Our History

The Umhauer name has been a name synonymous with quality automotive service in Geelong for over 80 years. The company was founded by Reginald Umhauer in 1928, a small workshop at the corner of McKillop Street and Ormand Road. It then shifted to Sydney Parade and later moved to the Corner of Minerva Road and Autumn Street, Manifold Heights. His son Robert followed, becoming an apprentice mechanic at the business in 1957. The company was then lead by third generation of Umhauer’s. Bob and Jan’s daughter Leza and son Kris.

The Umhauer’s retail business then owned by Kris and Leza Umhauer moved to a new location 157 Fyans Street Geelong, a three level premises in April 2000.

Kris Umhauer worked as an Automotive Electrician Apprentice from 1988 – 1992. After completing the apprenticeship, purchased a motor bike and set off to travel and explore Australia.

Landing in Mt Isa in 1994 and working in the Hilton lead mine, established a keen interest in the remote control technology.

After working under ground in both the Hilton mine and main Mt Isa mine to depths of 1400 meters for 5 years, completing study in remote control – electric and hydraulic, it was time to leave and head home, back to Geelong.

Returning to work in the family business, as an accessory fitter and auto electrician in 2001. Umhauer’s Towbar and 4wd centre, an ARB 4×4 accessories stockist among many other well known long standing brands such as East Coast Bullbars, Flexiglass canopies, Opposite Lock and the Umhauer manufacturing of steel and alloy ute tray bodies.

During this time, Kris was involved in off road racing, a GQ Patrol of choice, setting up the car was all hand made fabricated parts and some basic off the shelf items back in 2004 – 2009. Competing in the Outback Challenge, in challenge class and Cliffhanger events, provided a solid understanding of what products needed to endure, although not in a racing sense, but certainly carried over to adventure 4wding and overlanding.

With many off grid adventures travelling remote areas, Kris’s auto electrical back ground was found specialising in the early development of dual battery and solar systems very valuable. This and the knowledge to repair vehicles was a great support when travelling area’s such as Cape York, Simpson Desert, Madigan Line and exploring mountain country in the early, mid 2000’s.

With Umhauer’s business growing into the 21st century, so too did their client base in Warrnambool, Hamilton, Portland and across the border into South Australia. It made sense to expand west and set up camp in the burgeoning eastern corridor of Warrnambool. Umhauer’s opened their showroom and workshop at the Raglan Parade Warrnambool Homemaker Centre in late April 2000, ensuring their one stop shop for RV, ute, van and 4WD accessories was within arm’s reach of their growing client base. Knowing, too, that Warrnambool is strategically on the Great Ocean Road, at the heart of a vast camping and caravanning territory was an added impetus to make the expansion.

From humble beginnings servicing motor vehicles, UMHAUER’S Business serviced a wide and growing industry of Solar & Power Solutions, Touring & Camping, Towing, Van, Ute & 4WD accessories.

In an innovative move Kris developed a unique range of products under then KUFU brand, highlighting his grasp of the market ahead of time, the range included robust drawer systems, roof top tents, awnings, all before knock-off imitations flooded the market in later years. The KUFU Drawer system is now in its 2nd generation with a complete redesign and is now the world’s most innovative vehicle storage system, with global patents.

The group moved away from bricks & mortar retail in 2016, selling the retail arm to focus on direct-to-consumer online retail and partner/ distributor model, with the unique ability to provide the same great service yet offer more value.

Further diversifying the Umhauer business saw them support a new crowd sourced funding campaign of a new design of roof top tent in 2017, and then develop this partnership and import these Roof Top Tents from leading design and manufacturer iKamper. The expansion and change of the business required a rename and has become the Impact Import Group and are the sole importer distributer of the iKamper brand in Australia and lead the industry for service and support in Roof Top Tents.

The development of another brand of innovative Camper trailer prototypes gave life to the Road Warrior Camper trailers brand. This product range is again ahead of its time as new customers enter the recreational space, their needs have changed, the Road Warrior Camper brand offers lightweight portable and versatile trailers for Roof Top Tents and other equipment to be easily configured and deployed for fast easy camping and recreational experience’s

The future of Impact Import Group is shifting once again to amalgamate all three brands: iKamper, KUFU Drawer System, and Road Warrior Campers into one modern ecommerce experience under the retail brand of Umhauer Products Australia. This brand will take these novel, innovative products to the world exporting to the globe.