Update on the Springmill Depot preorder of N&W Caboose

NW Modeling List nw-modeling-list at nwhs.org
Fri Jul 27 11:18:36 EDT 2018

Most of this dialog has focused on China and its problems with 
supporting manufacturing, what is the state of the art with the 
companies in Korea? Are there no Korean "non-brass" model companies of 
equal or better quality and availability?
Eric Raitch
Gainesville va

On 2018-07-26 20:14, NW Modeling List wrote:
> Marty, Stephen-
> Lionel and Con-Cor tried production in Mexico and there were huge 
> problems.
> There have been some minor attempts to have hobby items produced in 
> India
> with very poor results.
> Some items have been made in Taiwan but no major shift in production
> occurred.
> I have heard of some efforts to establish production in Viet Nam but 
> again
> no movement.
> The key to Chinese production is that you have entrepreneurs who 
> establish a
> turnkey operation that many importers can share to get product.  Some 
> of
> them were started by Chinese engineers and businessmen who trained in 
> larger
> companies and decided to start their own factory.
> While costs will rise the potential labor pool in China is huge so "the 
> cost
> of labor" won't be a major determination of where products are made.
> If someone with more money than brains would establish a boutique 
> factory in
> the United States it could be done.....but the capital costs of 
> equipping a
> new factory would have to be self-financed in today's banking 
> environment.
> We still have a very tiny handful of Model Railroad products being made 
> in
> the United States, but with well-established family businesses and 
> mostly
> fully amortized facilities and equipment.   The cost of labor was not 
> as
> large of factor in production moving overseas as the existence of 
> turnkey
> factories that can spread out production over a base of clients.
> Charlie Vlk
> Railroad Model Resources
> There has been some model manufactures that have tried production in
> southeast Asia for cheaper labor and has failed.
> They do not have the experience and require daily overseeing.
> Stephen Rineair
> The theory is that as costs rise in China, production will eventually 
> move
> farther into southeast Asia, and ultimately Africa.  Unfortunately most
> model railroad companies are far too small to initiate this move.  They 
> must
> wait until someone else sets up a factory and then work with them.  
> Even
> Lionel has run into this, and in the USA for that matter.  They try to 
> do a
> handful of American made freight cars each year, but more than once the
> company they contracted with went out of business.
> Marty Flick
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