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Discussion Starter #1
Last Friday LGB announced that they are cancelling production of four new items from their 2017 New Item brochure because of the low number of pre-orders.

Affected is the DR snow plow and three US tank cars.
http://www.gbdb.info/details.php?image_id=8411

I mostly post this because I just received an email advertizing from Trainworld which still shows the three US tank cars as available and orderable.

Knut
 

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Let's face it, only the long modern tank cars are interesting enough for possible sales in a depressed market.
The Bachmann early era tank car is too similar and the plow is just a motor block with a pointy bit on each end.
Trainworld have never had issues taking people's money for items they don't have.

Andrew
 

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Discussion Starter #4
I gather the "pre-orders" are from dealers, not interest from consumers.

Greg
I gather there are several parts to that.

My LGB dealer always calls me a few weeks after the new items are announced to get me to order which I do.
He then also, in addition to all the potential demand his customers have, orders a little bit for shelf stock if he thinks the item will sell well.
And one can also pre-order items directly from Marklin but maybe only in Europe.
If dealers order before a certain date, usually the end of February, they get an additional discount.

Marklin really has focussed on transferring all the risk of new products to the dealers, they try to keep no stock or very little stock themselves.
There are actually a half dozen or so other 2017 items that are already sold out and production hasn't even begun yet.
That seems to be their business model - only produce what has already been sold.
If one pre-orders as a customer in Germany, one actually makes no real commitment.
For one there is no down-payment required
Also one can cancel the pre-order anytime

As to the cancelled items - the snow plow LGB had prviously, just without a built in decoder, so I can see that it might be hard to sell that
But the three tankers should have sold I would think.
Maybe they are too expensive compared to the competition.

Regards,
Knut
 

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I also think LGB customers are starting to take a wait and see approach to their new products since a) they usually arrive over one year after you've ordered anyway and b) quality has been up and down so horrendously you never know if the one you've ordered is going to be one of the problem ones or not so why take the chance.
The bean counters are going to drive them into the ground.
 

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Thats the problem bean counters running a model train company. Gone is the era when Wolfgang ran the place and stuff got made in volumes(for better or worse). Mike
 

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well
it is concerning to me as a consumer that marklin wont have stock, as, perhaps erroneously, I assume too that parts for my $1000+ locos may not be available-already have suffered this on a saxon meyer -water hatch-

but, wolfgang, and old lgb, had so much surplus that, not only would we see old stock on blow outs, but, old bodies being repainted, etc

so, to my unsophisticated, unknowledgeable mind when it comes to manufacturing and luxury toys, it would seem there had to be a lot of money in product that wasn't selling, or, was selling slowly , or at a loss.

couple that with new molds, and, as we know, margins can slip away.

add, what I think is a huge slump in large scale popularity, the market is even smaller.

I perceive marklin as wishing to no longer support old LGB models with parts in order to promote new items.

I hope however, that with some of the new items, Marklin considers supplementing missing items in the old LGB line up, ie US streamliners in old schemes with newly offered baggage, diners, etc., nearly non existent DSP stock with box cars, cabooses, etc

it would be difficult for marklin to guess if those with these older offerings are still in the market, or, are....dead.

it is helpful to learn, if I want something, order it, and not wait.
although......I wanted, I thought, the limited green historic SOEG saxon meyer, waited,

then later saw the new and improved sound black version, special order only, and 200 less....hard for me to understand how they think....

I like the new products, but am deeply concerned about not being able to get service parts. If I wanted that , id be considering Bachmann........
 

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Parts don't worry me too much--the things that wear out like sliders, brushes, motors etc are usually common and I've never had a problem getting those. Champex-Linden has great stock of parts, and if you get in touch with Ron Gibson he can get anything special from Germany when he's there. He's helped me out in the past that way...
 

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I alway assumed that was due to LGB actually owning most of their production in the past rather than contracting it to a third party or actually buying products from the third party and never actually owning the molds.
 

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Don't think it's a question of ownership, two things seem to be the reasons manufacturers make parts: 1. because they feel that parts availability is part of the quality of the product (which I think is becoming less of an issue in our hobby), and 2. because they can make money on parts.

USAT has consistently had replacement axles in stock, for the last 10 years, so why? Clearly there is profit there.

Aristo had a hard time with parts, and it did not make sense until Lewis Polk shared the information that it was too expensive unless the parts were made at the time of the manufacturer of the main product, and then he was worried that he would have excess parts on the shelves.

There's some famous quotes about Lewis not wanting to have "parts sitting on shelves", which combined with their penchant of shipping all new products out in the first 2 weeks to dealers, having nothing in stock at the Aristo HQ, shows that his business model was don't stock anything, manufacture and sell it out.

Good for profit, bad service for customers.

Unfortunately this attitude is getting more prevalent, irrespective of the demise of Aristo.

Greg 888 (oooh, cool number)
 
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