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Hello all:

As has been mentioned already on this board, a second major price increase of the year has been announced by Gateway Global, the American distributor of AUTOart diecast. This is the third price increase in a year. Additionally, AUTOart closed all accounts of distributors and made them re-apply for a new account, now without a 15% discount. How appalling to treat distributors floating a half million dollars in AUTOart inventory this way! Not to mention that their tone in dealing with customers is becoming increasingly haughty and arrogant. And not to mention that quality is certainly not increasing by an additional 15%. Do you like the new bare-bones packaging? Does anyone?

Well, the time has come to stand up. We are no longer carrying new AUTOart products and when our suppliers existing inventory of AUTOart is exhausted, we will no longer be re-stocking any AUTOart. Does this sound familiar? Wasn't there anyother SoCal diecast company in the last 3 yrs (not going to name names, but they started with an E followed by an X) who followed this same path of alienating the distributor and the collector? Well folks, I think we're there again.

I encourage all collectors to think wisely about where they will put their money and who they will support in this market. There's no justification for this type of action. Accountability is the key. If they want to charge more and more and more, then justify the increased cost. I simply don't see any justification. Everyone has rising costs, but what other company do you know in this industry has levied three major price increases in 12 months? Anyone?

Think about it folks. It's not just more money, it's an attitude. I find it unacceptable and I think alot of you do as well!

All the best,

Justin
 
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Well,

To tell you the truth, I am generally feeling the same as you are. I know you are not actually a collector, but I do understand you.

Something really insignificant probably... but there are two cars I am hunting. A minichamps 917/20 and an AUTOart 917L. Now, in the same period, I have asked BOTH about the availibility of these models as I am having problems finding them locally(Malta).

Minichamps answered in about a couple of days, explaining and answering my question completely and very elegantly. Plus, they did all they could to get one directly for me through my local importer. So I should receive by end of month... very nice huh?

How about AUTOart? Well, I sent an email three times in about 2 months, still, no answer or form of explanation. Even a small e-mail saying, sorry its out of stock, would be fullfilling and well taken. But no, and I remember, it wasn't like this. I had problems before and AUTOart had answered me back asap.

I dont know what has happened with AUTOart. But I can feel that their attitude has really changed, I just hope they will get back to the right track.

It is difficult to tell us not to buy from a certain company, but I do udnerstand your point.
 

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Is this all the result of the change in management that supposedly occured with AUTOart some time ago? From the beginning of this year onward it has been only bad news after bad news comming from them.
 
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It's sad how some corporation gets involved and ruins it for all of us collectors. The newest autoarts have been very disappointing and the cost cutting is taking away from the quality. I hope they get their act together soon. They keep advertising coming soon on stuff and then new stuff comes out of no where. Smarten up Autoart or you will get a hard dose of reality. Word travels fast when dealers tell their customers about this sort of bad service and my dealer has already told me that he too is clearing out Autoart and is going to stop carrying them as well if they don't get their act together. We should start a petition and send it to them. :feedback
 

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That's what I heard. Remember when I posted that GG Brazil closed shop, around a month ago? What I heard here was that it was local incompetence and a series of bad judgement calls by the new management that GG Brazil had since the beginning of the year. It's a big company, maybe some changes were passed down from headquarters.
 
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Thanks LUW - I do remember something like this being discussed.

I'll tell you something though; i'm in two minds whether to sent them my POS S-Class back!!
 
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There are very large problems in Malta aswell. I know, Malta is small and insignificant, but all other manufacturers do deliver the majority of the orders by local stores.

AUTOart supplies have really been low, like a container of dieasts every three months or so! And thinking that Minichamps sends 1 container every 2 weeks!!

Could it be that the old management had been NOT delivering regarding cashflows and profit making?
 

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It appears to me that the future of 1/18 scale diecast, especially quality diecast is very cloudy. From my perspective it began with Action's choice to ignore 1/18 scale in their Nascar line. Other than a Chevy Monte Carlo standard mold with either a Jeff Gordon or Snail Whinehard, Jr. "paint scheme of the day", you cannot find a quality 1/18 scale Nascar model. Team Calibre tries, but their's are first generation Revell quality at best, and when you got spoiled by the most recent generation of Action, Team Calibre just don't cut it.

For the others, Exoto has priced itself clearly out of the "baby boomer/highest disposable income" generation in history market. I will cherish the Exoto models I have in my collection, and attempt to snipe some cheap one's in the future off of eBay, but I will never again buy directly from their outlet, as I did for several of my early one's.

I primarily collect racers, and AutoArt continues to ignore me as a consumer of high quality, and produce the "curb side" versions. If I wanted featureless diecast, I'd continue to pursue Ertl first generation Nascar trucks!

The current state of affairs of new releases of diecast has me searching more and more for the bargains of yesteryear!

:mine
 
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Hey Justin,

Glad to know I am not alone on this thought. I guess these crummy models they have released to us over the past few months is a byproduct of their crummy attitude towards retailers and distributors and ultimately cllectors who have supported them for the longest.

Oh well, what are we to do, shut up, be grateful and spend our monies on whatever they brand... not me. They want top dollar for their models, I have no problem with that, but I do expect a model that reflects top dollar.

I have purchased my last AUTOart with that of a Porsche Turbo S. It may be a thing that is difficult to do, but I do believe I have enough discipline to carry it out.

I am glad you and your distribution chain has stood up to them and informed them that what their business practices are primitive and outdated. Reminds me of a certain group who use to conduct business on the Jersey Shores, we all know how that ended up.

Me and you have spoken before about collectors as well as retailers being to complacent in the hobby due to intimidation and controlling behaviour such as this. Everyone wants to turn a blind eye and accept models that are inferior without asking for somehting better. I am glad that someone has grown a pair in this aspect. I am so tired of the AUTOart worshippers hanging around shipping yards praying to containers for this company. Sick of it.

And this just doesn't pertain to AUTOart, I know that no company can put out a perfect product, but a company that is trying is the difference for me.

I read AUTOart email reply about the GT3R's aproximately 10 times before posting it, after I posted it, thats when it hit me. They are in the model making business, how freaking difficult can it be to make a model somewhat accurate and effectively show quality throughout. Its not like they haven't done it before.

They have offered collectors superb product in the past, these days, I refer to it as "garbage for the blind".

I gotta go take a shower, as I feel filthy even talking about them anymore.
 
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Ric - i'm still bitterly disappointed with this S-Class after a days cooling off period. I can't believe AUTOart agreed to put their name to a piece of rubbish like this.

This may well be indicative of deeper problems within the managerial hierachy of AUTOart. Judging by what everyone is saying, something has gone amiss. They are a very different company to the AUTOart of say 2002/3.
 

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I stopped buying AUTOart's a long time ago as I think the models are way to expensive (quality/cost ratio) and most of them are OUT OF SCALE!

I loved AUTOart back in the days as well, for me the definate "change" came around the release of the Diablo GTR (which also was wrong at first) & the Porsche GT3R (which had to be re-relased)!
 
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I'm just going back to pick up a few old ones that I passed up and will pick up 2 or 3 up-coming models and I'm done with Autoart. It's getting too costly and if I have to carefully plan every purchase, it directly impacts the fun-factor.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
DiecastX said:
Oh well, what are we to do, shut up, be grateful and spend our monies on whatever they brand... not me.

They want top dollar for their models, I have no problem with that, but I do expect a model that reflects top dollar.

I am so tired of the AUTOart worshippers hanging around shipping yards praying to containers for this company. Sick of it.
These three statements about sum it up for me. Some might not think I'm a collector, but I'd venture a guess that I have as many AUTOart models at my house as anyone (almost all race cars). I have been privy to insider info and rumor for a long time and have watched with anticipation at what is coming down the AUTOart production lines. I noticed an abrupt change when the new packaging came out. The models reflected a notciable change in overall detail, realism, and paint/wheel quality. Man, it's disappointing!

As for the second statement, Lane Exact Detail is the best quality for the money on the market in my opinion. With the recent AUTOart increases, Lane looks like a real gem now. And talk about easy to deal with! Those guys are so extremely nice and kind and helpful - totally cooperative and accomodating. Such an incredible contrast to AUTOart arbitrarily cancelling distributor accounts. Take it or leave it. Well Bubba, I'm leaving it!

AUTOart is now shipping 1/2 container to LA. I got tired of waiting last year when the inuendo and rumor was not what was showing up at the docks. I'm not going to call anyone a liar, but let's just say that we got alot of "less than factual" communication. ( I wouldn't dare use a term like BS).

We're putting our inventory dollar into what is profitable and with the companies we like. I am not encouraging collectors to not buy AUTOart. I'm just saying consider all factors. Your purchase might be more important than you think.

Thanks for listening guys,

Justin
 

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For what it is worth, there is an article about diecast car manufacturing in the August edition of CAR and DRIVER magazine. The article focuses on AUTOart's president if I remember correctly. From what I gathered from the article, this man appears to be a very greedy and selfish man. This might very well explain all the negative changes that are occurring at AUTOart.
The article is well worth the time spent reading it. I would encourage everyone to do so.
 
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I do remember the discussions about the vents being the wrong angle on the GTR. It didn't make much of a difference to me at that time. Looking back on it now, I wonder if it should have made difference. I think so as if it did, there is a possibility we might not be hving this discussion right now had we informed them about the direction of their products quality and accuracy.

Live and learn...
 

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Wow, AUTOart is getting out of hand. If this keeps up they won't have any customers left. After I get the Mazda 787B I have pre-orderd (if i ever do that is) I will just get a few older AAs I missed out on. No more new AUTOart models for me... :cry
This will only hurt them, since other brands like Kyosho and Minichamps make models as good if not better than most AAs for less money. I bet the heads of Kyosho and Minichamps are laughing at AUTOart right now.
 

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First, Justin, let me compliment you on honestly identifying yourself straight-up. in my opinion, that adds considerable credibility to what you say! :cheers

This is sad for everyone involved. When they released the Jag XK13 I had the highest hopes of them producing comparable Exoto models at a realistic price. But then they came out with the sealed and way- overpriced Speed 8 and models like Jim's S-class ( his posting was also the first I thought of ).

So, it may be that AUTOart and Exoto have both concluded that they can exploit the market, not because of their unique quality for the price, but rather because their catalogs contain a much greater number of models than does their competitors. Therefore if one wants a particular model of at least decent quality ( keeping in mind that a substantial % of buyers are no where near as critical as we collectors ), then they give us two choices: take it or leave it!

Perhaps unfortunatly, that is reality and capitalism; charge as much as the market will bear. Can't argue with that; diecasts are not a charity. :giggle

Further, I don't see any other option for us in the near or mid-range future. While CMC, BBR & Carousel have certainly shown they can produce Exoto quality, and Kyosho, Minichamps and others can produce AUTOart quality, even if they so chose it would take years to build their catalogs.

As I said, it's sad for all of us. We can only hope that the "powers- that- be" at AUTOart change their attitude when they see a lot of dealers dropping them and their sales significantly decline.

But I guess I'm somewhat fortunate in that the only AUTOart model I'm waiting for release is the D-Jag.

And King, forget the petition idea, they'd only use it for toilet paper! :giggle
 
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