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Old 25-01-2012, 06:26   #46
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Re: Seawind Moving Most Production to Vietnam

I believe that Factor hit the nail on the head - with the Australian dollar as high as it is now, it is questionable whether Seawind could have remained profitable and in business if they had continued to manufacture all of their boats in Australia. We had a similar experience in Canada a few years back with PDQ yachts. Justifiably reknowned for producing a quality product, they nevertheless went bankrupt when the Canadian dollar soared from about 78 cents US to par (and above). This made imported boats substantially less expensive in Canada and made PDQ boats substantially more expensive abroad.

Whether we like it or not, we now truly live in a global village. As I understand it, Seawind's Australian personnel continue to design, supervise production, market and fit out their boats. If they had gone bankrupt, it is by no means certain that the purchaser of the molds would have continued any association with Australia. Again, as an example, the purhaser of the molds for the (formerly PDQ) Antares 44 now builds, equips and markets their boat exclusively out of South America.

Are higher production costs/taxes in countries such as Canada and Australia a factor in this type of decision? No doubt, although one must also understand that this can be partially compensated for higher shipping costs (at least on boats sold in Australia) the cost associated with moving personnel offshore and the preference of most buyers for products produced domestically (or at least, in places other than China, Vietnam, Korea, Taiwan etc.). I supsect, however, that the final nail in the coffin was not the carbon tax, but rather the substantial rise in the last couple of years of the Australian dollar as against the Euro, Rand and USD.

We can bemoan the circumstances that got us here (and the loss of some jobs for Australians), but we should applaud companies such as Seawind who were able to respond to changing circumstances - not of their own making, and continue in business.

Brad
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Old 25-01-2012, 13:31   #47
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Re: Seawind Moving Most Production to Vietnam

After reading through this, and thinking of my own issues with being limited to mostly Chinese made crap, I started trying to think of a product that I would buy because of it's top quality, that was made in China.

I know six years of frustration with chinese made goods has probably soured me, but I cannot for the life of me think of a single thing made in China that I would want to own because it was the best quality that I could find.

Can someone help me with this? So far, 100% of the things that I have owned that originated in China were of abysmal quality. I only buy them when I have no other option. I would gladly spend $ 50 for a tool made in the USA or Germany rather than $ 10 for the Chinese version any time I had the choice. Sight unseen.
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Old 25-01-2012, 13:53   #48
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Re: Seawind Moving Most Production to Vietnam

Australia seems to be suffering from the same economic ailment that that has pretty much destroyed the US manufacuring industry. Much of US manufacturing is on life support surviving on Government hndouts or foreign investment to keep them afloat. The burden of government oversight, taxation and regulation does not make the US an attractive location in which to start a business. Thankfully, we don't have the carbon tax to deal with yet much to the consternation of those planning on making billions on the Chicago carbon exchange. The quality of Australian builds are well known and appreciated by those looking for quality in boat building. I hope this move is not a harbiger of things to come in OZ. Capt Phil
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Old 25-01-2012, 14:18   #49
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Re: Seawind Moving Most Production to Vietnam

Canibul, 50 years ago Japan was known as a country that produced cheap junk and copies of American and European products. They rapidly improved their engineering, technology and manufacturing techniques to the point that in some fields, their products were arguably the best (or at least, among the best) in the world.

There is no reason to believe that China and Vietnam cannot emulate this success story, nor is there any reason to believe that they are incapable of producing a high qualtiy product. The Flying Tiger 10 (FT10) is a one-design sailboat manufactured in China that not only provides great 'bang for the buck', but from the two boats I have seen, solid construction and excellent quality control.

As I recall, Robert Perry and an American boatbuilder spent considerable time in China supervising the start-up of production and came back very impressed with the workmanship that they were able to obtain. Certainly, the boats I have inspected showed not only a superb finish, but also superb glasswork inside lockers, etc. Yes, the hardware was imported (as I suspect it remains with Seawind), but if Seawind maintains good supervision, I would not be surprised if their finished products from Vietnam are every bit as good as the ones that were built in Australia.

Will people pay a premium for a North American, European or Australian built boat over one built in China or Vietnam? Yes, at least for the time being. But if they emulate the Japanese and move towards the production of high quality products, the number of people (and the amount of that premium) will drop substantially over the passage of time.

Brad
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Old 25-01-2012, 17:09   #50
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Re: Seawind Moving Most Production to Vietnam

Quote:
Originally Posted by Southern Star View Post
I believe that Factor hit the nail on the head - with the Australian dollar as high as it is now, it is questionable whether Seawind could have remained profitable and in business if they had continued to manufacture all of their boats in Australia. We had a similar experience in Canada a few years back with PDQ yachts. Justifiably reknowned for producing a quality product, they nevertheless went bankrupt when the Canadian dollar soared from about 78 cents US to par (and above). This made imported boats substantially less expensive in Canada and made PDQ boats substantially more expensive abroad.

Whether we like it or not, we now truly live in a global village. As I understand it, Seawind's Australian personnel continue to design, supervise production, market and fit out their boats. If they had gone bankrupt, it is by no means certain that the purchaser of the molds would have continued any association with Australia. Again, as an example, the purhaser of the molds for the (formerly PDQ) Antares 44 now builds, equips and markets their boat exclusively out of South America.

Are higher production costs/taxes in countries such as Canada and Australia a factor in this type of decision? No doubt, although one must also understand that this can be partially compensated for higher shipping costs (at least on boats sold in Australia) the cost associated with moving personnel offshore and the preference of most buyers for products produced domestically (or at least, in places other than China, Vietnam, Korea, Taiwan etc.). I supsect, however, that the final nail in the coffin was not the carbon tax, but rather the substantial rise in the last couple of years of the Australian dollar as against the Euro, Rand and USD.

We can bemoan the circumstances that got us here (and the loss of some jobs for Australians), but we should applaud companies such as Seawind who were able to respond to changing circumstances - not of their own making, and continue in business.

Brad
All you mention are factors including the carbon tax I believe. Seawind will survive because of their decision.
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Old 25-01-2012, 17:29   #51
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Re: Seawind Moving Most Production to Vietnam

"Can someone help me with this? So far, 100% of the things that I have owned that originated in China were of abysmal quality."

Where was the computer and its components you are on made?
Most every Apple product I have is made in Asia and they work very well.

I spend a lot of time up in Asia as an importer, good quality control supervision and not trying to trim every dollar possible of the buying price are two ways to keep on top of quality . Even in Asia you get what you pay for. ( most of the time )
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