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  • 01-22-2012 9:35 AM In reply to

    Re: Bang and Olufsen Outsourced

    Having recently bought a Miele washing machine,and tumble dryer,I was intrigued to notice that the washing machine is made in Germany,but the tumble dryer was not.

    Reference to

    http://www.miele.com/international/enint/company/locations_13536.htm

    reveals they have production plants in Austria, The Czech Republic,Romania,and.........wait for it......China.

    Is this the end of Miele as we know it?

    Re the price of B & O TVs

     Comparison should not be made with the mainstream manufacturers whose top of the line models,whether LCD/LED,or Plasma,are suffering from major Picture Quality artifacts,or Quality Control issues,and where the public demand is for ever lower prices

    The only competitor/ price comparison should be with Loewe.

    The hope/expectation with the purchase of a B & O TV is that the component/build quality is of a far higher level than in a competitor's product.

    The introduction of two outsourced products aimed at a particular market segment/demographic is hardly to be construed as an overall 'thin end of the wedge'.

    As I have mentioned before,the B & W Zepellin is made in China.

    Has that devalued B & W,whose Nautillus speaker costs £55000,as a brand?

     

     

  • 01-22-2012 9:59 AM In reply to

    Re: Bang and Olufsen Outsourced

    TerryM:

    The introduction of two outsourced products aimed at a particular market segment/demographic is hardly to be construed as an overall 'thin end of the wedge'.

    As I have mentioned before,the B & W Zepellin is made in China.

    Has that devalued B & W,whose Nautillus speaker costs £55000,as a brand?

     

    Fair points Yes -  thumbs up

    Hopefully a cheaper range of products, outsourced will not effect the brands image or the perception of the brand around the world.

    Michael

    BV5, BV Avant, MX4000, MX1500

    BS 7000, BS 5500

    Penta III, Penta II, BL 4000, RL 60.2,  RL 35, CX-100 Alu

    BL 7000, MCP6500, MCP5500,  BL 5000,  Beo4 (x2), BL 1000 (x2)

  • 01-22-2012 10:41 AM In reply to

    Re: Bang and Olufsen Outsourced

    This is a great conversation.  I have learned a few things.  One of the things I have learned is that Bang and Olufsen is ultimately going to do just fine.  This website and its members have proved many times, there is a deep passion and love for B&O products.  Sometimes B&O may make a decision or build a product that many of us don't like because of style or how and where it is manufactured.  I purchased a Beolit 12 this week and really like it. However there were some B&O products that I absolutely hated.  I won't mention which products I hate because there are some members who have those products and really enjoy them.  I am looking forward to other new products coming from Bang and Olufsen.  I know there will be more lively discussion.  Thanks,

     

    Beosound 5 BL9 BC2 BL8000 Beovision 7 BL6002  BL11 

     

  • 01-22-2012 10:52 AM In reply to

    Re: Bang and Olufsen Outsourced

    TerryM:

     Comparison should not be made with the mainstream manufacturers whose top of the line models,whether LCD/LED,or Plasma,are suffering from major Picture Quality artifacts,or Quality Control issues,and where the public demand is for ever lower prices

     

    But so are B&O's TV's!

     

    Just look at the BV10 clouding problems! 

     

     

    -Andreas

     

    BLab5, BLab5000, BLab8000, BV10, BS9000, BS3, Beo5, Beo4, BLink1000, BLink5000, BLink7000, A2, A8, Form2

     

     

     

  • 01-22-2012 12:23 PM In reply to

    Re: Bang and Olufsen Outsourced

    TerryM:

    Having recently bought a Miele washing machine,and tumble dryer,I was intrigued to notice that the washing machine is made in Germany,but the tumble dryer was not.

    Reference to

    http://www.miele.com/international/enint/company/locations_13536.htm

    reveals they have production plants in Austria, The Czech Republic,Romania,and.........wait for it......China.

    Is this the end of Miele as we know it?

    Re the price of B & O TVs

     Comparison should not be made with the mainstream manufacturers whose top of the line models,whether LCD/LED,or Plasma,are suffering from major Picture Quality artifacts,or Quality Control issues,and where the public demand is for ever lower prices

    The only competitor/ price comparison should be with Loewe.

    The hope/expectation with the purchase of a B & O TV is that the component/build quality is of a far higher level than in a competitor's product.

    The introduction of two outsourced products aimed at a particular market segment/demographic is hardly to be construed as an overall 'thin end of the wedge'.

    As I have mentioned before,the B & W Zepellin is made in China.

    Has that devalued B & W,whose Nautillus speaker costs £55000,as a brand?

     

     

    As the resident Miele specialist here, I will clarify a few points. All washing machines, washer dryers and tumble dryers are made in Gutersloh; Germany and always have been. Only the large capacity machines for the US market are made in czech. Everything else is made in plants throughout Germany, including plant parts in Eurskirchen and Gutersloh. Romania and Austria are also both part production plants. Romania being the catchup electronics plant. The Chinese plant is not owned by Miele, it is ran with German company Melitta as part of a joint venture producing vacuums for the eastern market. 

    Miele is very proud of their German heritage, and so am I, and I will be a future employee with them hopefully. 

     

    Bentleyman, I am a B&O fan, my bs6 is great, upgraded it from the bs2. The a8 are the best earphones I've ever heard. As for Beolit 12, I am swayed more to the Sonos system, it sounds fantastic. And as a retailer I could get it for half price. Loewe also have an air speaker which looks promising. 

  • 01-22-2012 12:35 PM In reply to

    Re: Bang and Olufsen Outsourced

    adamhornsby:
    As for Beolit 12, I am swayed more to the Sonos system, it sounds fantastic. And as a retailer I could get it for half price. Loewe also have an air speaker which looks promising. 

     

    Surprise

    What a traitor....!! Big Smile

    Only joking Adam Laughing

    Michael

    BV5, BV Avant, MX4000, MX1500

    BS 7000, BS 5500

    Penta III, Penta II, BL 4000, RL 60.2,  RL 35, CX-100 Alu

    BL 7000, MCP6500, MCP5500,  BL 5000,  Beo4 (x2), BL 1000 (x2)

  • 01-22-2012 2:47 PM In reply to

    • henrik
    • Top 200 Contributor
    • Joined on 04-16-2007
    • Stockholm, Sweden
    • Posts 299
    • Founder

    Re: Bang and Olufsen Outsourced

    Bentleyman:

    Sorry but I'm not incorrect. I accept that using UK prices is an unfair comparison. But what about using average take-home pay instead....I gave this example as well as my house price analogy. What about using a new car price comparison instead...(1968 v. 2012 prices).

    A newly qualified teacher in 1968 had a net take home wage of £54 per month, today it's circa £1,500 per month.

    A Beovision 3000 in 1968 cost £400+

    On £54 a month it would take you 8 months of pay to buy the BV3000. Todays equivalent TV would be £12,000. So saying that the Avant was the first really expensive B&O tv is plainly incorrect.

    I accept joeyboygolf's point that TV's were very expensive back then (so the Avant was not the first really expensive tv obviously), so lets look at a Beomaster instead....

    A Beomaster 3000 in 1970 for example cost £135 + 9shillings. This would be 2.5 months pay @ £54 per month and so would equate to circa £4,000 today - very similar to the end of line price of a BS9000.

    But we are not talking about top of the line products such as BS9000, we are talking about B&O Play products costing £600-800. Dkatz, Tod and myself have been talking all along about the 'de-valuing' of the brand image/exclusivity. This is what we are trying to say.

    I still think that you are wrong. :-) I see your point, but I don't think that the comparison is valid - you'll of course have to compare with the competition, back in '68 ALL TVs were expensive (regardless of brand) ;-) My point was that during the 70's-90's, B&O products often cost 1.5 times more than their Japanese counterparts. Expensive, yes, but not that much more expensive than the competition, and within reach for quite many of those who instead settled for a Sony. For example, when I bought my totl LX tv (as I mentioned in my last post) I was actually thinking of buying a Sony (for 13000 SEK, IIRC) but in the end I spent 3-4000 SEK more and ended up with the LX (B&O's most expensive offering at the time!). I had to dig a little deeper in my wallet and it took me some weeks to make up my mind, but my point is that the B&O was in reach. I finally decided that it was worth the extra money to get the B&O design and build quality, even though I had to wait another month or so to be able to finance it. Ok, not every potential Sony customer had the funds to sped the extra cash on a B&O if they wanted to, but probably quite a few of them. That's not the case today.

    The point, however, is that B&O actually used to compete with Sony, Panasonic, Philips etc. Denying that is plain wrong. They also used to be sold at the same stores as those other brands - even in the small town where I grew up (there were four B&O retailers within a 100 km radius, actually, today you'll have to go over 400 km to get to the nearest B&O store). B&O was the choice for those who thought it was worth it to pay some more for design, but this price difference was much smaller then than it is today. That's my point

    What's happened since then is that the gap between Sony et al and B&O has widened. Now the B&O costs at least 3-4 times as much, and you have to buy their equipment in separate exclusive shop. The brand HAS changed, they have obviously chosen to go more exclusive during the last 10-15 years. I'm ok with that, even though it excludes me as a possible customer when it comes to TVs. Denying this change is incorrect, check old pricelists from B&O and Sony/Philips/etc if you don't believe me.

  • 01-22-2012 4:25 PM In reply to

    • Dkatz
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    Re: Bang and Olufsen Outsourced

    Nickyg63 – I agree with you that the B&O TVs these days are overpriced, but again I must reinstate that whilst most other companies outsourced their TV production B&O did not. A lot of the money you are going goes into the craftsmanship of this TV, the hand assembly, the materials, and Danish labour costs. If you are looking for a high quality Plasma or LED that's made in Europe or Japan, you will be hardpressed to find one for less than the price of the B&O with the same quality of materials and the same labour intensity of assembly. 

     

    You are right that the “picture quality” of these TVs is much less distinguishable now than it was before. I completely agree with you on this. This has more to do with the standardization of the HD standard and the fact that perhaps there is nothing that can be done to improve the quality. I myself do not like Plasma's or LED's that much because of the refresh rates. Whenever there is an action sequence it streaks. Of course it's better with 240hz than 120hz, etc... but still it bothers me so much that I don't even want to own one of these flat-panels and prefer to stick to CRTs until that issue is resolved completely.

     

    Yes I've always said that you can get a hifi system that sounds better for the price, the point is that besides TVs most of the B&O equipment hasn't gone up in price as I stated with some of their products from early 90s to early 00s. But there are other considerations when comparing to other brands: will it have better build quality? Will it have the latest (or even futuristic) design that won't go out of style? Will it be made of the best materials? Will it be mass produced in a developing country or hand assembled in a developed one? It's exactly these considerations that brought me to like B&O products in the first place and exactly the reasons I feel that the BS8 and Beolit12 abandon these ideals.

     

    I agree that what B&O are doing is an excellent business strategy, but as some stated I am afraid it will eventually outsource more and more of their production and become like Bose, just a mass manufactured soulless corporation with OK sounding products with lower than average materials, etc...  Bose used to be decent decades ago as were B&W and other brands before they become overly commercialized and started mass-producing in China.

     

    Cheapening the brand is not just about selling it for 199, what they are selling it for is way overpriced for a product where the labour cost was next to nothing. The mass production itself is what cheapens the brand. The fact that anyone can go into an Apple store and buy a B&O product (that's not even manufactured by B&O) just like a Bose or Apple product, is exactly what cheapens the brand! Luxury brands should not be doing this. Yes they have a few high street stores but those stores are beautiful places to be with excellent products, why ruin it with cheap plasticky toys in comparison? B&O going so mainstream for the masses is exactly what will turn me off from the brand. I know you may not agree but it's the reason I have a Lotus (they have some of the lowest production numbers in automobiles and are fairly reasonably priced and handbuilt in England), why I love smaller Japanese brands that still produce Jeans with raw indigo from Fukushima hand died rope in a vat and use pre-WWII machines that produce a selvedge denim that were abandoned in favour of mass-production in other countries. If Lotus suddenly goes from producing thousands or 10s of thousands of cars by hand to mass producing millions of cars completely by robots and selling them for $20,000 instead of $50-70,000 I will completely and utterly loose respect for the brand as I am doing for B&O. On top of that I will be embarrassed to buy a Lotus as I will to buy many B&O products now. My bragging rights will be taken away from me in many ways, I won't be “proud” of owning those products anymore.

     

    The point is they COULD HAVE SURVIVED had they not outsourced. They sell far more units than smaller producers that charge the same amount and still handmake in Denmark and other countries and manage to survive. B&Os problem is that they became a corporation, they started to think more about profit, about paying out millions to their execs and CEO and for shareprices to go up. They still produce metals and plastics that they could sell to other companies, they still have class-d amplifier technologies that they license to other companies, they could do consulting work. They DID diversify in those ways and upped the brands image with that, showing their expertise. They could have gone at it and still made a profit, but people are just greedy! That's all there is to it... If smaller companies that are even more handmade can survive so can B&O that far outsells most other high end audio brands...

     

    Flappo – Bentley's are still made in England by hand as they were before. Just because VW bought them doesn't mean they are suddenly any worse than they were. Saying that they are suddenly some tarted up VW is ignorant. Lotus is owned by Proton but there are NO proton parts in the production, it is not made in Malaysia, and it in fact all they do is pump money into the company and help them with Formula 1, etc...

     

    Yes B&O have outsourced production to Japan before, but that is completely different. In the 80s and early 90s Japan was going through an economic bubble and was the most expensive country in the world. They also produced some of the best hifi products in the world and the labour cost was and still is one of the highest in the world (although less than Denmarks). The point is that they outsourced to a master audio manufacturer for a high labour cost to a country that was middle income with some of the best audio equipment some of which competed with B&O at the time! I had a Beosystem 10 and it was FAR from cheap looking, in fact it was the sleekest looking boombox ever made, most people thought it was a stereo from 2000 not a boombox from 1989...

     

    Moxxey – I am only 27 so younger than both you and Bentleyman. I am not in the greater than 35 category you mention yet I disagree with where B&O is going. It's a generalization to say that all people under 35 will suddenly like B&Os direction or a young generation will suddenly go for their new products. There are many people under that age that own the higher end B&O products and are happy with them. Many of them are young bankers, software startups, lawyers, all kinds of people that can afford B&O equipment at an earlier age and that will go out and spend the extra money for the exclusivity and show of success that they think accompanies B&O products, obviously if certain products become so cheap so that exclusivity and show of success will die with it and alienate many of those noveu-rich category of people who buy B&O exactly for those reasons. When B&O becomes available to everyone, then those types of people who did buy the most high end expensive products will stop buying them, therefore they will make less sales in those products. The lower end products will become best sellers as most people can afford it, and suddenly B&O will realise that they suddenly make no sales in the higher end as people just prefer to buy entry-level as they can't afford or don't want to invest in the higher end stuff if they can buy B&O for cheap. So they start outsourcing everything and building cheaper products and become like Bose has become! This is the future I see for B&O and it's a sad one!

     

    Flappo – In regards to Apple, they are not a high end luxury manufacturer of goods. They are a mass-producer of mass consumer products. They are fairly decent quality but they are a far cry from a high end audio producer. Name one producer that produces super high end audio that has outsourced? Most have not, especially niche producers like B&O... Apple outsourcing made Jobs and other execs even more money but that doesn't mean that they paid their employees well. Look at all the controversy regarding that. To top it off they don't have their own factory that they opened their, Foxconn produces products for other companies. Apple from the beginning wanted to make products for the masses that are not too expensive. B&O has always been more of a luxury high end manufacturer or a/v equipment and was never much into mass producing at the levels of apple until recently. So the two are completely incomparable. There are many other reasons why Apple didn't manufacture in the US and many of them have to do with not only labour costs but also environmental factors (in China you can dump waste a lot more than you can here), etc... China is great if you want to make a product that has millions and millions of units to be shipped but 1. Computer and electronic products are in a different category to high end audio and 2. I am not interested in buying a product that has millions upon millions of units sold every year, that is exactly why I like and buy B&O!

     

    TerryM – As adamhornsby mentioned a subsidiary of Miele produces some vacuums for the EASTERN market. BMW and Mercedes and other brands have factories in China and Mexico producing for those markets specifically and not for elsewhere. Where was your Drier made by the way?

     

    Yes B&W has lowered its brand image for me and since most people can afford to buy a lot of B&W speakers these days, it is not the exclusive high end brand it used to be. Why would I buy a Nautlius speaker when I can buy Dali? Goldmund? Eggleston? Lansche? Dynaudio? Levinson? Etc... so many others for that price range or less from companies that haven't ruined their image and haven't outsourced. In fact I am afraid that B&O is becoming exactly what B&W has become. It's like buying a Ford and everyone answers that they have a Ford as well and you have to explain no but I have the Ford GT... Well nobody cares, it's still a Ford to them. B&W is still B&W to most people an affordable brand that produces substandard made in China speakers... with the exception of a few high end ones...

     

    Henrik – The gap you talk about is only within the TV sector. This might be because CRTs were cheaper to produce than LEDs for example and there are many other factors involved I am sure. B&O did NOT compete with Sony, Philips, etc... in terms of Audio equipment however and that has always been more expensive than those mainstream brands as I mentioned and haven't gone up in price as much as the TVs have.

     

    Nobody seems to have told me yet where my Beosound 2 and Earphones from 2006 were made? :-)

  • 01-22-2012 5:22 PM In reply to

    • Dkatz
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    Re: Bang and Olufsen Outsourced

    Interesting article in regards to Apple and outsourcing: http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/46091572/ns/business-us_business/?gt1=43001#.TxyLmKWmgsI

    And the reason that there's no American company that can match those production figures, etc... is because we have something called Labour unions here and we won't wake people in the middle of the night for biscuits and tea so they can work 12 hours on some urgent matter and then work even more hours to assemble units. This is very similar to slave labour in my opinion just instead of working for free people get paid miniscule money and instead of living in an outhouse they live in dormatories with a handful of other people in a room... 

    "“Companies once felt an obligation to support American workers, even when it wasn’t the best financial choice,” said Betsey Stevenson, the chief economist at the Labor Department until last September. “That’s disappeared. Profits and efficiency have trumped generosity.”

    Funnily enough Apple also said it was "struggling" yet Jobs was making billions as well as other execs. No wonder the company was struggling, if he had been making millions instead of billions maybe they could have afforded manufacturing in the US... As they did so even into the early 2000s... Of course Americans are not willing to work as Slaves and engineers aren't willing to be paid pennies for their work and rightly so!

    "The facility has 230,000 employees, many working six days a week, often spending up to 12 hours a day at the plant. Over a quarter of Foxconn’s work force lives in company barracks and many workers earn less than $17 a day. When one Apple executive arrived during a shift change, his car was stuck in a river of employees streaming past. “The scale is unimaginable,” he said." well in any other country labour laws would forbid this...

    It's actually SCARY to read about and how the workers work and how many of them there are at Foxconn, it sounds like a gulag in the soviet union, even scarier! Except that people volunteer for it...

    It is hard to estimate how much more it would cost to build iPhones in the United States. However, various academics and manufacturing analysts estimate that because labor is such a small part of technology manufacturing, paying American wages would add up to $65 to each iPhone’s expense. Since Apple’s profits are often hundreds of dollars per phone, building domestically, in theory, would still give the company a healthy reward.

    To top it off the glass is manufactured in Kentucky now for most iPhones/iPads/and iTouches, the reason for this is because Apple obviously feels this is the best glass for their product to be scratch free and of good build. 

    Unfortunately in America and other countries we are losing the talent and workforce due to outsourcing. America for example used to have so many skilled shoemakers but only a couple of companies remain that still produce in the US. in Britain you have about a dozen but in comparison in Italy and France you have hundreds or even thousands of shoemakers. Many countries such as Germany, Italy and France still have a highly skilled workforce for manufacturing exactly because they are much more against outsourcing and support their own economies and products more. I think that in the UK and US less people really care about this and perhaps it's exactly this business minded mentality that attributes to loss of talent...

  • 01-22-2012 6:26 PM In reply to

    • Dkatz
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    Re: Bang and Olufsen Outsourced

    Most of you are not adressing all of my points but simply ignore most and only adress one of the dozen or so points I make in my lengthy replies (which are lengthy because I like to adress every point that everyone makes!) Again I will ask the question which nobody seems to be able to answer:

    If China is so amazingly great at manufacturing products (as good or better than the west) and if nobody really cares where things are manufactured because nobody bothers to look as most people here say, then why is it that ALL professional level products are made in the developed world? Canon 1D, Nikon D1, Hasselblad and Leica Camera's all made in Japan, Sweden, Denmark and Germany. Phase One Digital backs (made in Denmark). Nearly all high end audio which I mentioned dozens of times is made in the developed world. Miele (made in Germany with some manufacturing in Austria and Czech). All professional cine camera's and accessories made in the USA, Germany, UK, France, etc... Panasonic Toughbook (made in Japan)... Even the companies that outsource: including B&O keep their professional products being made in their coutnries and outsource the rest then they could make even more money outsourcing everything but OBVIOUSLY they don't think that China's manufacturing is up to par for these professional line products... Why? because professionals want things that will last a long time, that will not break easily under stress, something that is of a higher fit and finish (much of it by hand), etc...

  • 01-22-2012 7:23 PM In reply to

    Re: Bang and Olufsen Outsourced

    DKatz nearly all if not all the professional products you mention are low volume, non mass market, non consumer items. I suspect these products do not lend themselves to the type of production which China excels at.

     

    A friend of mine who is the electronics manufacturing industry does agree that the outsourcing to China is a bad thing long term. He puts it down to a short-term business model applied by Western Companies, whereas the Chinese are taking a long term view and are building products to price rather than cost i.e. undercut the market by 30%, destroy the competition, reap the rewards in 10-20 years time. I can understand why companies outsource, although I am not at all sure it is a good thing, but not for xenophobic reasons.

     

    Just watched the BBC series "How to Make" - there are some excellent British companies manufacturing high quality products for the world market McLaren, Rolls Royce, Astrium. I also spotted some photos in Esquire of some factories making fabrics/clothes for the high end fashion industry (John Smedley being one) - real craft products - but rather depressingly their facilities seemed Dickensian, looked as though no investment had been made in decades. Hopefully B&O will continue along the former rather than the latter route within their own production facilities in Denmark and avoid outsourcing everything in the long term. The "Designed and Made in Denmark" is a great marketing tag, much better than "Designed in Denmark"

  • 01-22-2012 7:55 PM In reply to

    Re: Bang and Olufsen Outsourced

    Dkatz I totally agree with you and whenever i've said it, ive been knocked down by a certain few. 

    This is why I find it amuzing that some think the BS8 is such a marvellous cheap B&O. What a joke B&O is having on its customers. From what I can see, only the B&O customers are really picking these Chinese products up. I stick to my guns that no product made in China is a top quality one that will last.

    My 18 month old MacBook is now falling to pieces (as I said, it is the most beautifully looked after thing ever), my 8 week old Made in China earphones are faulty etc.  I find the whole thing amuzing, it's as though B&O loyal customers are yet again being taken for a ride.  So let me get this straight. It's a snobby pretentious company that used to produce beautiful equipment in Denmark, but now outsources to China and then gets its CEO fake guy to say look at this wonderful thing  isn't it great, it'll cost thre times more than anything like it but its a B&O, well if you don't look at the rear of it   oh and as long as you dont really need to listen to it!

    It's horrifying, just horrifying!

  • 01-23-2012 6:33 AM In reply to

    Re: Bang and Olufsen Outsourced

    Dkatz:
    in terms of Audio equipment however and that has always been more expensive than those mainstream brands as I mentioned and haven't gone up in price as much as the TVs have

    Dkatz:
    the point is that besides TVs most of the B&O equipment hasn't gone up in price as I stated with some of their products from early 90s to early 00s

    This isn't the case - Beolab 6000/8000 and also Beosound 1 all virtually doubled in price over that time - and Bsnd9000 was over £1000 more when it finished ( around a 50% increase)

    Given the fairly static design (ie most tooling costs and assembly set-up costs covered in early years) and the longevity in the range,  I would suggest that  these price rises are actually very unusual in retail, and are certainly way above inflation.

    In fact, the trade price of Beosound 1 when it finished was more than the original retail price !!

    Can't recall the absolute amounts, and don't have the time to look them up, but your much-repeated assertion that the audio range prices stayed low/almost static compared to the TV's isn't correct.   Given the TV range changed wholesale from CRT to panel, ther is one reason that prices leapt from about 1.5 times high street brands to multiples of 2, 3 or more..albeit panel prices have since dropped a lot  ... but the audio prices simply went up and up and up.

    As I said earlier, whilst I accept some of your points about how outsourcing isn't always ideal, or the conditions in OEM suppliers always perfect,  these are issues that are, in effect, largely out of B&O's control. 

    They must attract "new blood", sadly there are not enough afluent 27yr old buyers like you, prepare to invest in the range as it stands, so something had to be done.  "Play" is an attempt to address this - as was BS8 (really, the first "Play" product ?? ) and initial signs are these products will be far more effective at doing that job than serene, serenata and BS3 ( all items I own and enjoy using - but singularly ignored by most of your peers)

    If you and Bentleyman were typical of late 20's - late 30's buyers, I am sure b&o would currently be in a dfiiferent position - but, after 26 years in audio retail ( since you were, literally, in nappies aged 1) I assure you that you are not in any way a reflection of your own generation.  A niche market is, I think, the correct term for you and your (few) peers.

    ps - the share price has virtually double in the last month - so it seems the market boadly agrees that Play is a good attempt at broadening the range/appeal.

     

     

  • 01-23-2012 6:49 AM In reply to

    • Puncher
    • Top 10 Contributor
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    Re: Bang and Olufsen Outsourced

    Dkatz:

    Most of you are not adressing all of my points but simply ignore most and only adress one of the dozen or so points I make in my lengthy replies (which are lengthy because I like to adress every point that everyone makes!) Again I will ask the question which nobody seems to be able to answer:

    If China is so amazingly great at manufacturing products (as good or better than the west) and if nobody really cares where things are manufactured because nobody bothers to look as most people here say, then why is it that ALL professional level products are made in the developed world? Canon 1D, Nikon D1, Hasselblad and Leica Camera's all made in Japan, Sweden, Denmark and Germany. Phase One Digital backs (made in Denmark). Nearly all high end audio which I mentioned dozens of times is made in the developed world. Miele (made in Germany with some manufacturing in Austria and Czech). All professional cine camera's and accessories made in the USA, Germany, UK, France, etc... Panasonic Toughbook (made in Japan)... Even the companies that outsource: including B&O keep their professional products being made in their coutnries and outsource the rest then they could make even more money outsourcing everything but OBVIOUSLY they don't think that China's manufacturing is up to par for these professional line products... Why? because professionals want things that will last a long time, that will not break easily under stress, something that is of a higher fit and finish (much of it by hand), etc...

    Perhaps we can approach this a different way - maybe you can identify the components or production processes used in the building of the BL5, B&O's flagship speaker, that require time-served and experienced hand craftsmen that are employed in Denmark but seemingly unavailable in China?

    Generally speaking, you aren't learning much if your lips are moving.

  • 01-23-2012 8:32 AM In reply to

    Re: Bang and Olufsen Outsourced

    Dkatz:

    Again I will ask the question which nobody seems to be able to answer:

    If China is so amazingly great at manufacturing products (as good or better than the west) and if nobody really cares where things are manufactured because nobody bothers to look as most people here say, then why is it that ALL professional level products are made in the developed world?

    The answer is in your question.

    It is 2012... perhaps it is time to redefine what constitutes: "the developed world."

    Or, at least admit that while perhaps not all of China has made the slow, progressive march into modern society -a good bit of it has not just crawled into it, but leapt to the front of the line.

    I would suggest that their independent space program would be classified as "professional level."

    • B&o bottle opener
  • 01-23-2012 12:24 PM In reply to

    Re: Bang and Olufsen Outsourced

    I think I am correct in saying that modern bentleys use a vw engine W12 and is produced alongside the phaeton in germany. I will confim this when i return to work tomorrow.

     

    As for Lotus they use parts from many cars and assembled in Norfolk. they have been in financial trouble for as long as I can remember

     

    So to an extent most companys have to outsource to china, to survive 

     

    good comments though

  • 01-23-2012 12:56 PM In reply to

    • symmes
    • Top 200 Contributor
    • Joined on 04-21-2007
    • Freedonia
    • Posts 290
    • Bronze Member

    Re: Bang and Olufsen Outsourced

    Nickyg63:

    I think I am correct in saying that modern bentleys use a vw engine W12 and is produced alongside the phaeton in germany. I will confim this when i return to work tomorrow.

    As for Lotus they use parts from many cars and assembled in Norfolk. they have been in financial trouble for as long as I can remember

    So to an extent most companys have to outsource to china, to survive 

    good comments though

    Nice points, and add that most of the majors surround themselves with sub-brands per se, though they might be JVs, subsidiaries, or higher placements in the food chain.  BMW has Mini and RR, Nikon and Coolpix, Leica has Lumix via Panasonic, Mikimoto has Blue Lagoon, Rolex and Tudor, etc. Whether these are just B-school exercises or marketing tricks, fact remains it is impossible to ignore the manufucturing efficiencies of China and the cash generation capabilities of normal human customers, aspirational buyers or not. And if you look at Tue's CV, you can see that he was perfectly built to take advantage of those type synergies, and apparently chartered by the Board to do just that.

    As one who is old enough to remember when Made in Japan was an insult and robots were science fiction, I appreciate a lot of products and companies that are gone, machine-made, or cheap imitations of things I treasure.  Time to move on; That train has left the station.      

     

  • 01-23-2012 2:24 PM In reply to

    Re: Bang and Olufsen Outsourced

    Nickyg63:

    I think I am correct in saying that modern bentleys use a vw engine W12 and is produced alongside the phaeton in germany. I will confim this when i return to work tomorrow.

    Some are yes, such as the Continental GT & Flying Spur (unfortunately), but the (reletively new) flagship Mulsanne is using the fabulous 6.75Ltr V8 lump that can trace it's roots back over 50years to 1959 in fact when it was introduced (as a 6.3 litre in the Phantom and S-Series cars of the late 50's and 60's). It's been updated & massively uprated over the years and the latest Mulsanne's (the 'Mulsanne' name itself has also been revived from the early 80's) 6.75V8 block has now been further boosted with twin supercharged turbo units.

    In essence though, this flagship modern Bentley is using the same lump that's in my late 80's built car, and its being hand assembled in the very same factory too.

    This youtube vid is quite interesting if you are doubting the 'hand built' claim. As it says, upon completion, each & every individual car is driven 30 miles around the roads & lanes of Crewe, Cheshire just to ensure it is 100% correct. That sort of attention to detail is not synonomous with outsourcing!

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OvA1Z5R_o_c&feature=related

    Personally though I'm not keen on the latest Bentleys and if I could afford £230k for one of those Mulsannes (which I certainly cannot!), I would throw a further £20k on top and go for a Rolls~Royce Phantom. 

    Yes -  thumbs up 

    Michael

    BV5, BV Avant, MX4000, MX1500

    BS 7000, BS 5500

    Penta III, Penta II, BL 4000, RL 60.2,  RL 35, CX-100 Alu

    BL 7000, MCP6500, MCP5500,  BL 5000,  Beo4 (x2), BL 1000 (x2)

  • 01-23-2012 3:19 PM In reply to

    Re: Bang and Olufsen Outsourced

    We have a mulsanne at work, and a continental gt I think they are very well engineered and a showcase for vw to display their skills.  they have an attention to detail that is unrivalled.

     

    I do like the old cars, but I prefer the newer generation!  Its funny that bmw and vw had an intrest in bentley, the base model arnage had the bmw 4.4 engine!

     

    You know you have a well enginereed car when the windows are all chain driven!

  • 01-23-2012 3:40 PM In reply to

    Re: Bang and Olufsen Outsourced

    Nickyg63:
    Its funny that bmw and vw had an intrest in bentley, the base model arnage had the bmw 4.4 engine!

    Yes, I think it was the Arnage Green Label that was given the 4.4 engine, as was very early models of the RR Silver Seraph...

    What is even more remarkable however is that after using this 4.4 BMW derived unit for a reletively short time, customer demand (especially on the RR side) consigned this unit to the sidelines in preference for a return of the old 6.75 V8 lump that has it's origins back in the 1950's! (albeit with a lot of refinements over the years) - now thats quite a remarkable fact when you consider how engine technology has advanced so massively in the last 50/60 years!!

    Getting a bit off-topic now though Laughing 

    Michael

    BV5, BV Avant, MX4000, MX1500

    BS 7000, BS 5500

    Penta III, Penta II, BL 4000, RL 60.2,  RL 35, CX-100 Alu

    BL 7000, MCP6500, MCP5500,  BL 5000,  Beo4 (x2), BL 1000 (x2)

  • 01-23-2012 3:42 PM In reply to

    Re: Bang and Olufsen Outsourced

    Bentleyman:

    Nickyg63:
    Its funny that bmw and vw had an intrest in bentley, the base model arnage had the bmw 4.4 engine!

    Yes, I think it was the Arnage Green Label that was given the 4.4 engine, as was very early models of the RR Silver Seraph...

    What is even more remarkable however is that after using this 4.4 BMW derived unit for a reletively short time, customer demand (especially of the RR side) consigned this unit to the sidelines in preference for a return of the old 6.75 V8 lump that has it's origins back in the 1950's! (albeit with a lot of refinements over the years) - now thats quite a remarkable fact when you consider how engine technology has advanced so massively in the last 50/60 years!!

    Getting a bit off-topic now though Laughing 

    maybe the crt will return with a vengance!!!Laughing

  • 01-23-2012 3:48 PM In reply to

    Re: Bang and Olufsen Outsourced

    Nickyg63:

    maybe the crt will return with a vengance!!!Laughing

     

    Laughing

    Hahaha yeah! Lets buy up all the Avants and MX's we can find now for 20quid a piece - we could make enough to buy one of those Mulsannes or a Phantom each

    Laughing

    Michael

    BV5, BV Avant, MX4000, MX1500

    BS 7000, BS 5500

    Penta III, Penta II, BL 4000, RL 60.2,  RL 35, CX-100 Alu

    BL 7000, MCP6500, MCP5500,  BL 5000,  Beo4 (x2), BL 1000 (x2)

  • 01-23-2012 4:12 PM In reply to

    Re: Bang and Olufsen Outsourced

    Bentleyman:

    Nickyg63:

    maybe the crt will return with a vengance!!!Laughing

     

     

    Laughing

    Hahaha yeah! Lets buy up all the Avants and MX's we can find now for 20quid a piece - we could make enough to buy one of those Mulsannes or a Phantom each

    Laughing

    your on!

  • 01-23-2012 6:28 PM In reply to

    Re: Bang and Olufsen Outsourced

    Anyone (with access to BBC) just watched the item on China on Newsnight on BBC2?

    Interesting....

    Guess anyone interested can watch a re-run on BBCiplayer....

    Michael

    BV5, BV Avant, MX4000, MX1500

    BS 7000, BS 5500

    Penta III, Penta II, BL 4000, RL 60.2,  RL 35, CX-100 Alu

    BL 7000, MCP6500, MCP5500,  BL 5000,  Beo4 (x2), BL 1000 (x2)

  • 01-23-2012 9:30 PM In reply to

    Re: Bang and Olufsen Outsourced

    bayerische:

    moxxey:

    bayerische:

    Puncher:

    My conclusion would be that consumer electronics prices and house prices are not related.

     

    Amen!

    Can't this thread grind to a halt? It's a discussion going no-where. We have people saying the Chinese can't produce quality, but who the hell cares? The proof is in the pudding and the pudding is damned good - the Chinese BS8 and Beolit 12 are great.

    Miele may produce their washing machines in Germany, but I can also tell you that Miele purchasers I know say that recent Miele products are not a patch on old Miele products, which were built like tanks. Even Miele are finding ways to cut costs, like all manufacturers.

    I've never seen a discussion before, at such length, where the argument is over successful products. How on earth can any create an argument around this?

    People here are putting out daft arguments about quality of manufacturing.....as if the BS8/Beolit 12 were failures and the reason was due to the manufacturing! Weird, just weird.

    Moxxey,

     

    For me personally it's not about that the Chinese couldn't produce quality products.

    I know they can. A good example is the Chinese hifi. Allthough it might not always be so easy to convince the press that this is the case.

     

    What I don't like with the outsourcing going on right now at B&O is...

    Mark my words.

    Next will be the high-end stuff as the Beolab 5's, Beovision XX etc.

    I can assure you that the prices of these products will follow inflation or a bit more. They will not become cheaper from being "made in China".

    Sure one can always defend this practise with "capitalism at work". But I don't buy that. In this case it might be a desperate move to "produce". Numbers is what needs to be produced. This is seen with too many companies. Shareholders need to be overly satisfied. Bonuses need to be given left and right. And to give these bonuses margin and big payouts need to be made to the shareholders. Keep them happy, and they applaude another bonus for the execs.

    Writing this I realize I'm portraying myself almost as red colored politically. 

    Nothing could be further from the truth. I'm a business owner myself. But I take great pride in firstly being Finnish, and owning a Finnish company, albeit a small one. We use Finnish products as far as possible. I employ a Finnish staff. I like to think I make my own small contribution to society.

    I like to think I drive my company with pride and quality, not greed. 

     

    Surely money is in the masses, in more ways than one. But I can't help to think a product as the BL5 couldn't be economically made in Denmark at close to 20K euros a pair. 

     

    Something that would be interesting to see is that are the higher end products of B&O selling stronger or weaker year by year? I suspect weaker, as we see this move to B&O play products. Could price play a role here?

    I know I've said this before, and I'm going to say it again.

    The prices of the TV's...

    They are ridiculous. I like my BV10, but it's not worth the price. 

     

    If one of your strongest marketing ideas is the masterlink, and the interconnection with your products and ultimately the idea of having your whole home filled with one brand, why on earth is it so lacking?

     

    On the positive note, we who own the fabulous BL5's, made in Denmark edition, maybe they will become collectable, as a Comex sub...? LaughingLaughingLaughing

     

    Question for you: if there was a Chinese chef who was the best chef in the world, could produce every dish on your menu perfectly every time, could have every plate ready on time, and could do it at half the cost price you're paying now; would you hire him?

    My B&O: 2009 Catalogue and Pricelist

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