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Thread: Hello all

  1. #21

    Re: Hello all

    Has it always been like this.... as in a very long wait for a kit, or is this more of a COVID, supply chain, late 70's-early 00's cars skyrocketing in demand, thing that is happening?

    I'm assuming especially in the LB case where they seem to be moving complete cars mostly, its the latter quite a bit.
    Last edited by Rogue Leader; 14-02-2023 at 20:07.

  2. #22
    SEC Member Guy Mayers's Avatar
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    Re: Hello all

    No, when I bought my kit it was about a 3 month wait back in 1988. I still have it! I think there is something about the Covid comment, prior to that order books were good and LB & Hawk were taking orders. Then nobody was spending cash for a couple of years on holidays, working from home and saving cash. Plus the manufacturers were struggling because of the isolation rules. Next is the SVA/IVA effect weeding out some of the poorer quality kits out there reducing choices to the better designed/made kits, some good publicity, people actually realising how good these cars can be on the road and everything just came to a head.

    I think Gerry is talking to his chassis builder to sort out supply. Gerry owns the jigs. His builder makes both the Cobra and Stratos lines so there may be an opportunity to find a second fabricator. In the meantime, he'll still be taking orders for the "tin cars" but they're another league in terms of cost. Watch this space for developments

    Guy

  3. #23

    Re: Hello all

    Ok great, will do that. At this point all I can do is look around a bit and wait.

  4. #24
    SEC Member Strat Fan's Avatar
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    Re: Hello all

    Quote Originally Posted by Rogue Leader View Post
    Has it always been like this.... as in a very long wait for a kit, or is this more of a COVID, supply chain, late 70's-early 00's cars skyrocketing in demand, thing that is happening?

    I'm assuming especially in the LB case where they seem to be moving complete cars mostly, its the latter quite a bit.
    Speaking on behalf of LB then it is a combination of all of the above.
    The LB order list had got rather long before Covid ever came along and staff levels had also been increased accordingly to help cope with demand.
    Then Covid came along and staff were put on furlough etc which clearly didn't help production.
    Upon the return to work then half the staff then decided that they preferred to be paid to sit at home and do nothing and didn't actually need to work so that among with a few other staff scenarios halved the staff levels instantly.
    New staff after covid were then hard to find partly because of our geographic location but also because no one wanted to actually work anymore. This seems to be a fairly common theme when you talk to other companies as well.
    With less staff and still a significant order book, the new found supply chain issues & then Brexit thrown in to the mix as well has to have a negative affect on how things operate.
    LB have always offered in house builds and because of some of the press received over the years then there has always been a strong demand for turn key or turn key minus projects, maybe from markets where kits aren't a familiar thing.
    In reality some of the orders being processed currently are actually still kit based but the majority are now turn key or turn key minus.
    There are arguments either way but because of the comprehensive nature of the LB kit mated to the supply chain issues brought about by Covid and Brexit then the parts availability for inhouse builds is currently more controllable than it is for kit supply. A prime example for us is wiring looms, since covid our previous supplier simply couldn't supply, we couldn't then find an alternative supplier who could get remotely near the price so we ended up tooling up & building the harnesses in house.
    With the reduced staff levels we have we can make approx 10-12 looms a year when combined with other jobs which works well for inhouse builds but the demand for kits is much higher so we couldn't match those demands and also those of the inhouse builds as well. If we haven't got a wiring loom for an in house build we can simply move onto another element of the build or move on to a different car. The home builder cannot do this so his build would stall and that creates an issue.
    With shipping costs having gone through the roof recently as well then it is also simply not viable to be posting follow on items out at a later date especially globally as parts then come back into stock.

    Sorry for the essay

    Craig
    Last edited by Strat Fan; 14-02-2023 at 22:50.
    "You can lead a horse to water, but a pencil must be lead"
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  5. #25

    Re: Hello all

    Quote Originally Posted by Strat Fan View Post
    Speaking on behalf of LB then it is a combination of all of the above.
    The LB order list had got rather long before Covid ever came along and staff levels had also been increased accordingly to help cope with demand.
    Then Covid came along and staff were put on furlough etc which clearly didn't help production.
    Upon the return to work then half the staff then decided that they preferred to be paid to sit at home and do nothing and didn't actually need to work so that among with a few other staff scenarios halved the staff levels instantly.
    New staff after covid were then hard to find partly because of our geographic location but also because no one wanted to actually work anymore. This seems to be a fairly common theme when you talk to other companies as well.
    With less staff and still a significant order book, the new found supply chain issues & then Brexit thrown in to the mix as well has to have a negative affect on how things operate.
    LB have always offered in house builds and because of some of the press received over the years then there has always been a strong demand for turn key or turn key minus projects.
    Some of the orders still being processed are still kit based but the majority are turn key.
    There are arguments either way but because of the comprehensive nature of the LB kit mated to the supply chain issues brought about by Covid and Brexit then the parts availability for inhouse builds is currently more controllable than it is for kit supply.
    A prime example for us is wiring looms, since covid our previous supplier simply couldn't supply, we couldn't then find an alternative supplier who could get remotely near the price so we ended up tooling up & building the harnesses in house.
    With the reduced staff levels we have we can make approx 10-12 looms a year which works well for inhouse builds but the demand for kits is much higher so we couldn't match those demands and also those of the inhouse builds as well.
    If we haven't got a wiring loom for an in house build we can simply move onto another element of the build or move on to a different car. The home builder cannot do this so his build would stall and that creates an issue.
    With shipping costs having gone through the roof recently as well then it is also simply not viable to be posting follow on items out at a later date especially globally as parts then come back into stock.

    Sorry for the essay

    Craig
    Craig,

    That all makes sense, thanks a lot I really appreciate the explanation actually.

    Tom

  6. #26
    SEC Member Guy Mayers's Avatar
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    Re: Hello all

    Thank you for the explanation Craig, probably more than was necessary but a useful insight for customers to realise what hurdles the manufacturers have to leap over or stumble through for every kit! I guess this means you have to hold significant stocks in fairly low numbers, sufficient for 3 or 4 builds to achieve your goal of supplying turnkey or minus cars. The chances of getting "just in time" suppliers in this industry must be zero!

    Gerry is in a slightly different position but is beholden to sub contractors and Brexit has had an effect. Chronosport in Italy appear to have copied his bodies and are now putting them on an in house designed chassis, a situation that seems to have arisen due to increasing demand in Italy (and maybe Europe) and and unwillingness on Gerrys' part not to supply them with kits at the drop of a hat, pushing other customers down the waiting list. Whether Chronosport become a serious competitor to either Hawk or LB in the future we don't know but I suspect not. The likelihood is that some bureaucrat in Italy will stamp on the practice of making a replica there? They do now have an advantage selling into Europe thanks to Brexit though but how long will it take them to build the reputation of Hawk or LB? Who knows? Furthermore I don't know if this has soured the relationship Gerry has with them to the point of not supplying parts to them?

    I also get what you're saying on shipping costs, especially worldwide but I think Hawk is a slightly different business model in that Gerry supplies the base kit and customers return to him for additional parts as builds progress. Obviously the customer pays additional shipping costs this way.

    Guy

  7. #27
    SEC Member Strat Fan's Avatar
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    Re: Hello all

    Quote Originally Posted by Guy Mayers View Post
    Thank you for the explanation Craig, probably more than was necessary but a useful insight for customers to realise what hurdles the manufacturers have to leap over or stumble through for every kit! I guess this means you have to hold significant stocks in fairly low numbers, sufficient for 3 or 4 builds to achieve your goal of supplying turnkey or minus cars. The chances of getting "just in time" suppliers in this industry must be zero!

    Gerry is in a slightly different position but is beholden to sub contractors and Brexit has had an effect. Chronosport in Italy appear to have copied his bodies and are now putting them on an in house designed chassis, a situation that seems to have arisen due to increasing demand in Italy (and maybe Europe) and and unwillingness on Gerrys' part not to supply them with kits at the drop of a hat, pushing other customers down the waiting list. Whether Chronosport become a serious competitor to either Hawk or LB in the future we don't know but I suspect not. The likelihood is that some bureaucrat in Italy will stamp on the practice of making a replica there? They do now have an advantage selling into Europe thanks to Brexit though but how long will it take them to build the reputation of Hawk or LB? Who knows? Furthermore I don't know if this has soured the relationship Gerry has with them to the point of not supplying parts to them?

    I also get what you're saying on shipping costs, especially worldwide but I think Hawk is a slightly different business model in that Gerry supplies the base kit and customers return to him for additional parts as builds progress. Obviously the customer pays additional shipping costs this way.

    Guy
    Yes, apologies, it wasn't meant as a thread hijack.
    I just wanted to say something because I feel that in reality there are far more things to deal with day to day in a post 2020 world than some customers would ever imagine.
    Over the last 2 years or so a number of suppliers have simply gone, some cannot get stock because of the backlog since covid, others were buying from Europe and Brexit has cocked that up.
    The just in time suppliers may not even exist anymore.

    The Chronosport situation is not good and it is somewhat dirty. At least they haven't simply copied the chassis as well. what other parts they use I guess remains to be seen.
    How anyone is registering a new Alfa powered build in Italy under EU regulations is open to debate. If an engine is not EU6 compliant it goes against the EU emissions directive.

    Five in house builds on the go at one at one time would be a nice manageable figure, we have more than that ongoing currently but are working to get down to that sort of figure.
    I think we've made something like 20 wiring looms in house over the last 18months and we are only now catching up with what we needed or what was owed.
    Last edited by Strat Fan; 15-02-2023 at 14:12.
    "You can lead a horse to water, but a pencil must be lead"
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  8. #28

    Re: Hello all

    Quote Originally Posted by Strat Fan View Post
    Yes, apologies, it wasn't meant as a thread hijack.
    I just wanted to say something because I feel that in reality there are far more things to deal with day to day in a post 2020 world than some customers would ever imagine.
    No need to apologize, this is exactly the kind of thing I wanted to know. As a customer it sucks being told you may not see a car for 5 years, but at least I myself can understand even without the explanation, but highly appreciate it and all the challenges you face.

    Chronosport it seems is trying to fill a space in the market for completed cars that I am assuming wasn't as prevalent until this latest boom. From what you say it sucks that they are kind of ripping off Hawk. I do know there is another body manufacturer for the Stratos out there in Spain, at least I assume they are making their own panels.

    The regulations around the engine supplied is interesting, I guess you are required certain levels of compliance even though its a hand built kit car. Here in the US kit cars are kind of free range. Really anything over 25 years old, unless you're in California, you can get away with quite a bit, as long as it passes a cursory visual inspection.

  9. #29

    Re: Hello all

    Hello all, still around 1 year later, waiting patiently. I have searched on and off for unbuilt or barely started kits but haven't found anything yet. Still been collecting parts for my 164, but haven't started to build the engine yet. I did get a Q2 LSD though which would probably be fun in the Stratos. Hopefully my choices will be clear once my time comes around to be able to get one....

  10. #30
    SEC Member Guy Mayers's Avatar
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    Re: Hello all

    You just have to be patient.... and move quickly when one does become available or your slot opens in the waiting list.
    Guy

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