So far the impact of the US-China trade tensions do not seem to have affected trade in respect to car models, though there are many concerns that new tariffs might hit companies like Greenlight, M4 Castline, and Autoworld hard, because most of their models are made in China. This might favour Premium Collectibles who make partwork models, models for other brands, and have a number of brands of their own, including Ixo. Their decision to begin production of models in Bangladesh means that they could continue to supply US firms without them being marked as made in China and suffering any proposed heavy tariffs. Some recent Greenlight 1:43 models have also been marked as ‘made in Bangladesh’ which suggests that this strategy is already in place. Vietnam is another country to which some western companies are moving production. Reports in the UK financial press suggest that Chinese manufacturers are setting up subsidiaries in other countries, then shipping products through those territories, the products no longer marked as ‘made in China’. For now I think that reductions in output, or worries about large price increases caused by tariffs, are unlikely to affect collectors.
I have heard from collectors who are finding that DeAgostini are taking debits from their bank account before models are received, and that Atlas failed to deliver the ‘garage’ due at the end of the Dinky Deluxe Collection to at least one of their premium collectors. I have sent emails to the fulfilment firms used by Atlas and DeAgostini to seek clarification. Atlas failed to respond to emails, and DeAgostini’s representatives will not discuss Atlas problems. Other collectors have also reported that Atlas does not respond to their email queries.
This is poor practice, and I hope that DeAgostini (who also own Atlas) put their house in order, and either compensate the Atlas Deluxe Dinky Collection premium collectors or send out the garage, especially as they have made the same premium offer to collectors of the DeAgostini Dinky Collection. We would be interested to hear if any Atlas Premium Dinky Deluxe Collectors have received the garage, or have been compensated for its non-appearance.
We have had comments from several readers about warnings that our website is insecure, or that their browsers or security software tries to stop them accessing it. I can assure you that our site is no threat to any of our readers or visitors.
The situation is that software makers have decided that the HTTP protocol on which the web was built is insecure, because it is not encrypted. Users of our website are never asked for detailed information, unless they sign up to the posts by email, and that is done by a secure third party site, or if they enter contact details to send a message. This is much the same situation as sending any email from most mail clients.
So why does the traffic need extra security? HTTPS (secure website protocol,) which provides encryption and certificates, adds to the cost of hosting our site. Until recently, this would have more than doubled the annual cost, and we have tried to keep down any unnecessary additional expenditure, but now our host company is offering HTTPS at what we consider to be a reasonable additional cost.
So, to cut a long and boring story short, Karl and I have discussed the situation and decided that we will have the website security upgraded. This means, however, that we will need to raise more cash from donations each year to help defray the increased cost of the HTTPS hosting.
We have had a lot of interesting articles sent to us recently, including some by new writers. I would like to thank writers old and new and encourage them to continue contributing to MAR Online. It is reader’s articles which bring the venture alive.