Really this is a response to Tropi who has made a comment aimed at the UK market but I do applaude the efforts of Thomas to bring us Carrera news and European Carrera fans no doubt all give Thomas the big thumbs up.
Ultimately its all about how pro-active companies are and the amount of investment they make in the marketing of slot cars to the masses.
No amount of service matters if a company does not promote its products. The products will just gather dust.
Its one thing e-stockists stocking product, but is the product selling?
The issue for slot car companies worldwide is the nature of return that they get from any marketing investment.
Like tobacco companies are they attempting to switch existing users of other brands in what is perceived as a flat market, or expand the market as a whole and create growth?
Most slot car companies know where there marketing bread is buttered. Some retailers in the UK are good at promoting product locally by getting out and seeing the people but they possibly get support for this. No doubt the same situation occurs in Germany and Spain. This is over and above direct promotion of the hobby by the slot car manufactures themselves which can be very expensive and therefore has financial risk.
Considering for example that Carrera have exclusive rights to the Ferrari F1 cars, have any of you seen any promotional spend by Carrera at all in the UK to promote this fact?
They are simply reliant on the goodwill of enthusiasts in the UK to purchase the cars.
Argos carried an advert before Xmas on TV promoting Scalextric which was as a result of some effort by Hornby. Would Carrera have been willing to have made the same investment in the UK market?
And how has the "Argos" sale gone down with many of the e-tailors that we support here? Some of us know the answer!
I have said this before and I will say it again. To the great mass of the population Scalextric marketing in Germany broadly promotes Carrera. SCX marketing in the UK broadly promotes Hornby Scalextric. Hornby marketing as Superslot in Spain broadly promotes Spanish Scalextric. This is the conundrum for slot car manufacturers. America is the one market where it is a true free for all IMHO but there are Americans at SCI who would say otherwise.
UKsqueezea and a few others know where I am coming from here.