In the year 2000 the USA produced 5.5 million cars and fewer than a million were made in China. In 2015 the USA produced just over 4 million cars and China made over 12 million, yet the huge rise in Chinese car production has had little impact on model cars available to collectors outside China. Maybe model cars don’t appeal to a Chinese population which gained access to computers and smartphones at the same time as owning their first car? If Chinese car makers encouraged production of more models of their cars for publicity purposes there could be models of the Buicks, Volkswagens, Suzukis and others that we never see in the West. Maybe we would then be able to buy them on eBay.
The fall in the value of the pound has triggered price rises for model collectors in the UK. There has been press comment on Hornby imposing substantial price rises across the board, even though many models had already been imported and paid for at the previous lower prices. Other producers are raising prices as well, if only for new models. Firms like Brooklin are having to introduce variable pricing across their ranges to reflect the greater costs involved in making certain models. Even producers unaffected by the state of the pound seem to be increasing prices as rising prices of oil and raw materials has an impact on their costs. Sales may start to suffer if higher prices clash with the static or decreasing incomes of collectors. It is not only UK firms who are suffering due to increased costs of raw materials and costs of production in China. The new ‘lower-price’ Maxichamps range is a case in point. When conceived it should have been comparable in price with Oxford, but even though Oxford prices have increased slightly, Maxichamps will cost at least 50% more than comparable Oxford models on the UK market. Outside the UK the price differential will remain the same, because of the lower value of the pound against international currencies.
On a lighter note thank you to the clubs who send me your newsletters. I may not acknowledge them all, but they are all read with considerable enjoyment. For those who live near enough to visit an established club I suggest you go along to a meeting or to see them at the many events they run or at which they exhibit. Contact details for many clubs can be found from the clubs page reached from the link on the bar at the top of each page of MAR Online. This is a good way to advance your hobby in congenial company.
We have seen some interesting articles in MAR Online on a wide range of subjects over the last few months. Many thanks to those of you make it possible. Remember if your interest is not represented we would love to hear from you; writing for MAR is easy. We are happy to format and edit your work, and even sometimes to translate it.
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