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I am in no way an expert on this subject so I though I'd offer some observations:

I think much depends on the German economy if manufacturers are to prosper. According to the Economist the German economy will grow 2.7% this year and 2.1% next. It does say however that retail sales are down.

Maerklin under their new owners and with Trix and LGB seem to be heading in the right direction. It never ceases to amaze me how they have their own system yet are the market leader. They are obviously the German Lionel/Hornby and more!

Fleischmann are contracting at the moment and concentrating Manufacturing in one location. They are adamant that they will remain a "German made" company. I hope this works for them and they are not just being stubbornly nationalistic.

Roco seem to be on the way up again. How much ground they have recovered I don't know but they do seem to have quite a following outside Europe.

I like Piko. They have adapted to capitalism well and also cater for those on a budget so the should keep on in an upward direction.

Hornby International still have a long way to go. It's taken a while! Arnold I think is their best bet in the German market and Italy seems to be going ok. France not yet but perhaps too early to tell. The 70% growth in their last report will need to keep going.

Vi symbolise the Italian trait of never taking no for an answer! I don't know how they are financed but would imagine they would need to have sufficient returns for reinvestment. Too early to tell.

I don't know much about the zillion other manufacturers but will make a prediction that Mehano will one day end up in the Bachmann camp! They would compliment Liliput nicely. I wonder if there's been any resistance to Liliput being foreign owned?

I hope I've been charitable to all!
 

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QUOTE (ozwarrior @ 9 Dec 2007, 08:17) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>I don't know much about the zillion other manufacturers but will make a prediction that Mehano will one day end up in the Bachmann camp! They would compliment Liliput nicely. I wonder if there's been any resistance to Liliput being foreign owned?

I hope I've been charitable to all!

I thought Mehano already were in the Bachmann camp. They are on Bachmanns website.

I was looking at some Roco prices the other day and they have really realined themselves in the budget area. Lots of locos were around the 120 euro mark ( these are obviously not UK prices) and seemed to be very good value.

Same with Maerklin/Trix, there seems a move away from exclusively high cost items to having a substantial number of budget items. They also seem to be concentrating (on the Trix side of things anyway) on the modern image. Scale length coaches seems to be becoming the norm as all new items I have looked at recently seem to be touting this, e.g. the new Trix ICE says it is the first model of this train with scale length coaches.

I think they have gone through the same revolution in business strategy that Hornby underwent and seem to be building on that.
 

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Roco have come along in leaps and bounds this year - long may it continue.

Regards
 

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I was looking at a trix electric loco at warley. die cast body for £70! very impressive.

Bachmann are already the distributors for Mehano. their stuff was in the cabinates at warley this year and last year. it looks like good stuff but i have a couple of questions about them. firstly the ICE3. how does it compare to the Piko? there seem to be alot of ICE3's about. secondly they have been saying they are going to be doing the centre coaches for the duplex for years. when are they actually going to do them???? whenever i ask about them at warley i get "i dont know, we are just the distrubutors"

Peter
 
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