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  • Topic: Ownership of Bachmann and mfg. same?

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    • June 16, 2013 9:34 PM EDT

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      HJ made a significant observation on a previous post that the same manufacturer made USA and Bachmann. From some fragment of memory I understood that Kader mfg. made and owned Bachmann. If accurate, Bachman, as Kader, virtually holds a monopoly on product quality declining the same quality standards in their own products while favoring USA.

       

      The idea one manufacture also owns Bachmann is too bizarre to be accurate.

       

    • June 16, 2013 9:46 PM EDT

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      Wendell,

                  it is well known that Kader Industries owns Bachmann plus Sanda Kan. Some years ago Sanda Kan was the most experienced model railway manufacturer in China. It however, suffered hard times and was purchased by Kader for $8 million dollars, lock stock and barrell.

       

                 Some ex-Sanda Kan employees set up another company which I believe Aristo-Craft use for their production.

       

                 Kader make most of the European and British brand models in the smaller scales.  Amongst them are some very high quality European brands who seem to never have quality control or production line issues. The thing is with Chinese production, the manufacturer has to pay for the service they receive. Some manufacturers who make low end 'budget' models get budget service. Those like Brawa and Lilliput who pay for the best service get top quality service and high quality models.  As a consumer you get what you pay for. For a manufacturer the same applies.

       

                If quality declines then do not look just at the point of manufacture but at the company who contracts out the manufacturing. If they are not prepared to pay for quality control then you will not get it.

       

               With production progressivly moving out of China do not expect price reductions or any improvement in quality. It is still the same company contracting out the work to the 'new' manufacturer.

       

      Post editted for punctuation errors.  

      This post was edited by Tim Brien at June 16, 2013 9:48 PM EDT
    • June 16, 2013 9:53 PM EDT

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      Kader, according to Wikipedia, made a concerted effort in the past to buy up European Model Railroad Manufacturing and ship it all to China.

      "As well as introducing its own brands to North America, Kader, under the Bachmann brand, built itself up as the largest volume seller of model railways by purchasing other failing companies, using the Bachmann name to front a series of purchases in the rest of the world to combat the then poor perceptions of Hong Kong based production quality."
      "Kader's business model for each take over, from its original purchase of Bachmann to the present day, is to buy a perceived quality brand in the target market or country. The company then closes local in-country production facilities. Armed with state-of-the-art manufacturing machines and AutoCAD systems, Bachmann then improves quality by re-engineering the models in Hong Kong, and reduces cost by producing the models in its jointly owned plant in Dongguan, China."
       
      Kader bought Bachmann, dates shown in article. Sol Kramer and his partner formed Sanda Kan, made models for all sorts of manufacturers.
      When Sol decided to sell out Sanda Kan, JP Morgan Associates bought it, ran it into the ground, then Kader bought it. Shortly after, the letters went out to many, if I recall, that they weren't going to make their stuff any more.
       
      Sanda Kan makes USA, AristoCraft, Kader owns Bachmann, bought the three-rail Williams line (memory tells me they owned the tooling anyway), some how they ended up with the K-Line stuff, but maybe not all...I didn't pay a lot of attention to the K-Line stuff as it doesn't have much interest to me.
       
      There was, I have been told, another desire to purchase a big name. No, I don't remember who it was.
       
      So, Kader holds the key to most of your large scale trains.
      Since the USA and Aristo tooling is held in PRC, and following the length of time and difficulty it took for Maerklin to repatriate their owned tooling from the PRC, one wonders.....
       
      Read the link, it might help you understand this model railroading version of Big Brother.
       
      TOC
    • June 16, 2013 10:08 PM EDT

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      Dave (TOC)  Quote: "There was, I have been told, another desire to purchase a big name. No, I don't remember who it was."

       

      Come on Dave we all know Kader tried to buy LGB in 2007 but the administrator wanted a German brand to purchase the company.  After all the hulla baloo a children's toy company got the company.

    • June 16, 2013 11:26 PM EDT
      • Deer Park, Washington
         
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      The link doesn't work, Dave.

      http://library.kiwix.org/wikipedia_en_all_nopic/A/Bachmann%20Industries.html#cite_note-B2006-15

      ____________________________________

      "It has long been my belief that the sight of a good-looking woman lowers a man's IQ by at least 20 points. A man who doesn't happen to have 20 points he can spare can be in big trouble."  Thomas Sowell

    • June 16, 2013 11:52 PM EDT
      • Coldstream, British Columbia, Canada
         
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      That's because LSC software doesn't like the %20 (space key). Highlight, then copy/paste into the browser.

      ____________________________________

      Cheers

      HJ
      ---

      Coldstream, BC  Canada


      Inspire­d by the r­eal world

       

      English language hobby website 

      highly RhB centric, but most of it can be applied to other railway projects

    • June 17, 2013 1:54 PM EDT
      • Smoggy L.A., Left Coast
         
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      The dust from Kader screwing over those smaller manufacturers hasn't settled yet. Try buying Atlas track lately? ??
      ____________________________________

       DON'T PANIC!

    • June 17, 2013 2:46 PM EDT

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      Tim- There are certian things one doesn't post, for one tends to know certain ventilators might fall out of the overhead.

      TOC

    • June 17, 2013 5:22 PM EDT
      • Coldstream, British Columbia, Canada
         
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      Curmudgeon mcneely said:

      Tim- There are certian things one doesn't post, for one tends to know certain ventilators might fall out of the overhead.

      TOC

      They could go into the wind turbine business.

      :) :)

       

      This post was edited by Hans-Joerg Mueller at June 17, 2013 5:23 PM EDT
      ____________________________________

      Cheers

      HJ
      ---

      Coldstream, BC  Canada


      Inspire­d by the r­eal world

       

      English language hobby website 

      highly RhB centric, but most of it can be applied to other railway projects

    • June 17, 2013 5:54 PM EDT

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      Thanks to the above postings - here's the box score:

       

      Kader owns Bachman and produces Bachman trains.

      Kader ALSO owns Sanda Kan, who manufacturers USA and Aristo-Craft

       

      In effect, Bachmann produces two of its main competitors.

       

      In effect, in spite of our 5 year (minimum) parade of reliability comments, USA products have (apparently) a higher reliability image than Bachmann.

       

      Bizarre.

       

      Imagine GM purposely screwing up the reliability of one of their truck at the time of production to favor the sale of a competitor. The crummy comparison would drive up Toyota's sales thus increase assembly line business. Such as my Toyota Tacoma truck assembled at a GM assembly plant in Fremont, California.

       

      That's not bizarre, it's insane.

       

      So what's Bachmann's reasoning for maintaining the poor reliability image while ensuring a competitor's products compare so favorably?

       

      Sigh....

       

       

    • June 17, 2013 6:04 PM EDT
      • Deer Park, Washington
         
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      The Chinese are inscrutable, aren't they?

      ____________________________________

      "It has long been my belief that the sight of a good-looking woman lowers a man's IQ by at least 20 points. A man who doesn't happen to have 20 points he can spare can be in big trouble."  Thomas Sowell

    • June 17, 2013 6:07 PM EDT

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      [Put your tongue in your cheek]

       

      Of course!

       

      Bachmann products don't sell enough to keep the assembly plant working only producing Bachmann trains...soooooo, Kader permits our quality control admonitions to do the work of implicitly promoting the alternative product that has a better quality reputation: USA Trains.  USA trains increases sales, thus more assembly line activity.

    • June 17, 2013 6:08 PM EDT

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      Hard question to ask. Answer is difficult. Do Aristo and USA have Technical Advisors?

      Actually, I would surmise that USA and Aristo have a better deal to approve production items. Being a wholly-owned subsidiary, I would further surmise Bachmann may not. Notice the word "may". I think the best approval agreement I know of with Kader is Blackstone (yup....H0n3 Blackstone by SOundtraxx...manufactured by Kader).

      TOC

    • June 17, 2013 7:24 PM EDT

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      Wendell,

                   Kader will produce at the highest level of quality a manufacturer wants, as long as he is prepared to pay extra for that quality.  The problem is that it seems most companies are not prepared to pay a premium for QC and so go with the budget end of product quality control.

    • June 17, 2013 7:51 PM EDT

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      Precisely. I know of one in particular (not bachmann) where cost is the only concern. That from a person who used to work for/with them.

      Sometimes we are our own worst enemy, demanding "cheap" over "quality".

      You see this all over various forums.

      "Where can I buy X the cheapest?"

      Sometimes, having someone who has a clue go over a pre-production unit can help.

      But it does take time.

      And they have to listen.

      TOC

    • June 17, 2013 8:23 PM EDT

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      Tim Brien said:

      Wendell,

                   Kader will produce at the highest level of quality a manufacturer wants, as long as he is prepared to pay extra for that quality.  The problem is that it seems most companies are not prepared to pay a premium for QC and so go with the budget end of product quality control.

      Yes! Here's the irony: Kader makes and owns Bachmann. THEY are the manufacturer and owner of the company.

       

      Let's apply Tim's sensible model for cost and production to Bachmann and Kader -- see if your head hurts:

      Ah! The quality problems we have voiced over the years are purposeful since some corporate tweekie at Bachman doesn't require their OWN manufacturing plant to remedy the problems and determine that the cost will be within the RFP (request for proposal)?

       

      This is the only sane explanation. 

       

      What else?  Are we to believe Kader purposefully destroys public confidence in Bachmann by purposefully manufacturing, at their own plant, a product called USA with higher quality???????

    • June 17, 2013 8:54 PM EDT
      • Coldstream, British Columbia, Canada
         
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      Wendell,

      The process starts with the decision what to produce, followed by the design with the complete specs for every component.  etc. etc. etc. At every step of the way you need QC. And you really need QC at the end. 

      If management doesn't see it that way ... well .....

       

       

       

       

      ____________________________________

      Cheers

      HJ
      ---

      Coldstream, BC  Canada


      Inspire­d by the r­eal world

       

      English language hobby website 

      highly RhB centric, but most of it can be applied to other railway projects

    • June 17, 2013 9:47 PM EDT

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      Wendell,

                  a typical hypothetical method of QC is to test EVERY item at EVERY stage of assembly/manufacture.  This is a best case scenario and those high end products may actually use this method.  I believe this was the method chosen by LGB in Nurnberg.

       

                 From what I have been told a typical Kader QC policy is to sample test completed products. Thus in a production run possibly three total items may be tested. If a manufacturer specifies a higher level of testing then obviously this will cost more.  With all things being equal then all products should finish assembly with the same level of care in construction. However, we have all heard of Monday morning or Friday afternoon construction lemons.

       

                Kader would not sabotage its own production, but would use a calculated return rate method (possible warranty claims per unit of production).  Thus QC cost would be minimised in relation to the calculated total cost of any warranty claims for each production batch.  This is a well known method that was used in automobile construction in decades past.  The manufacturer would know of a potential defect but would not recall a production run, thus calculating that any warranty claim costs would not exceed the cost of a total recall.

       

               With QC you get what you pay for as either a manufacturer or as a consumer.  A high end product manufacturer would not want his product name tarnished and so would ensure any contracting firm assembled the goods to his satisfaction.  A contract company such as Kader would only apply such QC testing methods as stipulated (and contracted) by the manufacturer.  Do not lay blame on the contractor but on the manufacturer who specifies minimal level of QC testing to cut production costs.

       

              While Kader may legally 'own' Bachmann Industries then I would still see Bachmann as contracting work out to Kader and specifying the level of QC testing required.  The contractor only does what he is contracted and paid for to do.

    • June 17, 2013 10:02 PM EDT

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      Quote:  "What else?  Are we to believe Kader purposefully destroys public confidence in Bachmann by purposefully manufacturing, at their own plant, a product called USA with higher quality???????"

       

       

      Wendell,

                  I do not believe that USA Trains are any better quality than other manufacturers in 'standard gauge'.  In general it seems that those who purchase predominantly USA Trains products do not criticise them. At one time, around ten years ago, this was it seems a prerequisite to owning Aristo products.

       

                  From my recollection of USA Trains, dealing with the dealer principal was very difficult as regards any warranty issue. Like the other manufacturer if you had an issue with a product then the fault lay with you and not the product.  As Dave has stated, USA Trains denied any warranty issues but still sold far more axle gears than would be required given the number of locomotives produced.  For a defect to exist the manufacturer has to accept responsibility.

       

                  USA Trains were always far more highly detailed than the other manufacturer and end users of these products simply accepted the regular loss of the additional detail as a default factor of the high level they enjoyed with their models.  Remember Bachmann's Spectrum 1/20.3 scale rolling stock losing its detail pieces in transit on the rails.  Criticism was high and yet as usual USA Trains users in the main did not raise such issues.    

    • June 18, 2013 3:33 PM EDT

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      When contract manufacturing is done it is done to the specs of the purchaser. components are purchased by specs. example electronic components tolerances can be 10%, 5%, 1% or military grade(0.1%). Motors cam be 1 sigma (33%failure) 2 sigma(1% failure or # sigma etc.. The difference in a 10% and 1% resistor may be $0.02 Buy thousands may save a few hundred dollars.  The difference in a 1 sigma motor and a 2 sigma may be $4 to 5.00.   Charlie uses the 2 sigma motor with the philosophy a happy customer returns. Bachmann views any money saved is earned money. They feel they can get away with this as they tend to market mostly to the toy buyers and not the high end hobbiest. Both models work for the intended market.  We as hobbiest have distain for the toy market model. Similarly, they toy market cannot comprehend the high cost for the higher quality as heis  never is concerned with detail or longevity. 

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