Page 1 of 3

Hornby still struggling

Posted: Wed Nov 11, 2015 8:31 am
by LittleSkink
Hornby might be doing some really good product innovation (Railroad TTS sound locos spring to mind) but the management side still seem to be having a hard time . . .

http://www.theguardian.com/business/2015/nov/10/hornby-expecting-annual-loss-profit-warning-europe-sales-fall

Re: Hornby still struggling

Posted: Wed Nov 11, 2015 8:39 am
by GWR_fan
When all they can come up with for a publicity shot is an old class 29 then Hornby management are still stuck in the last century. Bachmann seem to be going back over all the Hornby heritage or ex-Lima prototypes and plan to release them at some point in the future. While Hornby dithers in the barn, Bachmann are out in the sun making hay.

Re: Hornby still struggling

Posted: Wed Nov 11, 2015 10:23 am
by Bufferstop
Hmm.... who would have though it. Buying up basket cases turns out to be quite a risky strategy.

Re: Hornby still struggling

Posted: Wed Nov 11, 2015 1:02 pm
by stuartp
In fairness to Hornby the 29 is a Press Association library photo, I doubt it was supplied by Hornby. I expect it's what their photo editor remembers from his childhood.

Re: Hornby still struggling

Posted: Wed Nov 11, 2015 1:32 pm
by Emettman
stuartp wrote: I expect it's what their photo editor remembers from his childhood.


Photo editors are so young these days.


Hornby's chance to put a set of nails in it's own coffin comes with meeting, or not, the availability date for the re-issue Thomas range. "in December".
If the "pre-orders for Christmas" don't come through, that's going to hurt.

(I note from the Hornby website that the "King"'s are running a couple of months later than announced.)


Chris

Re: Hornby still struggling

Posted: Wed Nov 11, 2015 2:19 pm
by Bufferstop
You mean Elvis has not yet entered the building!
(Makes sense if you have read the blog on hornby.com)

Re: Hornby still struggling

Posted: Wed Nov 11, 2015 2:45 pm
by alex3410
the image would have been found by the the guardian and if they are anything like most designers its just a fluke its an actual Hornby model in the image and not something from Bachmann etc :lol:

made for an interesting read anyway

Re: Hornby still struggling

Posted: Wed Nov 11, 2015 4:02 pm
by LittleSkink
to me it reads like they are doing the best they can in UK but EU systems mess ups and Chinese supplier problems have been the main issues - and if Thomas cant make it from China for Chrisatmas then that is a potential source of significant financial risk

As a relatively new returner to model railways (my kids are now old enough to be interested ina layout of their own) I have found Hornby and Bachman to both be very customer focussed and uttlery professional - they do nice products at decent prices - but I havent been engage with the induistry for long enough to get a feel for how the hobby is served more widely

Our choice of first trainset was Bachmann purely because the Hornby DCC starter set controller is not NMRA compliant - but as a typical 'man in the street' customer I started the purchase decision with Hornby and only swayed from that after some detailed research and much deliberation - I suspect many Christmas purchases will be straight out of Argos with little real engaged thought - and I think that is whrere much UK Hornby cash flow, and future customers comes from these days

Readng the Annual Report is interesting though . . .
http://hsprod.investis.com/ir/hrn/pdf/23204_Hornby_AR_2015.pdf

Re: Hornby still struggling

Posted: Wed Nov 11, 2015 5:33 pm
by Bufferstop
They are cutting it fine for retail outlets to be in any position to pick up impulse buys, or even the non modelling public looking for them. With the sets offered for Pre-order on their website, retailers will have had to get in very early. I hope Hornby does deliver but on recent past performance I'm not putting money on it.

Re: Hornby still struggling

Posted: Wed Nov 11, 2015 5:52 pm
by Pennine MC
GWR_fan wrote:Bachmann seem to be going back over all the Hornby heritage or ex-Lima prototypes and plan to release them at some point in the future. While Hornby dithers in the barn, Bachmann are out in the sun making hay.


TBH my impression is that the boot is on the other foot, and I say that as a long time Bachmann supporter. I'm not a big fan of Simon Kohler but he said in one of his blog items some time ago that Bachmann were about to encounter the same sort of problems that Hornby already had, and were addressing (he was speaking about the various topical difficulties related to Chinese manufacture). Now Hornby are shaking off the more lamentable last gasps of the 'design clever' phase and are delivering a rapid succession of excellent products such as the K1, Claud, J15, Black Motor and S15, and Bachmann by contrast are very much consolidating amid some not very well-received price increases. Their announcements earlier this year were notable to me in not featuring any new motive power that wasnt based in some way on an existing product.

Re: Hornby still struggling

Posted: Wed Nov 11, 2015 9:38 pm
by mattmay05
It is quite shocking the loss but it's still early days with the turn around and changes with Hornby, although I do not agree with their odd announcement strategy and trying to out fox Bachmann earlier this year with the Merchant Navy, but it's still early days and they are in recovery products are a little quicker at getting to market, working from I think 7 factories from what I can figure out.
Hopefully things will improve soon, as Pennine MC / Ian has mentioned they have had some good products out lately much improved from the last few years, so it's heading in the right direction.

Re: Hornby still struggling

Posted: Thu Nov 12, 2015 9:54 am
by Bigmet
Pennine MC wrote:... Now Hornby are shaking off the more lamentable last gasps of the 'design clever' phase and are delivering a rapid succession of excellent products such as the K1, Claud, J15, Black Motor and S15, and Bachmann by contrast are very much consolidating amid some not very well-received price increases...

When it comes to OO models, aimed at adult modellers, Hornby appear to be doing well. To the list above of recent introductions add the Stanier non-gangwayed coaches and Queen of Scots all steel Pullman Cars, and there are several more very eagerly awaited announcements that on previews appear to be the right stuff. This aspect of the Hornby business seems to have recovered after the exit from Sanda Kan. Perhaps not fully on song yet with getting some of the earlier tooling back into production with their new manufacturing partners, still some challenges there.

Ironically among other sections of their activity it appears to be their toy market approach that is faltering; this from a business which under the previous management team was looking at a future majoring on toys.

Quite how Bachmann's parent organisation has been getting on is harder to read, but the plodding rate of releases tells enough of trouble. I am another who has been very keen on Bachmann for their canny selection of subjects: the ordinary everyday items feature heavily in their range, and I have enthusiastically purchased everything suitable as fast as could be afforded. More models of such subjects to the standard of their 16 tonners, BR mk1 coaches, Cravens DMU, J11; and I will be among those purchasing. As it is with the BR grain wagons now out, from all their announcements of future introductions it is only the range of Thompson coaches that are of interest to me, and they are a couple of years away at the earliest. The future introductions list looks very bare indeed.

One thing that is certain is that in the closure of their Sanda Kan acquisition (amongst much else going on in the way of reorganisation) they shed a number of skilled staff who are now working for competitors; including the new manufacturing vendors Hornby are using. When I first got a look at the Hornby K1 this was very obvious, the design and construction style was previously only seen on Bachmann product. Nothing sinister in this, just designers and toolmakers doing the job with acquired skills they learned with a previous employer. People with those skills are not quickly and easily replaced, and design and tooling team capacity determines what rate of new model introductions can be achieved.

Re: Hornby still struggling

Posted: Thu Nov 12, 2015 10:56 am
by Bufferstop
If the former Sanda Kan toolmakers have left the employ of the Bachmann suppliers and are now working for Hornby's suppliers, even if a little widely distributed perhaps the footie pitch has returned to the horizontal. Before the takeover the two organizations seemed to me to be fairly evenly matched. It would definitely be to the benefit of the hobby to return to that position.

Re: Hornby still struggling

Posted: Thu Nov 12, 2015 12:08 pm
by Pennine MC
mattmay05 wrote:... although I do not agree with their odd announcement strategy and trying to out fox Bachmann earlier this year with the Merchant Navy, .


Might be wrong Matt, but I don't even think it was that; I think it was simple mischievousness. It's a loco that has been mooted for so long by one or the other, they knew the froth merchants would pick up on it and read something into it.

Re: Hornby still struggling

Posted: Fri Nov 13, 2015 1:34 am
by mattmay05
Pennine MC wrote:
mattmay05 wrote:... although I do not agree with their odd announcement strategy and trying to out fox Bachmann earlier this year with the Merchant Navy, .


Might be wrong Matt, but I don't even think it was that; I think it was simple mischievousness. It's a loco that has been mooted for so long by one or the other, they knew the froth merchants would pick up on it and read something into it.


Was just using that mainly as an example... but yes mischievous probably, what else have they announced... Radial appeared last November, LSWR coaches, Peckett, the Merchant and GWR locos were given out in dribs and drabs, keeps the public interested. I look forward to the 2016 announcements as they have probably already been mentioned in 2015.