As I am unable to open a new topic in News, I am posting here.
As many will know by now, Maerklin has filed for bankruptcy in the Goppingen district court and its future is looking very flaky. There is a lot of speculation flying around but the basic fact is that the banks terminated their credit lines on 31st January and it is reported that they did not even have enough money to pay their staff. It seems, from what I have read on other forums,, that the failure is due to a number of factors. Of course, the decline in the numbers of people getting into model railways is affecting all manufacturers, as it the economic downturn affecting the world. Also reported are poor quality QA, such as large numbers of manufactured parts being rejected after manufacture (leading to waste and loss of profit), personality clashes in the board room leading to weak management and, in the last year, the introduction (in the UK and presumably elsewhere) of a crippled importing stream that is leading to massive delivery delays, if delivery happens at all.
Virtually no mention, in the reports I have read, is made of Trix. Trix became part of the Maerklin empire in 1997 so, presumably, is also at risk of disappearing from the market.
We can only hope that Maerklin and Trix weather this storm. If they do, it will be with the weaker lines dropped which, in Maerklin's case, would mean the possible demise of their 1 and Z scales. The loss of the latter would impact on the various small companies (Kruger, Westmodel, Railex, Schmidt, to list a few) that produce specialised models in that scale and could lead to the loss of Z scale models in larger companies such a sViessmann, Faller, etc.
Let us hope that someone will step forward and help keep these companies alive and efficient.