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JR closing down?

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Graeme Poke01/01/2017 09:02:40
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Is it true that JR have ceased operations? Cheers Graeme

Peter Miller01/01/2017 09:05:53
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I have heard that it is true via someone abroad who is in the trade. They actually had the official letter read out to them by an agent

Martin Harris01/01/2017 09:11:48
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I'd heard unconfirmed reports that they were suspending further development and moving production of their existing range to China.

Pete B - Moderator01/01/2017 09:36:31
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This was the announcement made by JR back in August 2016 - make of it what you will. Seems they are moving production to Malaysia and cutting hobby RC development in favour of industrial products, with an indication of further hobby products being made available at some point in the future.

Plenty of chat on other forums.....

Pete

MattyB01/01/2017 09:51:48
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It does not appear to be true for now, but based on their official announcement in late August it looks like they are fighting for their lives - they are relocating manufacturing to low cost markets and pausing development in all consumer RC products indefinitely to concentrate on drones for industry. There have also been rumours of insolvency for some time.

Stock is very low in their key home market of Japan where many are being forced to switch due to DMSS receivers being completely unobtainable, and UK distributor MacGregor are apparently unsure when there will be more TXs coming into the UK; the next batch of RXs is not due til Feb/March. Some 28Xs have even been seen in half price fire sales in Europe before Xmas as dealers try to unload stock that would be worthless if JR went under.

JR has always delivered great stuff and I would be sad to see them go, but I fear there is no way back given the speed the market is moving. If they ever start developing new products again the vast majority of their user base will have already left for other brands. The damage done by the split from Spektrum was huge, and has not been helped by the rise of newcomers like FlySky, Jeti and FrSky taking away different sections of their user base. Certainly there is no way I would invest in any JR TX or RXs at this point; the chances of them becoming a paperweight within a short period are just too high.

Additional info and speculation is in this RCGroups thread.

Colin Leighfield01/01/2017 10:40:59
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I was surprised to read their observation that the radio control hobby market has declined world-wide. Is that correct? My natural reaction would be that the reverse is true and a failure to keep up with competition is the issue. Since I started using propo radio in 1976 I have never used Futaba, but almost nearly everyone else around here seemed to. I get the impression that they are not as dominant as they used to be, I assume that Spektrum has been the main factor in that change.

Cuban801/01/2017 10:56:47
2719 forum posts
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"With the decline of the Radio Control Hobby market World Wide, and the need for JR to grow and regain sales, JR must temporarily focus our main effort towards the multi-purpose industrial helicopter market."

Classic case of not having their finger on the pulse of their market and being hampered by rising domestic production costs, foreign competition and changing customer needs....................something that our R/C industry knew plenty about in the 70s & 80s.

kevin b01/01/2017 11:11:05
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I don't think the hobby has declined as much, but I think that we are probably spending less money. How many of us now own at least 4 transmitters and probably 3 times as many receivers ? There comes a time when you reach saturation point, partly due to the reliability of modern technology. How many covering manufacturers are there, and how many non-specialist engine manufacturers ? Our hobby has gone in leaps and bounds over the last few years, mainly due to the toy industry and also mobile phone technology. I think we are now entering a period of change. This is not necessarily a negative thing, although I can see the hobby becoming more expensive on new purchases. I'm afraid that the cheap and cheerful days are over and we are going back to how it was in the 50's and 60's when hobby items were relatively more expensive (as was decent food). Those of us who can remember those days know that we can use our resourcefulness to enjoy our hobby without great expense and should encourage newcomers that they also can.

John Lee01/01/2017 11:45:57
653 forum posts
48 photos

I was a long time JR user from the 70's buying each new radio as they came to market. But having spent £1500 on a DSX12 in 2010 which they then would not upgrade to DSMX in this country (whist doing so in the USA) there was no way I was going to buy another set from them.

Percy Verance01/01/2017 11:50:11
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I don't think we're entering a period of change Kevin. It began happening 15 to 20 years ago with the artf bandwagon rolling in. Prior to that, just about everyone built their own models - or had someone do it for them - but with changes in society, along with people's work patterns, attitudes etc things changed quite a bit. The accessibility of artf models has certainly brought people into the hobby whom otherwise may have felt it beyond them and not bothered.

I agree that I think we'll see the cost of many modelling items increase, along with perhaps difficulties acquiring certain things. I think this may well prompt the resurgence of the *engineer* modeller, with more of us making/fabricating the harder to get items, such as control horns,pushrods, undercarriages etc. Indeed, as you point out, that's how it was in the 50's.

In real terms, the hobby is far cheaper now than 40+ years ago. I paid £175 in October 1974 for my FLC Sovereign 4 channel radio. That would probably equate to about £800+ today I reckon. But yes, there will be changes aplenty in the years ahead, that's for sure.......

 

 

 

 

 

Edited By Percy Verance on 01/01/2017 12:07:50

john stones 101/01/2017 11:58:30
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Looks to be best times we've had for me price wise, much more to come yet regarding other industry's, talk all you like about fingers on pulses and business models, you have one hell of a task on competing with countries with massive cheap labour forces once they've got their acts together.

John

Percy Verance01/01/2017 12:18:19
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I don't think the cheap labour *thing* is quite the issue it once was John. Sure, it's still a factor (witness what's currently happening with JR), but it isn't the huge factor it once was. One thing was certain right from the start with cheap labour, and that was that these people were never going to work for peanuts forever. It's bought those whom exploit it a breathing space for sure, but it ain't gonna last forever....... Production costs in China for example, have risen sharply in recent times. The rest will surely follow.

Plus there's also a further factor to consider in some instances. Some of these cheap labour *havens* have less than stable governments/regimes, which can occasionally mean interruptions in supply lines etc. If producers are willing to cope with that as an occupational hazard, then that's fine, but I imagine what you're having produced there will be a factor too.

iqon01/01/2017 12:23:21
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I think JR are busy making drones for Amazon and the post officewink

Andrew Ray01/01/2017 12:45:36
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First day of a new year and it's all doom and gloom if I believed half of what is posted here!!

Nothing remains the same, one player changing tack or going out of business is an opportunity for others. One thing that is certain is that in the 40+ years I have been in the hobby costs have reduced and sure as eggs are eggs that will continue and if prices do rise in the short term it won't be huge in the overall scheme of things. And so what if they do? We have never had it so good for many a year and nothing stays the same.

It's a shame JR are changing their focus but it looks like MacGregor are too with their own branded servo. Sadly I won't be able to purchase my favourite servo any more, the JR NES591, but hey ho, so what?

The start of another year is a time to be positive and look forwards to the opportunities that are presented as things change and change they always will.

Edited By Andrew Ray on 01/01/2017 12:47:07

Percy Verance01/01/2017 12:46:29
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8108 forum posts
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Well the Post Office drones will doubtless get lost somewhere..........

Robin Colbourne01/01/2017 15:42:56
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415 forum posts
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From the August 2016 JR announcement:

Sanei has proven for many years to produce high quality JR products at reasonable cost, and since current production was far from 100%, it makes good business sense for JR to move all Propo production to Sanei.

"...since current production was far from 100%...", At first glance, I read as referring to the product quality surprise, whereas I'm sure what they really meant is "since current production output was far from 100% of factory capacity".

It will be interesting to see if the low volume and (hopefully) high profit industrial work provides enough cash to fund the development of further hobby level equipment with sufficient features to regain market share from the Chinese.

Piers Bowlan01/01/2017 17:52:57
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1871 forum posts
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Not too long ago I replaced my JR9303 (DSX 9, incase you are wondering) with an XG11, as DMSS seemed the way to go crying. Now there seems to be two ways to look at this. First, flog my XG11 quick on ebay to someone who hasn't heard the bad newsdevil! Then decide which is best, Speky, Futaba, Hitec, Multiplex or FrSky? Alternatively, as people stampede to off-load their old JR kit I could buy up a lot of cheap JR RXs wink 2. I am tempted to do the latter as it is good quality and reliable - even if I risk ending up with a lot of (lightweight) paper weights in the end if MattyB proves to be correct. Maybe nothing will change, the RXs will become available again when the Malaysian factory comes on line and JR's profits will return.

 

Edited By Piers Bowlan on 01/01/2017 18:00:31

john stones 101/01/2017 17:57:00
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10592 forum posts
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Used JR since the 80's Piers and never had a single fault, i shouldn't worry about it.

John

Don Fry01/01/2017 18:03:15
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3943 forum posts
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Yep, unless you want a radio controlled earthworm where you're going, perhaps the pyrophillic variety.

Piers Bowlan01/01/2017 18:03:56
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I that case I won't. Happy New Year John. Er sorry, you lost me there Donald!

Edited By Piers Bowlan on 01/01/2017 18:11:06

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