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QUOTE I am not aware how large Hornby's worldwide sales are compared to Marklin's but in my travels Marklin seems have the larger market. Well what does this actually mean? Marklin may have some redundancies but they may also be starting at a higher level.

Ok, as we seem to be making a comparison.

Hornby up until now have only ever produced OO scale British Outline models and there is a tiny market for these overseas. Times are changing at Hornby of course!

Marklin do produce American outline HO models for the American market.

Hornby produce around 1000 lines of product and Marklin about 4000 lines of product.

UK outline modellers are used to certain price points. German outline modellers are used to certain higher price points. American outline modellers are used to certain lower pricepoints.

The UK is Hornby's biggest market by far. The UK market has been growing for several years. This is as a result of the new super dooper models from Hornby drawing adults back into the hobby.

Germany is Marklins biggest market by far. The German market has been shrinking for several years.

Marklin have big debt. Hornby have no debt. Hornby restructured between 4 and 9 years ago and it took 5 years. Marklin have only just started this process.

The British way of restructuring follows the American capitalist model (low cost).

The German way of restructuring follows the European socialist model (high cost).

Marklin do have a challenge ahead as Hornby did 9 years ago.

This topic is headed "Marklin Under Pressure" so now we can see why.

What do Marklin have to do to turn their business around and draw adults back to Marklin?


Happy modelling
Gary
 

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I've just spoken to a couple of hobby retailers, one that carries Hornby and Marklin and in their opinion (that's once they stopped laughing), worldwide Marklin train sales dwarfs Hornby's so this idea that Marklin needs to turn their business around and draw adults back has no basis in reality.

The vast majority of buyers that purchase Marklin in the United States buy their German and not American prototype models contrary to what some seem to think.

I also think that being "used" to certain price points is a gross simplification. Marklin in the US is considered upper mid-range. There are a lot of products being sold that are twice and more the price of Marklin, brass for instance. In fact I was visiting a hobby shop in Orlando where Marklin was their lower end line and most of their other trains cost $2000+. They had carried Hornby Steam (They still had one on display) but they didn't really sell.

Now I'm not an expert on the British Hobby scene but I've been to England over a dozen times and I have lived in Germany for a number of years so I thnk that I have a fairly balanced view.
 

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Marklin may still currently over shadow Hornby, but Marklin prices are a serious deterrent to multiple purchases, as their production base is still in Germany and expensive.

The true acid test will be when Hornby International models start to hit the streets in larger numbers, especially the Big Boy for the USA. Then of course there is the Lima, Jouef and Rivarossi ex-models for Continental Europe which will seriously challenge Marklin, especially if the quality is good and the prices reflect the lower manufacturing costs in China.

I suggest Marklin's problems will increase, at least in the short term, whereas Hornby's future looks bright, especially when you consider new innovations for Scalextric as well.
 

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It will be interesting to see how well Hornby does in the United States with their American prototype models. Currently they are non-existent.

It does seem though that people are missing the point. Marklin has a strong collector following that would not even consider looking at another manufacturer regardless of the cost. Two relatively speaking Marklin is not that expensive.

The other point is that Marklin and Hornby are not even in competition so why do some people seem to feel that way? Each serves their market very well. Let's leave it at that. I can appreciate peoples loyalty to their brand of choice but beyond offering forum fodder comparing the two companies does not make sense. They serve separate and distinct segments of the market. May they both prosper.
 
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