 115 days in the last few months. And have only stayed in a camp sites for two nights and have not yet plugged into power. We where stranded the Waikanae estuary car park for the entire lockdown period with no problems at all. And now making our way back home. Thank you all at Zion

    Murray and Audrey Instone Oct 2021

  • Top marks to Zion Motorhomes for their excellent communication and service. We have just had a motorhome windscreen replaced at their premises at Pokeno as the local glass fitter was not confident in doing the repair. Thank you Diane for organizing and facilitating this, it looks just like the factory fitted one. Appreciate the attention to detail.

    Chris Dormann Apr 21

  • This time last year we looked into having full air suspension fitted to our Dethleffs Esprit. After contacting Jonas at Zion motor homes and also looking at several other options we decided to go ahead with a full air suspension from Goldschmitt. After a delay due to COVID we had this fitted by Zion motorhome in May 2020. All LT400 certification was also arranged by them. We can say we are very happy, both with the professional service by Zion and the improvement it has made to our vehicle. It is a more comfortable ride, the auto leveling is great and now it is easy to get into our driveway as we can now raise the vehicle and that makes a big difference as we no longer have to drive in at an angle to stop scraping the muffler. It also is great when dumping the grey water as we raise the vehicle and lower it towards the dump station side and this makes it drain a lot faster.

    Hans & Giny van Honk – Full Air Suspension

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