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I can confirm, having briefly owned one, that the Marklin Harry Potter loco and coaches do use the Hornby tooling, albeit modified chassis for 3 rail, and HO couplings. The same is also true for Marklin's Thomas The Tank Engine range, which is also based on modified Hornby toolings.

Just for completeness, another item of common heritage is the Hornby Rolling Road, an almost identical 3 rail version can be found in the Marklin catalogue. So some sort of cooperation going on at a Chinese factory I presume.
 

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Discussion Starter · #23 ·
QUOTE Just for completeness, another item of common heritage is the Hornby Rolling Road, an almost identical 3 rail version can be found in the Marklin catalogue. So some sort of cooperation going on at a Chinese factory I presume.

Maerklins stuff is made in Hungary and Germany. I heard that they buy the bodies of Hornby to stick on top of their chassis and motor. Don't know about the rolling road though.
 

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QUOTE (neil_s_wood @ 14 Mar 2007, 21:53) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>Maerklins stuff is made in Hungary and Germany. I heard that they buy the bodies of Hornby to stick on top of their chassis and motor. Don't know about the rolling road though.

Sorry to disappoint you, but an increasing amount of Maerklin/Trix products are now produced in China, all the recent USA outline wagons, for example, initially they had no country of origin on the boxes, but recently a 'Made in China' sticker has been added. I can't say for sure about the Hogwarts and Thomas stuff though.

I hope that the new owners of Maerklin can find a way of keeping much of the production in Europe, but somehow I doubt it.
It was rumoured that the Goliath Digital Crane and also the ICE3 are of Chinese production too, but I have found no evidence either for or against this. Anybody?
 

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QUOTE (ashleyh @ 15 Mar 2007, 23:27) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>Sorry to disappoint you, but an increasing amount of Maerklin/Trix products are now produced in China, all the recent USA outline wagons, for example, initially they had no country of origin on the boxes, but recently a 'Made in China' sticker has been added. I can't say for sure about the Hogwarts and Thomas stuff though.

I hope that the new owners of Maerklin can find a way of keeping much of the production in Europe, but somehow I doubt it.
It was rumoured that the Goliath Digital Crane and also the ICE3 are of Chinese production too, but I have found no evidence either for or against this. Anybody?
I have the ICE3 and quite a few Trix models and they all say made in Germany on the box. There are a few budget models which have come out of late whose prices surprised me so they seem the most likely candidates if what you say is true. I don't have any of those though, to check.

I haven't heard anywhere that any Maerklin/Trix stuff is made outside of Europe other than rumours that some components might be but nothing with any substance. Where did you hear this?

I've seen the manufacturing process and the guys working in the factory all look German to me.
 

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Discussion Starter · #26 ·
Well after a bit of research I found these.

Now made in China?

It seems a digital crain has been outsourced to China.

I also found this

Märklin workers strike over job outsourcing
GÖPPINGEN, Germany, October 5th - Workers at Märklin brought production to a standstill after they went on strike in protest against planned job cuts. Half of the 400 employees affected by the cuts may be transferred from the main Göppingen production site to Sonneberg in eastern Germany and Györ in Hungary. Märklin is aiming to reduce costs by 15 percent. Restructuring has been prompted by competition from Asian manufacturers.
The world largest manufacturer of model railways, Märklin explains that it must diminish 400 of its 1,100 jobs in Göppingen to remain competitive. Assembly in Göppingen costs €2,200 per month, while Märklin pays only €350 per month in its Hungarian plant. By shifting certain production to other factories, Märklin is expected to save over tens of millions of Euros annually.
The East German model train competitor Piko, like many other German manufacturers, set the pace several years ago when it moved much of its production to China and Asia. Piko realized it had no choice, since more than 75% of all toys, including model trains, on the German market originate from "offshore," primarily from China, according to the German Toy Manufacturing Federation. Market leaders such Märklin have been finding themselves at a disadvantage. Since Piko began "co-manufacturing" with the Chinese, Piko has seen double-digit increases in sales and market share increased over 35%.

Other German toy manufacturers are moving in the same direction, especially for any extensive manual labor processes. It just makes economic sense. Nevertheless some German companies have held off shifting as long as possible, Märklin being one of those companies.
(Editor's note: Some of the Märklin / Trix USA models are outsourced to China, already. My Union Pacific freight cars, branded both Märklin and Trix, all have a little sticker on the car bottom or on their box that says "Made in China." To be competitive in the US market, this is a necessity, as virtually all quality American prototype model trains are now made in China and are priced less than Märklin or Trix. - Ryan Hoover)
In 2002, Märklin had half of the German market, where 70% of its products are sold. Total revenues were €170M, about $185M.

I guess if you want to stay in the business then you have to move to China


So Maerklin have half the German market, I wonder if Hornby have half the UK market?
 

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One striking result is the very poor showing of France as a prototype: on a par with the Netherlands, slightly ahead of Belgium and Australia

This despite it being on the doorstep for British residents , having through trains to Britain, attracting a lot of Interrailers and despite the SNCF being widely regarded as Europe's leading railway (Whether accurately or not is another issue - but French railways are generally presented in the media as one of France's major national achievements)

It's an odd result. It will be interesting to see whether the fact that the major French outline HO range is now owned by a British company with extensive British retail network , and should in theory now have a much higher profile in the British market, has any effect on the popularity of modelling France
 

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Neil

I learnt about the outsourcing of the Digital Goliath Crane while I was at a Marklin Digital training event a couple of years back. The Chinese origin of this was confirmed by the Marklin represenative doing the training. To be fair, when the Goliath Crane was first touted, it was a project that would only go ahead if enough pre-orders were received as the projected assembly costs were rather high. I have a Goliath crane and can confirm that the build quality and finish are very good.

The ICE3 was rumoured, but not confirmed by the Marklin rep, if you have a box that says Made in Germany, then that probably scotches that theory. Another HO piece that I believe may be of Chinese origin is the 26510 Tunnel Rescue Set. No country of origin is on the box, but the digital cars are finished and wrapped in a very similar style to the Goliath.

Personally, I wish Marklin were as proud to put 'Made in Hungary' on the boxes as 'Made in Germany', and I would be prepared to pay a little more for European manufactured goods. What do others think?
 

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QUOTE (ashleyh @ 16 Mar 2007, 13:41) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>Personally, I wish Marklin were as proud to put 'Made in Hungary' on the boxes as 'Made in Germany', and I would be prepared to pay a little more for European manufactured goods. What do others think?

I would be prepared to pay a little more for goods (not just model railways either) made in the EU, than the far east, but I suspect that we are in the minority living in a country where generally the bottom line speaks all & longer term does not seem to matter.
 

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Very much a personal view, but once it's imported , it's imported and doesn't benefit our economy or us. I'm not really prepared to pay more for goods on the basis that one foriegn country should be supported as opposed to another - unless we are getting into directly supporting oppressive regimes (eg Zimbabwe , or in a past age the Soviet bloc.)

I would have had serious qualms about buying Berliner Bahn or Piko in the days when it meant hard currency for the GDR, but I'm not sure that's quite what you had in mind
 

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QUOTE (Ravenser @ 16 Mar 2007, 16:49) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>Very much a personal view, but once it's imported , it's imported and doesn't benefit our economy or us. I'm not really prepared to pay more for goods on the basis that one foriegn country should be supported as opposed to another - unless we are getting into directly supporting oppressive regimes (eg Zimbabwe , or in a past age the Soviet bloc.)

I would have had serious qualms about buying Berliner Bahn or Piko in the days when it meant hard currency for the GDR, but I'm not sure that's quite what you had in mind

My own personal view is that China is a far greater eventual threat than the old Soviet Bloc ever was & they ar'nt oppressive ?


Still, lets export all the work to China - good start would be Banks, Estate Agents & Solicitors (TIC).

We'll all save lot's of money - until it runs out of course.

Still, lets not get too political & go back to playing trains.
 

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Indeed yes, lets get back to playing trains.

I wasn't asking the question, or expressing my opinion from any political standpoint, merely a wish to try and preserve some things they way they were.

I do believe that if we lose the skills and capacity to make goods both here and in Europe it does not bode well for the future.

I felt similarly saddened when Hornby ceased production at Margate, but I realise, of course, that we would not have the models we have now. But isn't it a shame that we can't make models like that in this country.

I must be getting old............
 

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Exporting our jobs somewhere else is regrettable, and E.Kent wasn't the most prosperous part of the country to start with. Its just I can't see that exporting jobs to Northern Italy (where folk are already wealthier and have less unemployment than in Thanet) is very different from exporting them to S. China.

And while I'd certainly not class China as a particularly nice regime, yes I would call them less oppressive than the Soviet Union , (or indeed Mao's regime) . We aren't talking about buying from state-owned companies
 

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Discussion Starter · #36 ·
QUOTE (ashleyh @ 17 Mar 2007, 05:22) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>Indeed yes, lets get back to playing trains.

I wasn't asking the question, or expressing my opinion from any political standpoint, merely a wish to try and preserve some things they way they were.

I do believe that if we lose the skills and capacity to make goods both here and in Europe it does not bode well for the future.

I felt similarly saddened when Hornby ceased production at Margate, but I realise, of course, that we would not have the models we have now. But isn't it a shame that we can't make models like that in this country.

I must be getting old............

I also beleive that we need to keep the skills and the know how to manufacture. If we lose this then we become dependent on one of the worlds dodgiest regimes. Ideally I'd like them to be made in the EU but the trend id to export jobs to poor countries with low wages. If vevery company does this then to stay competitive you have to join in or go under.
 

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QUOTE (ashleyh @ 16 Mar 2007, 18:22) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>I do believe that if we lose the skills and capacity to make goods both here and in Europe it does not bode well for the future.

Very important fact - once skills have been lost....................
 
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