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Thread: Are the people at Horizon/Athearn insane?

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    Vote with your wallet. Don't buy them. Find used ones instead. The minute you would purchase these new ones, you justify the price.

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    Quote Originally Posted by jpwisc View Post
    I love buying American where I can (I drive only Jeeps, every one made in Toledo, Ohio), but you would have a tough time being a model railroader if that was your whole criteria.
    In this global economy, you'd have a tough time buying anything that would meet that criteria. Jeeps may be assembled in Toledo, but they're far from being "American" as far as the parts are concerned, they didn't even make the Top 15 list of 'most North American made parts' for 2015. Oddly enough, a Toyota was number 3, a Honda number 5. What country operates the robots that assemble them kind of becomes not so much an issue.

    I purchase things based on a combination of build quality, durability/life expectancy and cost. If those are met, I'll pick something American if they have a horse in the running after the other criteria are met. I won't buy a pile of **** with a flag wrapped around it, so to speak.

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  4. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by P-LineSoo View Post
    In this global economy, you'd have a tough time buying anything that would meet that criteria. Jeeps may be assembled in Toledo, but they're far from being "American" as far as the parts are concerned, they didn't even make the Top 15 list of 'most North American made parts' for 2015. Oddly enough, a Toyota was number 3, a Honda number 5. What country operates the robots that assemble them kind of becomes not so much an issue.

    I purchase things based on a combination of build quality, durability/life expectancy and cost. If those are met, I'll pick something American if they have a horse in the running after the other criteria are met. I won't buy a pile of **** with a flag wrapped around it, so to speak.
    My 2015 list shows the Jeep pretty solid. While the Tundra is up there, it has the same US parts content as my Jeep Wrangler (70%).
    http://www.motortrend.com/news/15-tr...an-made-parts/

    You are also right about the robotics, but I personally know the crew of technicians working at the Jeep plant. One is a good friend I helped get into the business. I'm good with my Jeeps.

    Edit: As for quality of the build, I haven't had a mechanical issue on a Jeep in over 11 years.
    Karl

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    Coming in on the tail of this discussion, does anyone have thoughts as to why B'mann stopped selling their 'Old Time' passenger car series as single units? You can apparently still purchase them in 'train sets', but not individually, which means that B'mann actually lost a lot of market share when they made that decision.

    'Market forces' (aka 'Greed') perhaps?

    Thanks.
    Last edited by Komata; 2nd May 2017 at 02:19 PM.
    Komata "TVR - serving the Northern Taranaki . . . "

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    Quote Originally Posted by Komata View Post
    Coming in on the tail of this discussion, does anyone have thougths as to why B'mann stopped selling their 'Old Time' passenger car series as single units?
    It's a great big mystery to me. But when it comes to stuff vanishing from the market, "slow sales" is usually the culprit. Either that or maybe the tooling is in need of refurbishment (since those cars have been around for 30+ years at this point).

    -Mark

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    Jeep is Italian now , owned by fiat ? The "new" little jeep is a rebody of the fiat 500x

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    Quote Originally Posted by grrf View Post
    Jeep is Italian now , owned by fiat ? The "new" little jeep is a rebody of the fiat 500x
    And it was owned by Daimler-Benz (Germans) before that. The Wrangler is still American made.
    Karl

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    @jpwisc
    Let's start equating this argument with the trains.

    So, if Jeep was selling the exact same CJ (Overtons) that was made in 1980 and the same 2000 Grand Cherokee (Bombadiers) and then put them on the dealership floor today with a price tag of $150,000 ($50) each. Remember, absolutely no upgrades or improvements have been made.

    You would still compliment Jeep for their marketing aplomb? And gladly shell out the money?
    Use what you know about the world to model…
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    Well if people want to buy those old Jeeps... then more power to them I guess.

    A manufacturer doesn't have any obligation to improve their product. (except when instructed to by the government, I doubt a 1980s Jeep would be considered up to today's safety standards) Products improve because someone else has a better one that they have to beat. Athearn certainly isn't going to slash prices and/or overhaul the tooling just to be cool.

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    But given that they did not improve the quality of their offerings what justifies such large price increases other that pure greed. I would expect some increase because of inflated prices for materials and labor. But pricing the tiny simple ancient Overtons the same as the not quite new, massive, complex Bombadiers is a bit out there. Heck, the same amount of paint is used on one commuter car as the entire wooden car set.
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    Bottom line is this: They'll charge that price as long as people will pay it. If people don't pay it, they'll discontinue it and whine about how it didn't sell well. If none of their products sell well, they'll go under.

    Of course, that won't happen. Someone always has deep enough pockets.

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    In business greed is good. If there was no greed in business everything would be sold at cost and there could never be any reinvestment, expansion, etc. Athearn are perfectly justified in trying to sell their products for as much as they think they can get for them. In the end the consumers will decide what is a fair price. If it's too much, don't buy it. If you complain that it's too expensive but buy it anyway, then it obviously wasn't too expensive after all.

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    This seems like much ado about very little. The street price for these Overtons is $20 each, which doesn't seem horribly outrageous to me (not in this day and age, anyway). What is an acceptable price if you think $20 is "insane"?

    -Mark

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    I just paid about $40 for a pair of used (though nicely repainted) Overton coaches. I can't imagine that in this day and age the overall market demand for these cars is very high. Ebay seems to have kept up with much of that demand.

    Wayne
    “Speak only if it improves upon the silence.”
    ― Mahatma Gandhi

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    @ChicagoNW awesome analogy! A CJ3A sold new for $1350 ($12,300 in 2017 dollars). A company purchased the original dies and started selling new CJ3As for $65,000. So roughly a 5x jump from the original price.

    Let's say Athearn has doubled the price on these, adjusting for inflation. They posted an MSRP of $25. Retailers like MBK get a 35% discount off MSRP, so they will likely have them for sale for $20. In sure they will sell very well for that. If people are willing to pay, you can't fault Athearn for charging. Would you sell a product at a 50% discount to be nice (maybe you would would- good on you)?

    The next argument us that they could sell sell twice as much if they charged half as much. I think they know their price points better than we do.

    They also have to fund future tooling, R&D, and pre-production costs. Again, costs they know that we never think about.

    Adjusting for inflation, prices in this hobby haven't changed much in the last 30 years. There have been huge leaps in detailing (remember Rapido Couplers?), painting (look back at your oldest cars and see how many have reporting marks on the car ends) and packaging. Remember the cardboard boxes things used to come in? Even Athearn has upgraded from selling these cars in cardboard boxes to jewel cases.

    Like @Spookshow said "Much ado about very little." Well said.
    Last edited by jpwisc; 4th May 2017 at 10:35 AM.
    Karl

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    Quote Originally Posted by jpwisc View Post
    They are a business, not a charity. They have to make decisions that are best for the business. We can criticize, but if any of us think we can do better, start your own business and show us how it's done.
    I believe that's exactly how ScaleTrains.com got started.

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    Under the streets of Los Angeles

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    Quote Originally Posted by MetroRedLn View Post
    I believe that's exactly how ScaleTrains.com got started.
    I think that's pretty cool how they stepped away from Athearn to chase the dream. The products they have been making have covered a nice range. I just hope they make their rivet counter 5188 hopper in N. That would help me upgrade my Earthworms.
    Karl

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    Bachmann charges something like $90 MSRP for those clapped out junker "GP-40s" that they put in their trainsets. MSRP on their little 2-6-2s is something like $120 (although they have gotten better).

    The price is steep (a highly detailed boxcar from MT MSRPs for the same as these meh looking coaches) but as others have said, vote with your wallet.

    I'll go back to waiting for my Amtrak California F59PHI with DCC and sound. :d2:
    Joe

    Enjoy the journey.

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    I'm chuffed to bits that they're re-running them, but I do have to agree about the price. I'm...not willing to throw $40 at them for a 34 foot coach that I won't even get for a few more months yet on pre-order when I can get the previous run off eBay for $15 or so and put bodymount MT couplers on it for another $5/four cars.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tred View Post
    It comes down to one thing.

    If you want it, you'll pay for it.

    Otherwise, you'll let someone else pay the ridiculous price for it and view it from afar.

    It can't get much simpler than that.
    Agree wholeheartedly. That's business.

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