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  • 02-04-2012 6:31 AM In reply to

    • moxxey
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    Re: Bang and Olufsen Outsourced

    Nickyg63:

    I think Dkatz is struggling to comprehend this, thats why we keep going round in circles!  I am sure he will be here in mo, to argue his case even further!!

    And will keep writing "my point is....". The point was lost on page 2.

  • 02-04-2012 7:11 AM In reply to

    Re: Bang and Olufsen Outsourced

    I would like to see a B&O financial spreadsheet from.... 1996, or 1999, or 1989.

    This is when products like the TV's was priced at about twice that of the competitors high-end model. Silly inflation hadn't started.

    Obviously the strategy with a 20.000 euro TV didn't work out. 

    -Andreas

     

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

     

     

     

  • 02-04-2012 9:10 AM In reply to

    Re: Bang and Olufsen Outsourced

    bayerische:
    I would like to see a B&O financial spreadsheet from.... 1996, or 1999, or 1989.

    This is when products like the TV's was priced at about twice that of the competitors high-end model. Silly inflation hadn't started.

    Obviously the strategy with a 20.000 euro TV didn't work out. 

     

    Bayerische,

    As I have tried to point out way, way, down below, I beleive that the affordability of B&O products has roughly stayed about the same between 1980 and today. This is when one assumes a model of official average UK disposable income statistics, versus the corrected price of yester-year products by the average UK Retail Price Index and of those "equivalent" products available today.

    The core issue as I see it with respect to sales (aside of the main discussion of whether to "make in China" or not), is that the market place (i.e. the buying public) has preferred to go for cheaper and cheaper products, which are in general more disposable and emphasis on convenience over audio (or visual) excellence. The class of product we now generally buy is iPod/compressed media focused with a 1 to 2 year lifecycle, whereas yester-year, one could argue was all about buying the highest quality product and media which would last 5 to 20 years and still then, in-terms of audio and videophilic properties be cutting-edge.

    B&O's problem is/was not because they implemented outrageous product price inflation - far from it, it is because they wanted to be in an upper segment of a mainstream market and failed to recognise that the market was changing for a different class of product.

    10

     

  • 02-04-2012 9:28 AM In reply to

    Re: Bang and Olufsen Outsourced

    Mr10Percent:

    As I have tried to point out way, way, down below, I beleive that the affordability of B&O products has roughly stayed about the same between 1980 and today. This is when one assumes a model of official average UK disposable income statistics, versus the corrected price of yester-year products by the average UK Retail Price Index and of those "equivalent" products available today.

    The core issue as I see it with respect to sales (aside of the main discussion of whether to "make in China" or not), is that the market place (i.e. the buying public) has preferred to go for cheaper and cheaper products, which are in general more disposable and emphasis on convenience over audio (or visual) excellence. The class of product we now generally buy is iPod/compressed media focused with a 1 to 2 year lifecycle, whereas yester-year, one could argue was all about buying the highest quality product and media which would last 5 to 20 years and still then, in-terms of audio and videophilic properties be cutting-edge.

    B&O's problem is/was not because they implemented outrageous product price inflation - far from it, it is because they wanted to be in an upper segment of a mainstream market and failed to recognise that the market was changing for a different class of product.

    10

     

     

     

    Correct 10%, well said.

     

    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)

  • 02-04-2012 10:25 AM In reply to

    • Puncher
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    Re: Bang and Olufsen Outsourced

    Mr10Percent:

    bayerische:
    I would like to see a B&O financial spreadsheet from.... 1996, or 1999, or 1989.

    This is when products like the TV's was priced at about twice that of the competitors high-end model. Silly inflation hadn't started.

    Obviously the strategy with a 20.000 euro TV didn't work out.

     

     

    Bayerische,

    As I have tried to point out way, way, down below, I beleive that the affordability of B&O products has roughly stayed about the same between 1980 and today. This is when one assumes a model of official average UK disposable income statistics, versus the corrected price of yester-year products by the average UK Retail Price Index and of those "equivalent" products available today.

    The core issue as I see it with respect to sales (aside of the main discussion of whether to "make in China" or not), is that the market place (i.e. the buying public) has preferred to go for cheaper and cheaper products, which are in general more disposable and emphasis on convenience over audio (or visual) excellence. The class of product we now generally buy is iPod/compressed media focused with a 1 to 2 year lifecycle, whereas yester-year, one could argue was all about buying the highest quality product and media which would last 5 to 20 years and still then, in-terms of audio and videophilic properties be cutting-edge.

    B&O's problem is/was not because they implemented outrageous product price inflation - far from it, it is because they wanted to be in an upper segment of a mainstream market and failed to recognise that the market was changing for a different class of product.

    10

    Not sure I entirely agree with this, firstly disposable income is post tax but doesn't take into account fixed monthly outgoings such as mortages, fuel, food, VAT etc. Secondly, regardless of the percentages you quote, B&O did lose control of their prices as I believe the following graph clearly shows. Falling sales as the credit crunch bit, have resulted in escalating prices from 2007 onward - clearly a worrying trend that cannot continue indefinitely.

    Shown here are the UK prices of the BS9000, BL6000 & BL8000 during their years of production -

     


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

  • 02-04-2012 10:42 AM In reply to

    Re: Bang and Olufsen Outsourced

    Puncher:

    Not sure I entirely agree with this, firstly disposable income is post tax but doesn't take into account fixed monthly outgoings such as mortages, fuel, food, VAT etc.

    Maybe not, but that is a personal choice isnt it? Further, looking at personal taxation for a UK individual, one could argue from 1980 to 2012, there has been a massive inflationary rise in that period, thus significantly lowering the % of disposable income to pre-tax earnings.

    The methodology presented is clear and can be corroborated by anyone if they so wish. A simple price graph of a few B&O products is only one peice in a rather complicated jigsaw of the truth.

  • 02-04-2012 10:49 AM In reply to

    • Puncher
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    Re: Bang and Olufsen Outsourced

    Mr10Percent:
    A simple price graph of a few B&O products is only one peice in a rather complicated jigsaw of the truth.

    It may well be, but it clearly highlights the issue at hand - products aren't selling and prices are increasing.

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

  • 02-04-2012 10:53 AM In reply to

    • symmes
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    Re: Bang and Olufsen Outsourced

    20% loss of currency value to Euro over that period does not help, but I guess(?) you can manage some of that by trading within the EuroZone?

  • 02-04-2012 11:16 AM In reply to

    • Puncher
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    Re: Bang and Olufsen Outsourced

    symmes:

    20% loss of currency value to Euro over that period does not help

     

     

    True, it would be interesting to see the same data for the Danish & German markets.

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

  • 02-04-2012 11:24 AM In reply to

    Re: Bang and Olufsen Outsourced

    Puncher:
    It may well be, but it clearly highlights the issue at hand - products aren't selling and prices are increasing.

    Yes Puncher. They are. But other things are also changing:-

    Personal taxation, indirect taxation, salaries, mortgages, commodities etc.... certain things that people buy are also getting cheaper. However you have to try integrate them all together the best you can. GBP10 today will not buy the same as GBP10 years ago. That is why you cannot simple post a graph of B&O prices and say they are getting more expensive without a more detailed context.

    10

  • 02-04-2012 11:36 AM In reply to

    Re: Bang and Olufsen Outsourced

    Puncher:

    symmes:

    20% loss of currency value to Euro over that period does not help

    True, it would be interesting to see the same data for the Danish & German markets.

    In general it will be roughly the same. The market prices and movement of goods through Europe - even in 1980, and in context to German workers salaries, taxation, housing costs (less buying, more renting) etc...would have meant if B&O was say hypothetically 50% cheaper in real-terms than to that of the UK, we would have got on the ferries and bought our B&O from (W.) Germany (or visa-versa).

    This is why there were not many French people coming over the channel to buy our wine and ciggarettes.....and the flow whent the other way.

    I am not aware of any such flow.

    However, back in 2003, I purchased my pair of BL5's. Cost approx GBP8,500 equivalent in Singapore Dollars when in the UK they were selling for GBP10,000. However, I'd bet in relative terms....they would be priced a X times affordability for a UK person and Y times affordability for a Singaporian. I rode the exchange rate favourably back then because of mobility out of one economic system into another.

     

     

     

     

     

  • 02-04-2012 11:49 AM In reply to

    • Puncher
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    Re: Bang and Olufsen Outsourced

    Mr10Percent:

    Puncher:
    It may well be, but it clearly highlights the issue at hand - products aren't selling and prices are increasing.

     

    Yes Puncher. They are. But other things are also changing:-

    Personal taxation, indirect taxation, salaries, mortgages, commodities etc.... certain things that people buy are also getting cheaper. However you have to try integrate them all together the best you can. GBP10 today will not buy the same as GBP10 years ago. That is why you cannot simple post a graph of B&O prices and say they are getting more expensive without a more detailed context.

    10

    I don't think anyone is claiming it to be a simple problem, the purpose here was to demonstrate the issue and why charging more for something made in Denmark or cutting prices of something made in China is just not going to cut it.

     

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

  • 02-04-2012 11:50 AM In reply to

    • Puncher
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    Re: Bang and Olufsen Outsourced

    Mr10Percent:

    Puncher:
    It may well be, but it clearly highlights the issue at hand - products aren't selling and prices are increasing.

     

    Yes Puncher. They are. But other things are also changing:-

    Personal taxation, indirect taxation, salaries, mortgages, commodities etc.... certain things that people buy are also getting cheaper. However you have to try integrate them all together the best you can. GBP10 today will not buy the same as GBP10 years ago. That is why you cannot simple post a graph of B&O prices and say they are getting more expensive without a more detailed context.

    10

    I don't think anyone is claiming it to be a simple problem, the purpose here was to demonstrate the issue and why charging more for something made in Denmark or cutting prices of something made in China is just not going to cut it.

     

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

  • 02-04-2012 11:51 AM In reply to

    Re: Bang and Olufsen Outsourced

    Mr10Percent:

    Puncher:

    symmes:

    20% loss of currency value to Euro over that period does not help

    True, it would be interesting to see the same data for the Danish & German markets.

    In general it will be roughly the same. The market prices and movement of goods through Europe - even in 1980, and in context to German workers salaries, taxation, housing costs (less buying, more renting) etc...would have meant if B&O was say hypothetically 50% cheaper in real-terms than to that of the UK, we would have got on the ferries and bought our B&O from (W.) Germany (or visa-versa).

    But B&O doesn't operate in pounds, it operates in DKK (and that currency is practically fixed to Euro).

    Ages ago in some yet another price thread I did more or less what Puncher asks for above (can't find it, can't be bothered redoing it), and came to the conclusion that the B&O consumer prices in the UK have essentially been subsidised, while you complain about them rising! And because of that, buying them elsewere isn't as appealing to you as it would be if your local price increase had something more to it than just the value of the pound going downhill.

    (sorry, took me a while to edit some sense into that last sentence.)

    I think the price for a pair of BL8000s has been about 4000 euros in Finland all through the recent years (including 22%, now 23% VAT).

    -mika

  • 02-04-2012 12:17 PM In reply to

    Re: Bang and Olufsen Outsourced

    tournedos:
    But B&O doesn't operate in pounds, it operates in DKK (and that currency is practically fixed to Euro).

    Yes it does operate in DKK. But I'm 100% certain it buys its Aluminium in USD, its plastics (oil derrived) in USD and other electronic in Yen, USD, SGD, or RMB irrespective of where it makes the products. DKK would be a component of labour, power and local taxation in Denmark but not the Czech Republic. However, with the DKK, because its currencies can float, there are cases labour could be cheap, imported commodities expensive or visa-versa. If the currency markets move strongly in one direction or another, then there usually is an adjustment to pay for said commodities or labour.

    I strongly disagree that B&O's UK market share has been subsidised. The economic conditions of an outsider looking inward may make it look that way, but for someone on the inside, the ratio of the cost of product to living costs (of a given metric) is relatively fixed. As per my last post, if you are able to transend between different economic systems like the UK and Singapore as I did in 2003, the appearance appears to be a bargain. If you are fixed in eaither one country, it make all but no difference at all.

  • 02-04-2012 1:00 PM In reply to

    Re: Bang and Olufsen Outsourced

    10%, I think you missed my point.

    DKK doesn't float. Its value is tied to the Euro with very little room to move. 1 Euro has been 7.45 DKK, give or take a few øre, since 1998 (for the first years in that period, it was of course ECU which was defined as a currency basket - but the ratio to DKK was still the same).

    Raw material prices, and the currencies they are valued in, rise and fall, but B&O still needs to price its own operations in DKK. That's all there is in the financial statements. In short them, where ever they sell their products, ultimately they get Danish crowns in.

    And today, someone buying 1000 pounds worth of kit in the UK means at least 20% less in DKK going to B&O than it did in 2005. In that period, a +20% price increase in pounds in the UK doesn't mean a bit more going to B&O now. That is not the case for sales in Euro countries. Don't get living expenses, taxes etc. into this equation, they have no relevance at all to the basic issue that B&O prices in the UK would've risen a lot more if they hadn't taken a hit on that themselves to help sales in that market. That was all I tried to say.

    -mika

  • 02-04-2012 1:29 PM In reply to

    Re: Bang and Olufsen Outsourced

    tournedos:
    10%, I think you missed my point.

    No, I dont think I missed your point. Or at least I dont think so.

    If there is a peg of DKK to Eur or whatever currency and there is a shift in say GBP of 20% in exchange rate as you indicate, then it does not come for free. 20% less DKK going to B&O for 1000GBP of kit means they are haemorraging cash. The result is the normal economic leaver to increase DKK sell price to cover the margins. Prices in the UK thus become more not less.

    Does your argument not therefore support the one of the reasons B&O have to raise their prices?

    Taking the argument further, and by extension, exchange rates will ultimately effect balance of trade deficits and that it has to be paid for somehow and thus standard of living within a country will eventually altered. This of course can work both ways but it can be argued that extended high or low cost of imports can sustain internal inflation. Thus in all, internal markets tend to self-level.

    It is what free markets do by their very nature when politians dont interfer (too) much.

  • 02-04-2012 2:26 PM In reply to

    Re: Bang and Olufsen Outsourced

    I'm not sure I know what we are discussing any more. But you're right we are discussing global issues here, and therefore UK retail prices don't tell much (which is pretty much the point I tried to make in this fork of the thread).

    Looking at Puncher's graph and not confirming the exact values, it seems that the UK price of a BL8000 has risen from £2300 to £3300 in 2006 -> 2011. This is +43%.

    During that time, the exchange rate of GBP to Euro has slumped from 0.686 to 0.85.

    This means that in 2006, a BL8000 cost ~3350 euros in the UK. In 2011, it cost ~3890 euros (which is still less than they cost here).

    So, the UK retail price increase in DKK has been only +16%. I believe the Euro zone inflation has been around 3% lately, which cumulatively adds to... 16% in the same timespan of 5 years! In this view, the actual price of these particular speakers hasn't risen at all!

    You got really cheap BL8000s back in 2006...

    -mika

  • 02-04-2012 3:32 PM In reply to

    • moxxey
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    Re: Bang and Olufsen Outsourced

    tournedos:

    Looking at Puncher's graph and not confirming the exact values, it seems that the UK price of a BL8000 has risen from £2300 to £3300 in 2006 -> 2011. This is +43%.

    And, although someone has probably mentioned this, the rest of the industry has spent the last few years drastically reducing their prices. A Croatian friend asked me this week why TVs in the UK are so cheap - a Panasonic he was after was more than twice as expensive in Croatia. He couldn't believe the difference. He was going to order from Amazon UK and get it shipped to Italy.

    Whereas the rest of the industry has competed to reduce their prices, B&O have put their prices up year on year. As a result, the perception is that B&Os products are "overpriced" as the difference between, say, a top-of-the-range Sony and the BV12 is huge.

    I was over at my dealer's yesterday and overheard a call he was having with an old customer that had to be convinced why he shouldn't just buy a Samsung. He rightly said that he can pick up a 46" for £800, when B&O were asking him for £8000 for a BV10-46. He really wanted a BV10-46, he had always been a B&O TV customer, but simply couldn't bring himself to justify the difference between £800 and £8000.

    The dealer sounded quite exasperated by the time he ended the call.

    But this is likely to be the reason why B&O are having to move production outside Denmark. The cost of living, materials, staff wages etc simply do not make it cost effective to compete in a market where all their competitors are very price sensitive and are all manufacturing in China and other locations in order to reduce their overheads.

    As I said on page 1 of this discussion - it's us consumers, not necessarily B&O, that are at fault here. We've all demanded cheaper electronics, causing manufacturing to be pushed to China, the quality of materials to be reduced and B&O are now looking so much out on a limb (with their prices), that there's no way around it but to join their competition.

    However, to be fair to B&O, they are keeping their premier products, premier pricing and you don't have to buy the B&O Play products.

  • 02-04-2012 4:23 PM In reply to

    • Dkatz
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    Re: Bang and Olufsen Outsourced

    Puncher and Folkdeejay – I understand all this. What I'm saying is that B&O saw outsourcing as the only way out. In my opinion this would not have happened if they had a different strategy to begin with. As mentioned if they had added a dock and licensed it with the apple stores and sold it for what it was selling which is only marginally more than the BS8 it would have been a hit and perhaps sales of that would be as high as sales of the BS8. Maybe if they had done a deal with apple sooner without outsourcing, then they wouldn't have had the “need” as you say to outsource.

     

    Either way I think many of you agree that the BS8 and Beolit12 are overpriced for what they are and that of course they are much lower quality than the mid and upper ranges of B&O products. My point in illustrating all these other companies is that they also outsource their lower end products but keep production of high quality products at home, exactly because they know that China cannot produce to the same quality. Nearly every “mainstream” consumer company does this whether in A/V or in Camera's or whatever it may be. However, companies of the stature of B&O don't do this, they simply produce high end stuff and that's it. I still feel that B&O could have survived without having to worry about share-prices falling and satisfying board-members, etc... As everyone was getting paid, yes it wasn't ideal but perhaps they could have turned the company around with better marketing, distribution, iPod integration and other means before it got so bad!

     

    It's exactly because they are a small (2000 employee) family owned business with small revenues that they shouldn't expand so much. It will tarnish their name, soon everyone will have a B&O and it just won't be as cool anymore. It's the mystique of the brand and the fact that it's not as mass produced as others that attracts people to it as well. They've gone downmarket and I'm just afraid that one day they will become like Bose, outsourcing nearly all their products and going completely downmarket to make even more of a profit and household name. If it had been a different CEO and not Tue Montoni perhaps the company wouldn't have outsourced. The fact that one persons decision has changed the company to become more “modernized” in many peoples view is what ruins the company for me, it was modern in its design, innovation, etc... and that was enough for me!

     

    Mr10Percent – I completely agree with you. Perhaps the problem is with the consumer and the throwaway culture of today. But let me ask you. Would you want to buy an iPod dock that plays compressed media, that's made in China and is much lower grade than the other products, yet costs 900 pounds and will only be good for a couple years... Or would you rather invest in a good pair of BL3, BL4000, BL5 speakers (depending on what you can afford and what you like) that will last you decades and will produce the best quality, look amazing (and will not go out of style soon), and are made in Europe with fair wages and working conditions. I would choose the latter and I am sure you would too but unfortunately many people today are not the same.

     

    There are still companies out there who care about their local economy and would rather make less profit to support it and build a better product. Check out this company McNeill Automotive that manufactures Weathertec products all in the US. http://www.weathertech.com/assets/1/7/What_Matters_to_You_New_American_Factory.pdf 

     

    It seems that B&O products are also cheaper in the US, for example the BS8 is 900 pounds in the UK and 1000 USD in the US but it should be 1,424 USD according to the exchange rate. Same goes with the BS2 I bought in 2006 in the US whilst living in the UK at the time. The reason being that it was around 380 pounds with headphones which would have around 750USD at the exchange rate of that time but was only 500USD here...

     

    B&Os prices rise every year but only by a small margin say 5-15% about if you look at price differences between years on Beocentral. This however, is in my opinion in accordance with rise in inflation, labour costs in Denmark and Czech every year, and perhaps just a few percent added to help the company have some profit. The price increases are not double what they were... In fact in some cases there are decreases for example the BS2 was 495GBP in 2003 and went down to 380 in 2007 eventually going upto 420 in 2010... 

     

    Puncher – I think the fundamental problem is that B&O didn't cut the prices of the things they made in China. Again the BS8 costs about as much as the BS1 did. They were two similar products in that they were portable and made for people who couldn't afford other more expensive B&O products. If the BS8 cost significantly less than the BS1 then I would say that they were cutting prices... I don't see how someone who couldn't afford to buy a BS1 can afford a BS8. The only reason the BS8 is so much more successful in sales numbers is that it has iPod integration and is sold at Apple stores and other places.

     

    Moxxey – I agree with most of what you say in your last post. However, the top of the line Sony “consumer” television you can buy may be much less because they are not built in Japan by hand as the B&Os are hand assembled in Denmark. That, along with the materials used (metals, higher quality components and materials, etc...) as compared to the cheap plastics and cheap components in most TVs make the prices more justifiable. There are of course Sony CRTs that cost many thousands used in Film Production and Editing for Telecine transfers, etc... that are made in Japan, as well as perhaps some top of the range Sony LEDs that we don't know about and are not even available in Europe or the US but mostly in Japan and which cost much closer to B&O prices. These days in the US nearly all the Sony, Panasonic, Toshiba, Samsung, LG, etc... TVs are all assembled in Mexico (sometimes China), from the cheapest components, nauseating lunchbox plastics and that just look cheap. Gone are the days when Sony had amazing CRTs in the early-mid 90s that were still produced in Japan and had decent plastics. Hence why B&Os prices have risen higher for many of their TVs whilst other companies have risen only slightly in price.

  • 02-04-2012 6:25 PM In reply to

    • moxxey
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    Re: Bang and Olufsen Outsourced

    Dkatz:

    Moxxey – I agree with most of what you say in your last post. However, the top of the line Sony “consumer” television you can buy may be much less because they are not built in Japan by hand as the B&Os are hand assembled in Denmark. 

    They are? My BV10-46 was made in the Czech factory and shipped from there. You're wrong a lot of levels, I'm afraid. You back your arguments with "fact", but you make a lot of those facts up - or assume them.

    I've asked before about why you ignore the Czech factory - it's ok to produce there, in your opinion - but you skim over this in every argument. Most B&O kit is *not* made in Denmark. Only the really high end stuff is, some parts etc. Those videos you see where B&O hand finish a TV, isn't necessarily a video of the Danish factory.

    Your arguments simply do not stack up. Anyone who reads your posts in full comes away laughing....which is why hardly anyone is involved in your discussions. Only a handful or us are mug enough to keep replying. Doh.

  • 02-04-2012 7:10 PM In reply to

    • Dkatz
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    Re: Bang and Olufsen Outsourced

    moxxey:

    Dkatz:

    Moxxey – I agree with most of what you say in your last post. However, the top of the line Sony “consumer” television you can buy may be much less because they are not built in Japan by hand as the B&Os are hand assembled in Denmark. 

    They are? My BV10-46 was made in the Czech factory and shipped from there. You're wrong a lot of levels, I'm afraid. You back your arguments with "fact", but you make a lot of those facts up - or assume them.

    I've asked before about why you ignore the Czech factory - it's ok to produce there, in your opinion - but you skim over this in every argument. Most B&O kit is *not* made in Denmark. Only the really high end stuff is, some parts etc. Those videos you see where B&O hand finish a TV, isn't necessarily a video of the Danish factory.

    Your arguments simply do not stack up. Anyone who reads your posts in full comes away laughing....which is why hardly anyone is involved in your discussions. Only a handful or us are mug enough to keep replying. Doh.

    I meant to say "or Czech." I know that many of B&Os products are made in Czech and I never skimmed over it. I know that many products are hand assembled in Czech to the same standards as B&O would like them as they are made by B&O in their own factory in which they trained their own people! This is not outsourcing! Outsourcing is when you ask a completely different company to build you a product to your specs (ussually and more often in another country such as China). If you build your own factory and train your own people in another country just simply to make only your own products it is not outsourcing. Look back a page and see my reply which I posted to you right after your question in regards to Czech and I quote from the previous page.

    "I don't ignore the fact that many of B&Os products are made in Czech. In fact if you look at most of my previous posts I put Struer/Czech... Because B&O has THEIR OWN factories in both locations. The Czech republic in terms of manufacturing has higher social and direct benifits for each employee than does the US even according to the US Labour Statistics. According to the statistics in 2010 the Czech manufacturing labour wage was $11.50 an hour compared to $1.68 an hour of China that's about 10 times the wage rate. $11.50 an hour is excellent pay for the Czech republic especially considering all the social and direct benifits they get from the company and since then it's probably increased as well. And as mentioned it is their own factory, with their own workers that they trained themselves, that only make B&O products to B&Os standards. They have EU labour laws they must abide by, overtime pay, certain maximum hours they can work, etc..."

    Oh and here are my "facts" to back up my statements in regards to manufacturing labour costs: http://www.bls.gov/news.release/pdf/ichcc.pdf

  • 02-05-2012 12:12 AM In reply to

    Re: Bang and Olufsen Outsourced

    Dkatz:
    Mr10Percent – I completely agree with you. Perhaps the problem is with the consumer and the throwaway culture of today. But let me ask you. Would you want to buy an iPod dock that plays compressed media, that's made in China and is much lower grade than the other products, yet costs 900 pounds and will only be good for a couple years... Or would you rather invest in a good pair of BL3, BL4000, BL5 speakers (depending on what you can afford and what you like) that will last you decades and will produce the best quality, look amazing (and will not go out of style soon), and are made in Europe with fair wages and working conditions. I would choose the latter and I am sure you would too but unfortunately many people today are not the same.

    Dkatz, the problem with your argument is that it is complicated and rather personal/individual. I shall try to honestly explain; I would not have an iPod or anything made by Apple. Personal choice. That choice comes down to Steve Jobs himself, the near-monopoly of sales of media-players which with their locked media platform has done irrevocable damage to the music industry and the quality of recorded music. I may be wrong on this but THAT is how I feel.

    Next, I have to say, I have done rather well for myself over the last 20 years through hard work and relative hardship. This has been at a cost; I type this response from a 20-foot metal container where my bed and desk sit, with no air-conc, internal toilet and its raining hard in central Africa. My office non-field accomodation is slighly better apointed with a BV7-40 which has travelled with me for I think 7 years now and a BS5 which is a couple of years old.  In my flat in the UK, I have another BV7-40, a newish BV10-46, some BL5's and 3's (which until recently also travelled with me to assignments and are now 9-10 years old each and still as good as new despite the environments they have been placed in). My BL4's sit on my desk infront of me now...in red. My UK home also has a Gold BS1 and and old mint condition BC9500.

    So I have the toys, and my garage is similarly equipped with equivalent automobiles. The price of all this is being moderately well educated but with a niche job that would not ordinarily pay well but when integrated with remote hardship, means I have means but often not the ability to spend and enjoy the fruits. As such, I tend to go for quality products where possible designed and made in England where traditional skills are the fore and because rather nationalistically, I would like to see my Country do better than everyone elses Country. Tribal - you bet!  I tend not to like the UK HIFi cottage industry though. Too much snake-oil and advertising banff dispite the build quality.

    So on to China. Well I'm afraid we are all to blame for this. Like we are in many respects to blame for say the quality of our food (It often gets me when I'm travelling how much the food tastes better in uncontrolled free-market conditions where Tesco, Lidl, Asda, Carrefour and the EU has not placed its mitts on the specifications). The same can be said for consumer electronics. We want it cheap and plenty of. We are nutured into wanting something new and fresh and clean. Likewise, we have been sheepled into moving to China. The cheap has translated into new innovatative ways of making device to play music....but rarely better than the old days when technology strived for perfection but could not always deliver suitable media. CD somewhat addressed that but was then severely compromised by poor recordings designed for the internet.

    As a quick divert, speaking of the internet, I look at this forum in amazement as people talk of the merits of Apple TV, streaming, downloads etc..etc... Well to put it frankly, the other 80% of the worlds population who dont live in the US, Europe, Australia or some of the better parts of SE Asia cant get this service. "Technology" is being "invented" and deployed faster than the support infrastructure can be installed.

    Back to China. Over the past 10 year - perhaps slightly longer, we have demanded cheaper and cheaper products. Investors have seen a gap and moved manufacturing there. Once a bit shaky and ragged, the Chinese, through our own devices have built up a solid manufacturing base which can build to any quality. WE are to blame for this. 40 years ago, China could not build tractors. Our own greed not to support our own industries has blessed China. This is in my view reversable - just like the quality of food we eat in the EU. We just stop buying as a high-demand consumer and save for something else. Or just save! China will contract down.

    The dimension issue is social-political-economical one. We demand cheaper products yet we cry when we see that factory workers in so-called third world countries are getting slave wages. My experience throughout the world is that there are some very poor people and countries indeed. When left in an non-industrialised condition, my collection/model is they seem to be better, happier and more self-sufficient. As we industrialise that population invariably the "organised crime" element of it (unscrupulous local "entrepenuers" who come in to take advantage of the influx of wage money brought-in by well-meaning "Western investment" companies come in with their pimps, drugs, loans and alcohol). In the mining industry, I know for a fact that all the local employee's I have been in contact with have on the whole been very well looked after. The key is to keep them away from the unscrupulous who would take their money from them.

    I should also add, that China has been very good to me as my carreer has been based on efficiently making hundreds of thousands of tonnes of raw metals - most of which have probalbly gone to China. Copper, gold, Tungsten, tantalum, cobalt, nickel, Flurspar for Aluminium and so on. So am I a hypocrite as well supporting China?

    Well the nub of the matter to me is that the Western World wants a capitalist system that is socialistically fair. That is not a compatable combination and you have to decide what you want in life. I did.

    10

     

     

     

     

  • 02-05-2012 1:27 AM In reply to

    Re: Bang and Olufsen Outsourced

    Seriously unimpressed by Beoworld refering my last post (yet to be published) to Moderation this morning.

    Lost track of time....but has to be 2 to 3 hours already and suspect it is to do with word count. I could be wrong but unimpressed right now

  • 02-05-2012 2:43 AM In reply to

    Whistle


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