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Have we lost sight of what is really important?

September 3, 2013

As manufacturer’s, organizing bodies and promoters have we “lost sight” of what really is important? Being fiscally responsible in a struggling economy and the costs all of OUR customers are paying.

It does not matter if you are an organizing body or a promoter…you are selling a service like a manufacturer is. Everyone has to at least “TRY” and make things cheaper and more affordable. These are trying times for all of us.

I recently heard a major race being held next month which will extract about $400.00 to race three (3) classes at this event? Maybe the promoter’s venue expenses are too high, costs have gone up whatever the reason but this price is crazy in my opinion. Do we want events being held just where sponsored drivers that are paid by manufacturer’s attending these events? It would appear no one else could afford to go. With air-fare, hotel, food, entry fees…..you’re looking at $1200-$1500 to attend the event? Is this realistic for the every-day customer?

Another organizing body is said to be considering have a 3 year freeze on products for their series meaning whatever motors and batteries (since for some reason, these are the ONLY PRODUCTS in RC that seem to follow any rules, submissions, fees etc) this organizer deems legal will be the only products allowed to be used by all of these customers? Does this seem right? Has anyone considered what this could do to hobby shop sales? Hobby shops around the country struggle all day every day with low price mail-order companies competing with them, organization rules saying a product they buy or did not buy is legal or illegal thus possibly making their entire inventory useless with one signature.

Shouldn’t we all be concerned about the strength and well-fare of the hobby shops in this country. It seems that they are not even ‘considered’ when rules like this are proposed or passed? What about our customers who will be forced to buy this product to possibly use it it on or two races in this series but then will have to buy other product to be competitive in their own local series?

More on the hobby shops and the ability of the strongest aid we all have in the industry to sell our products. How does the “hand-out” policy affect these shops? It seems that more and more promoters and organizers are making deals “direct” with manufacturer’s to provide motors, tires, additives etc. Has anyone stopped to think how this effects the sales of the local hobby shops? They are the people that “used to have these sales” and need them to stay alive.

The argument will be, “we need closer racing” so hand-outs are necessary. Baloney! We need better rules then! We should not be attacking the very people “HOBBY SHOPS” who are the back-bone of our industry.

Also getting a hand-out for a promoter who sent bids out to everyone and accepted the lowest one, does nothing to help the racer! Why would a “racer” want to buy a motor that is 3 years old and cannot race it competitively when he or she returns to their local club.

I am not trying to attack anyone. I have used the ‘hand-out” system before so I am guilty of this as well. I just think in our industry we have a tendency to “act quickly” without looking at the ramifications certain actions will cause.

The last part of this week’s blog will deal with “calling out again” to R.O.A.R., EFRA, JMRCA, BRCA and IFMAR to have “ONE SET OF RULES” and limit the increasing costs of having the same products constantly reviewed by different organizations with more and more fees! Also we need “ONE SET OF RULES” for everyone! One thing this industry needs more than anything “IN MY OPINION” is CONSISTENCY!

How do these organizations single out motors, batteries and bodies yet any car, speedo, tire etc can be made with no submission toward rules, fees or inspections? Does not seem like an equal system, does it?

Typical solution for World Championships. Whatever has been passed in the local block which in this case would be R.O.A.R. (i.e. World Champs at A-Main) should be LEGAL with no additional inspections by IFMAR or others. Just duplicating fees and wasting time! If I remember correctly, this is the way it used to be for all IFMAR events.

WE NEED ONE SET OF RULES REGARDLESS OF WHAT CONTINENT WE RACE IN!

We need to make things simple, affordable, fun and worry about the selling network of wholesalers and hobby shops and have the very “best interest” of our ‘CUSTOMERS” always come FIRST!

Till next week

Ernie

 

 


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