As many of you have no doubt heard, Sanda Kan, one of the largest suppliers of model trains in China, is “consolidating” its business. That means they are dropping a lot of their customers, including many of the North American manufacturers/brands that you know and support.
We have received emails from concerned customers regarding future Rapido Trains Inc. releases. I am relieved to let you know that Rapido Trains Inc. has our own factory and will not be affected by this development. Our inability to get anything out on time has nothing to do with Sanda Kan and everything to do with Bill, Dan and me being anal about accuracy and continually tweaking our models to make them as close to the real thing as possible.
Five new pad printing machines at our Dongguan factory
That’s Ben trying to get out of shot…
In anticipation of the current situation in China, we have actually expanded our facility to be able to bring on board some of the manufacturers that will no longer be working with Sanda Kan. Please feel free to visit our OEM (Original Equipment Manufacturer) web site: Maytex-Rapido atmaytex.rapidotrains.com.
Two new spray booths in a climate-controlled room
Those are Osgood Bradley seats in the foreground.
If you are a manufacturer looking for a new source of supply, please contact Bill or me sooner rather than later as we have limited capacity at our factory. Our specialty is small- to medium-sized projects of 1000 to 10,000 pieces. Bill’s number is (860) 554-5281 and my number is (905) 738-6445. We are often out of our respective offices on research trips so please leave a message if we are not in.
2: RISING CURRENCY AND LABOUR COSTS
A bigger issue for us is the decision by the Chinese government to increase the value of the Chinese currency and the decision by the local government in Guangdong province to increase the minimum wage by 21%. Because model railroad projects take such a long time from inception to delivery, and because profit margins are very tight, price increases on our end will unfortunately result in price increases for you, our customers.
No prices are increasing right now. We will keep you informed about price increases through the Telegraph and Timetable, and we will always give a grace period of at least two weeks to order at the old prices before the new prices come into effect.
3: WHY NOT JUST MAKE THE STUFF IN CANADA?
I have had meetings with several plastics factories in Canada to see if our models can be produced here. The reality is that there aren’t any factories in Canada set up to do model trains. There are great tool makers, great injection factories, good (not great) painting and lettering facilities, PCB suppliers, etc. But in order to make the complete product, we would have to set up our own factory here in Canada. Unfortunately, the startup costs for doing that are just too high for us. We don’t, as yet, have a sugar daddy.
So there it is, from the horse’s mouth. Thanks for your continued support of Rapido Trains Inc. As always, please feel free to contact us with any questions you might have.