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bill937ca

Sanda Kan Shake-Up Affects Model Trains

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bill937ca

Probably most of you have never heard of Sanda Kan but this Chinese company is about to greatly effect your hobby.  Within the past week Sanda Kan has announced it is going to stop supplying trains to several US and European "train manufacturers".

 

Kader Holdings which also owns Bachmann, Lilliput and Graham Farish acquired Sanda Kan in 2008.  Sanda Kan also owns American O scale K-Line Trains and licenses the K-Line train line to Lionel.

 

Sanda Kan has recently sent letters to various manufacturers advising they will no longer handle their projects.

 

Model Railroader reports,"among the model railroad customers receiving letters from Sanda Kan are Weaver, S Helper Service, American Models, Bowser, Micro-Trains and Märklin/Trix.

 

Among those not getting letters were Bachmann, Lilliput, Graham Farish, Lionel, Atlas, Walthers and Aristo-Craft."

 

http://www.trains.com/mrr/default.aspx?c=a&id=4025

 

This is Model Railroader, so I doubt if they would know or care if any Japanese manufacturers were involved unless it was Kato USA.  I don't think they would pay attention to Kato Japan even.

 

I know in the past Micro Ace and Tomix have been mentioned as having trains made by Sanda Kan (in the Atlas article linked below). I know Tomix has factories of its own in China so I'm not sure how many trains were contracted out.

 

Over the past few years Sanda Kan has missed deadlines and had financial difficulties.  

 

For years Sanda Kan was lead by CEO and Engineer Wai Shing Ting who seems to have legendary status with the model railroad industry.  On his retirement Atlas posted a tribute to Wai Shing Ting.

 

http://www.atlasrr.com/News/mrting.htm

 

http://ogaugewatch.com/2009/09/sanda-kan-ceo-retires.html

 

I suspect the loss of Wai Shing Ting has had much to do with Sanda Kan's recent difficulties.

 

I'm not sure how this affects Japanese model trains and model train lines, but given China's manufacturing clout today there has to be some effect.

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to2leo

Thanks for bringing this up Bill.  Already, some of MR companies are offering their manufacturing capacity to brands who might need to find another source fast.

http://rapidotrains.com/telegraph_currrent.html

 

It will be interesting to see whether any of the excluded brands will be announcing any new products or making comments on this groundbreaking news in this weekend's US N Scale Convention.

 

It is also very interesting to find out Hong Kong has or had a very big role to play in the model railroad world for a long time.

 

Looking forward to see how the pages unfold in the coming months.

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bikkuri bahn

Interesting news on the supply chain side of the hobby. Here is a detailed article about the issue.  Brings up briefly what I also thought about initially when first seeing the news- the potential of Vietnam as the next low cost supplier:

 

http://www.modelrailroadnews.com/channels/n-scale/single-article-page/interesting-times/6fa58324da.html

 

Notice the Model Railroader page with its usual predicatable comments of "bringing production back to the good 'ol USA".  Sorry guys, but that is not a viable business proposition in consumerist America- just look at Walmart- without China, it would just be another minor regional discount store, if that.

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Guest ___

 

 

Notice the Model Railroader page with its usual predictable comments of "bringing production back to the good 'ol USA".  Sorry guys, but that is not a viable business proposition in consumerist America- just look at Walmart- without China, it would just be another minor regional discount store, if that.

 

Until ten years ago, Wal*Mart bragged that most everything it sold was made in the USA.  Only thing buying the cheap Chinese stock did for Wal*Mart was to allow them the opportunity to expand in to China. As to date, I haven't made squat on my shares of stock in the company, nor do I recall the last time there was any return on any dividends.

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cteno4

Interesting to see tomix was on the list. i figured with all the Tomy production they would have a lot of manufacturing resources from that, but model trains are a bit more unique to produce than other toys so i could see how a company like Sanda Kan could find a very strong niche that would attract all the biggies to use them.

 

My design partner has done a lot of work with product development in china and other places in the far east over the years and he has found that you can find good quality and expertise in all forms of manufacturing if you look hard. the problem is the vast majority of the market is firms that come and go, merge, morph, etc in a year or two that just throw stuff together. you can at times find a decent quality/cost one of these companies, but a run or two later they are gone and you have to start all over again. best when you can find one of those more quality companies that has been in business a while an has someone operating it like WaiShing Ting. costs a bit more, but you make up for it very well in the long run.

 

walmart only functions when its growing like mad. they are not a stable situation as they cut everything to the absolute bone and all their suppliers, unless they are huge, become totally dependent on walmart and thus can be sucked dry. while this looks good in the short term its like the idea above, it burns you in the long run. I was asked to do proposals, production design, and forecasting for a series of products with Costco (similar to walmart, but not quite as to the bone) and it was a real eye opener when you saw how you had to run things and what you had to end up designing/producing to make the numbers work. while the numbers and money was big it really ended up gutting all the life out of what the products and eventually the company was doing and would be. sad...

 

cheers

 

jeff

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traindork

I was at the N Scale Convention last week. Deluxe Innovations, who makes modern American intermodal cars and containers, said that he was one of the companies cut out by Sandra Kan. He's currently looking for a new factory. Atlas, on the other hand, said that they think they'll benefit in that their products should arrive in a more timely manner.

 

Mr. Kato said that they'll be making Amfleet cars for the American market. I talked with him briefly and totally forgot to ask about the E5 Shinkansen.  :BangHead:

The guy with Kato USA told me that anything the warehouse in Japan has, they can order for me. I wish.... 

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bill937ca

Another link with info in the responses on Japanese train production in China. 

 

http://www.garethbayer.co.uk/blog/2008/09/24/do-you-know-what-is-made-where

 

"Tomix are rumoured to use the Kader plant for trains while Kato still try to use Japan for some production."

 

Kato only uses Japan for "some production" is interesting.  That's not the perception.  In many cases you may have to go the plants in China for the latest technology and engineering.

 

Green Max may be the only largely Japanese manufacturer.

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westfalen

Another link with info in the responses on Japanese train production in China. 

 

http://www.garethbayer.co.uk/blog/2008/09/24/do-you-know-what-is-made-where

 

"Tomix are rumoured to use the Kader plant for trains while Kato still try to use Japan for some production."

 

Kato only uses Japan for "some production" is interesting.  That's not the perception.  In many cases you may have to go the plants in China for the latest technology and engineering.

 

Green Max may be the only largely Japanese manufacturer.

I would have thought it was "Kato still try to use Japan for most production". Is there anything other than the Diotown building made in China?

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bill937ca

Another link with info in the responses on Japanese train production in China. 

 

http://www.garethbayer.co.uk/blog/2008/09/24/do-you-know-what-is-made-where

 

"Tomix are rumoured to use the Kader plant for trains while Kato still try to use Japan for some production."

 

Kato only uses Japan for "some production" is interesting.  That's not the perception.  In many cases you may have to go the plants in China for the latest technology and engineering.

 

Green Max may be the only largely Japanese manufacturer.

 

I would have thought it was "Kato still try to use Japan for most production". Is there anything other than the Diotown building made in China?

 

I find that Kato does not clearly mark its trains as for where they are made.  I don't buy their track so, I can't read the packages.  I suspect more is made in China than they let on.

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KenS

I have a fairly new Unitrack #6 switch package in front of me that says "Made in Japan", so at least some of their stuff is still made there.

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to2leo

All Kato tracks for now are labelled Made in Japan.  It seems like only buildings and transformers are labelled Made in China.

 

It will be interesting to see who will fill Sanda Kan's void.

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CaptOblivious

Wait, we're geting worked up over an ubsubstantiated comment, that cites no sources, to a blog post?

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westfalen

My new EF510-500 says Made in Japan on the box, the new high rise buildings say made in China, but where ever they are made they are still Kato. If they shifted production to Outer Mongolia (nothing against Outer Mongolians), I'd still buy it if it had 'Kato' on the label.

 

The problems in China don't seem to be affecting the major Japanese manufacturers much, Kato, Tomix and Micro-Ace still seem to be coming out with their regular monthly releases. Could it be something to do with Japan being closer to China, both geographically and culturally?

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Guest ___

Wait, we're geting worked up over an ubsubstantiated comment, that cites no sources, to a blog post?

 

Yes, yes we are. That's the beauty of the internet for you.

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