this will become interesting. Given the fact that Märklin lost about 13.6 Mio. Euros in 2006, 16.6. Mio. Euros in 2007 and according to that report about 20 Mio. Euros in 2008 I honestly do not see much of a chance. There are ongoing rumours that Märklin paid excessive fees for consultants since Kingsbridge took over in 2006 which will be part of the problem.
It is a fact that January wages have not been paid, see http://www.handelsblatt.com/unternehmen/in...umsjahr;2139524
Looking at the German forum http://www.drehscheibe-online.de
Märklin has a serious quality problem at the moment which also adds to the general problem.
Märklin might also be a victim of a too heavy reliance on its residual AC system in H0 gauge as opposed to DC, its residual Z gauge as opposed to N gauge and its I gauge as opposed to IIm or G.
Whatever happens, I seriously doubt that we will see the end of either the Märklin or Trix brand. Especially Märklin is far too strong as a brand name to simply disappear. What we might see is another round of concentration on the German (or continental) market with the brand and the castings being bought by one of the competitors.
Possibly there are far too many manufacturers for a shrinking market anyway. If we count brands we have Märklin, Fleischmann, Trix, Piko, Roco, Lima, Rivarossi, Jouef, Bemo, Liliput, Gützold, Tillig, Mehano, Brawa, L.S. Models, ViTrains, A.C.M.E, Hobbytrade (DK), Heris, Railtop (if they really exist), Hobbytrain (Lemke), Kombimodell and Lenz on the German H0 market, even though Lima, Rivarossi and Jouef are one manufacturer and so are Märklin and Trix on one hand and Roco and Fleischmann on the other. And ViTrains and A.C.M.E. do not do German outline models.
Contrary to common believe this competition did not lead to falling prices to gain market share but to small production runs with escalating costs. Many prototypes are available from two or even more manufacturers in a similar quality and there are very few prototypes which have never been modelled.
From what I have learned in the Continental vs. UK. vs. US thread in the UK there are far fewer manufacturers, essentially just two, Hornby and Bachmann, plus two smaller ones, Heljan and ViTrains. There are less models available rtr and, please correct me if I am wrong here, models of very few prototypes are currently available from more than one manufacturer. Personally, I see this as the future of German model railways manufacturers.