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I afraid profit is most important with out which there is no future on the other hand excessive profit can also be damaging . Bringing some manufacturing back is possible better tech less transportation against high wage bills . Where ever you take your production there always be hurdles to over come and mistakes to be made. Also I would not write China off just yet if companies are leaving for other countries then they may take some steps to help change there minds
Slip of the finger on my part on this one.
Of course profit has to exist to enable business growth and new products and services.
 

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Now what makes them cough is competition, the established manufacturers have a lot of advantages but new techniques may turn matters in their favour, the big boys will be watching and have to adopt the techniques and be willing to have a duplicate model to split the market and try to ensure the upstart company makes a loss on this particular line of models, as happened with the Adams 4-4-2t and is happening with other models, it gets mean when the big boys do this to each other so they'll just determine who gets to market first and the other will back down, the small guys can make all the GT3's and GCR A5's they want but a good BR5MT to replace the ancient Bachmann effort will get a reaction for sure and with other similar mainstream models.

It'll be fun to watch from the sidelines but there'll be a lot of activity at the manufacturers and they don't need to go off making Olympic tat and tourist tat, this is turning out to be a battle for a mature market where costs are rising but budgets of the purchasers are limited, tough times ahead for some of them.
 

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I think it's a shame that this attitude is still happening if companies concentrated there efforts on giving value for money with good products then they would not have to worry about the opposition . For the most part there so many types of locomotives and stock to model why do you need to out do another company. Concentrate on your own game and you will score the goals and make a profit.
 

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...For the most part there so many types of locomotives and stock to model why do you need to out do another company...
What we have no insight into, is the effect on the two 'established' full range brands - that's Hornby and Bachmann - of the customer expectation that the 'full range' is maintained. A scan of model railway sites will reveal examples of complaints when items are not available. (The one that consistently makes me laugh is when Bach's selection of miniature tension lock couplers go unavailable. Complaints directed incorrectly: it's all the brands that have never produced anything of the sort in this line that should be subjected to the kicking.)

Maintaining a 'full range' will incur cost, and what profit does it deliver, relative to what can be obtained from optimum use of the manufacturing slot? Competitor brands carry no such obligation, and are free thereby to offer what's most profitable now, and given that their product is predominantly traction I think it is reasonable to assume that this is the most profitable piece. (I am pretty confident that the much increased price of both Bachmann and Hornby's rolling stock relative to traction can be attributed to this: it was once possible to accept smaller margin on rolling stock, because there was limited competition for the higher margin that could be obtained on traction. Now all the product has to make the target margin, no cross-subsidy possible within the range.)

What was tolerable when it was just Heljan and then Dapol nibbling market share, and much of it by supplying niche items; becomes a very different situation when there are a dozen more 'nibblers' active: some of them evidently well funded and going after subjects with sustained sales potential. Whether B&H have reacted wholly appropriately is a matter of opinion, that they had to react in some way an evident necessity...
 

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I think though we are forgetting the third player here - Peco, I suspect none of us buy more Hornby track and many other items after we switch to the Peco track although the box shifters still sell track and it never ceases to surprise that so many stick with Hornby and a very few with Bachman.

Meanwhile we have no idea what the mark up is and so if the manufacturers want to cut down the range there is a ready made partner and as this seems to not be happening it may be the profit margin on track must be quite decent, for me I like the idea it is British made and not Chinese
 

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I think though we are forgetting the third player here - Peco, I suspect none of us buy more Hornby track and many other items after we switch to the Peco track although the box shifters still sell track and it never ceases to surprise that so many stick with Hornby and a very few with Bachman.

Meanwhile we have no idea what the mark up is and so if the manufacturers want to cut down the range there is a ready made partner and as this seems to not be happening it may be the profit margin on track must be quite decent, for me I like the idea it is British made and not Chinese
Bachmann might do well to do that...

The only 00 track I have had trouble with is some Bachmann, out of a [surprisingly appropriate] Permanent Way set. Almost half of the track pieces had a Fish-plate which was driven too far onto the ends of the track, before being punched, to fix them to the rail. Instead of sitting in that U-shaped gap under the rail, the errant Fish-plates had risen up onto the top of the sleepers, by the thickness of the lip on the Fish-plates. It was enough to raise the front axle sufficiently on a curve, so as to enable the outer wheel flange to climb up the inside, then onto the top, of the rail.

I had to take close-up pictures across the track tops, to be able to see the risen rail tops, as the rail ends were smooth to the touch. That revealed the slightly increased height and to see that there was more track in the Fish-plate on one side of the gap, than the other. Given the number affected out of less than a dozen pieces of track, the fault must have been pretty widespread. I gave a couple of them to their Rep, to take back to the Board for evidence. The rest remains in the box... and Peco on the layouts.

Julian
 

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... (OO set)track ... we have no idea what the mark up is...
I should think it's a winner because manufacturing is low cost: small mouldings, shaping, stampings, plenty of auto assembly opportunity, into boxes and shipped; and quite likely the demand is predictable and steady on an annual cycle. In short the classic cash cow, make it on long amortised tooling, ship it, customers buy it, kaching.
 

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...The next question would be 'what new minimum radius standard'?. In OO I believe that circa 30" / 750mm radius 'does the job' in the sense that models of the largest subjects can be externally correct, with a 24" / 600mm radius allowing the majority of UK subjects to run. Will any outfit punting its money on RTR OO ever be brave enough?
'Talking to myself', I know; but now in possession of the new Bachmann V2, and they have specified 24" minimum radius as a requirement if replacing the flangeless rear truck wheelset and fitting the supplied flanged wheelset in the rear truck, if the loco is going to be operated in this condition. That's a positive step forward in my opinion, identifying a minimum radius requirement other than 'R2', for the 'alternative state' that the model offers.

Not having purchased every RTR OO model from the range currently available, I don't know if such a requirement has been attached to any other product. Anyone?

Hornby, which initiated the flangeless rear truck wheelset on its pacific models from 2004, has supplied a replacement flanged wheelset for those that want to install it [good], but with no guidance on 'consequences' [not so good] simply stating 'for display' [which I read as = 'not intended for operation']. On the Gresley pacifics, the consequences are circa 60" minimum radius, and on the Britannia 'doesn't fit'[!] as the flanges foul on the interior of the cast rear truck frames. The happy carver [me] found that on the Gresley pacifics removing material inside the rear truck enabled a 30" minimum radius, and on the Britannias cutting clearance sufficent for the flanges not to foul the casting was good for 30" minimum radius; in all cases the work is invisible with the model reassembled which is neat. CAVEAT: all these models were purchased relatively early after first release, quite possible that subsequent reissues and the newly retooled A3 will differ in some respects.
 
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