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T O P I C    R E V I E W
john holt Posted - 07/30/2018 : 10:28:34 PM
Many of you may have heard of a factory in China called AFFA suddenly closed their doors and let everyone go. This has greatly affected a lot of our suppliers like Intermountain, Atlas, Fox Valley, Bowser, etc.


There have been several stories as to the reason for this. No, it wasn’t Trump but the Chinese government. I heard that they are cracking down on being environmentally friendly and the owner got tired of all the new regulations and hassle. He is in his mid-50’s and a millionaire so I guess the “you know what” hit the fan and he had had enough. He just let everyone go and closed the door at the latter part of last week. This hasn’t affected all the companies as not everyone used them. Walthers, Rapido, BLI, MTH and some others are fine.

Micro Engineering and Kadee are made entirely here so no worries.


Here is an email from Atlas.


Dear Atlas Distributors & Dealers,

Atlas has received notification from one of our locomotive and rolling stock suppliers that they have closed their factory. (Please note Atlas track and accessories are NOT affected by this delay.) Atlas is currently working with our network of suppliers to transfer the projects to others for completion. This will cause a delay in some previously ordered products. We apologize for this delay, thank you for your continued support, and will update you with more information as it becomes available. Please address any questions you may have to your Atlas sales representative.

Email from Fox Valley



Good Morning,



Over the weekend, news broke that a large supplier of model trains in China has closed its doors. Fox Valley Models has used this factory for a large portion of our products. As of today, there is no clear path that will resume production in short order, or an easy way to move projects. With this news, we must reluctantly list all previously announced products as Postponed/Cancelled. If projects can be moved, it will take a number of months to do so, and then get a new factory up to speed on our projects will take even more time. We will keep all previously recorded pre-orders on file. If a resolution presents itself over the next few months, we will reconfirm specific projects as they get close (well into next year at best). If this process takes and extended time, it may be best to re-announce each project.



This is an unexpected and sudden development. We recently received paint samples for new projects and had the indication that many of our orders were moving forward. We were looking forward to getting back to work after our extended summer trip with our son. Sadly this is not the case. But we will keep moving forward.



For now, we still have a good selection of recent N Scale locos and cars available. We have a few projects at another factory that will now be our focus while things get resolved. We started as a small model company before, and will continue on. We sincerely apologize to everyone who was looking forward to announced releases and greatly appreciate your patience and understanding as we move forward through this unexpected interruption. We will share news and new products as they become available. Thank you.



Best regards,



Matt Gaudynski

15   L A T E S T    R E P L I E S    (Newest First)
john holt Posted - 08/17/2018 : 7:05:30 PM
Dave....Thanks for the post. Kinda broadens ones knowledge base of the mfg going on overseas.
Bernd Posted - 08/14/2018 : 07:07:32 AM
Great link. Clarifies a lot of questions on the how's and why's.

Bernd
deemery Posted - 08/13/2018 : 3:43:21 PM
This is an informative post on the topic: https://www.con-cor.com/

dave
David Clark Posted - 08/04/2018 : 1:52:01 PM
quote:
Originally posted by danpickard

The companies that use Chinese factories do so as they have a fine line to balance on, between keeping customers happy with product pricing and keeping themselves happy with profit margins. While customers will complain about “cheap Chinese labour” and employment opportunities not being made on home soil, the customers will complain equally as much, if not more, if the locally produced item suddenly costs substantially more (from labour costs). You can’t complain about Chinese manufacturing processes while enjoying the affordable results of it at the same time.

Dan Pickard


Dan, I was thinking exactly the same thing.
Cheers,
Dave
BurleyJim Posted - 08/03/2018 : 8:01:32 PM
From what I've seen, Don Tichey is a fellow modeler and not just another balance sheet jockey.

Jim
john holt Posted - 08/03/2018 : 6:38:02 PM
I posted the original info just to keep members on the forum up to speed on industry news. No political view points were intended. I too believe the RRLF has some fine members and I respect others ideas and viewpoints. I have also receiveed a note from Intermountain and how this plant closure has affected them and some special orders but did not post it as it is just more of the same original post info. I think supporting American manufacturers and buying their goods does not constitute a political viewpoint. It is just good common sense to support hard working Americans. Tichey trains are made in the USA and sell for a very resonable price. My point being if they can do it why not others? Just food for thought.
Flatlander Posted - 08/02/2018 : 02:56:33 AM
I agree completely!
Mark
Railrunner130 Posted - 08/01/2018 : 8:48:27 PM
quote:
Originally posted by BurleyJim

All the more reason to scratchbuild, or become an entrepreneur.

Jim



My sentiments exactly. Let's turn this into something positive for the industry.
quartergauger48 Posted - 08/01/2018 : 4:59:49 PM
Originally posted by Blazeman

On a couple other sites, this topic ended up being locked. Interesting that there's been rather limited commenting here. Can it be that there's a little different focus here?

Larry


Larry, not only what Bernd said is true, but additionally, the intelligence and maturity level is at a higher standard then on most other sites. The large majority of RRLF members are just plain sensible'.. That's why it's the most informative model craftsman site'..
Flatlander Posted - 08/01/2018 : 12:29:32 PM
As a Model Train Shop Owner and Classic car restoration shop owner, I fault many of these companies putting so much faith in the chinese factories.
Years ago the car world suffered from the same fate. Factory closure, loss of tooling etc.
Many companies brought the manufacturing back and now have stronger footing and full control without making the prices skyrocket.
Look at Accurail! Kadee, Micro Trains, Micro Engineering, High Tech Details to name a few are All made in the USA and affordable!
I have been involved in manufacturing in the past and it can be done. Once the tooling is completed then the rest is fairly easy. There are many injection molding machines and forming machines that are in my area alone that could use some more running time.
Even if you get the tooling made overseas, it is sent to you and you own it.
Just my two cents which may only be worth a penny
Mark
danpickard Posted - 08/01/2018 : 08:28:37 AM
The companies that use Chinese factories do so as they have a fine line to balance on, between keeping customers happy with product pricing and keeping themselves happy with profit margins. While customers will complain about “cheap Chinese labour” and employment opportunities not being made on home soil, the customers will complain equally as much, if not more, if the locally produced item suddenly costs substantially more (from labour costs). You can’t complain about Chinese manufacturing processes while enjoying the affordable results of it at the same time.

Dan Pickard
Bernd Posted - 08/01/2018 : 06:59:19 AM
quote:
Originally posted by Blazeman

On a couple other sites, this topic ended up being locked. Interesting that there's been rather limited commenting here. Can it be that there's a little different focus here?

Larry



Excellent observation Larry. This group is more focused on kit building, scratch building, and kit bashing and not operations or where to buy the latest up to date RTR car.

Bernd
Blazeman Posted - 08/01/2018 : 06:27:14 AM
On a couple other sites, this topic ended up being locked. Interesting that there's been rather limited commenting here. Can it be that there's a little different focus here?

Larry
john holt Posted - 07/31/2018 : 10:02:17 PM
When Atlas bought out Branchlines rolling stock production line, they had all the production equipment moved to China. Branchline produced very nice kits with a fair amount of details at a reasonable price here in USA. When Atlas made the Branchline items available again, mostly as assembled, RTR items, the price had noticeable increased. Call me old fashioned buy like supporting items made here in USA. I'll bet Alas is having some second thoughts now on moving their equipment.
DWARN Posted - 07/31/2018 : 1:01:06 PM
Zero sympathy for those "American" companies involved. Period.
Doug

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