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I guess I should be a magazine editor. I have said similar things for years.

Except and this is a big disagreement with the writer of that article; Campy does not need to necessarily ditch the retro aspect of their business. In fact they need to pay a little more attention to it. I don't feel that it would hurt Campy to produce a 7 or 8 speed group; a NR with a cassette. There are lots of riders in the late 40's on up who have very little need or desire to replace their entire drive train with 10 or 11 speeds but do not really want to ride a cheap Shi(t)mano sub Tiagra hub.

I do agree that marketing is Campy's weird point. They have produced great products that at times they simply didn't market well. Case in point the flatbar shifters. I believe that if Campy had marketed those as a group with a group name they'd have sold well enough to still be made.

Other times Campy were way ahead of a curve but the product was only about 85% percent correct. The Delta brakes were an example of that as were the Bullet shifters. They were the first shifter to index front and rear shifting. They work well are totally bullet proof and last for years but had issues with weight and not being usable with bar end. They are also a bear to install properly. I've ridden them on a commuter for years but MTB riders are always afraid of an accidental shift because of the twist (It isn't a problem as the action on them is quite stiff) The funky way that the Record OR chain-wheels were all held onto the crank by a lock-ring just like the cassette and bottom bracket is another example. These were innovative products that if they'd been made by Shi(t)mano would, with the possible exception of the shifters, still be produced
 

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Fai Mao said:
Except and this is a big disagreement with the writer of that article; Campy does not need to necessarily ditch the retro aspect of their business. In fact they need to pay a little more attention to it. I don't feel that it would hurt Campy to produce a 7 or 8 speed group; a NR with a cassette. There are lots of riders in the late 40's on up who have very little need or desire to replace their entire drive train with 10 or 11 speeds but do not really want to ride a cheap Shi(t)mano sub Tiagra hub.
Agreed, CF is great stuff but not everyone wants or can afford it. Lets see what the future holds for an all alloy Athena group. If it succeeds in the market then maybe someone will get that CF isn't all that.

Fai Mao said:
I do agree that marketing is Campy's weird point. They have produced great products that at times they simply didn't market well. Case in point the flatbar shifters. I believe that if Campy had marketed those as a group with a group name they'd have sold well enough to still be made.
The Japanese made wonderful cars in the early years but couldn't market them until they started their American design studios. Americans aren't Europeans and just don't want the same thing. Give us what we want and we'll buy it.

I agree on the flat bar parts. Look at how Shimano and SRAM are grabbing up market share on the flat bar road market. Why couldn't Campy do the same. Their product is better.
 

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metanoize said:
An Open Letter to Campagnolo - Embrocation Cycling Journal

http://www.embrocationmagazine.com/online/campagnolo
It's hard for me to distinguish Campagnolo International's problems versus Campagnolo USA's problems. Take the US pricing white elephant for example. To me, it is merely a Campy USA problem, not a Campy Intl problem. I am happy to buy from abroad, because:
1. I have all the necessary tools.
2. I have the confidence to install my own parts.
3. I have the confidence to be able to fix 95% of the problems that I encounter.
4. And more importantly, so far I have not had to deal with any warranty issues.
However, I do not know what percentage of Campy users are like me. Even on this forum there are many posts of unhappy buyers who require warranty service from Campy USA.

And this brings up another "issue", which is that very few OEM complete bikes come with Campy anymore. And this correlates with fewer bike shops having favorable disposition to Campy. I agree with the article that Campy needs to step up involvement at the grassroots level, both by trying to convert younger riders to Campy and also in supporting bike shops. Their advertising can definitely be BETTER.

Through all these discussions though, one thing that we should think about is what Campy's take on growth is. Do they actually care to try to grow another 10%? Another 50%? Or another 100%? And are we talking about Campy USA or Campy Intl?
 

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Good point. It's totally possible that they are satisfied with the size and profitability of their company and can carry on status quo indefinitely. I know it's some sort of sin in american business to not try to grow every freakin' business to the size and dominance of walmart. But this is not as common of a desire in other countries.
 

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There is an entire generation of riders that have neever seen or worked on Campy and the new Campy NA guys know that. The released a program to dealers and for teams a few weeks ago so they are at least headed in the right direction.

On the 'new' chainring bolt thing. Cannondale has been doing that for a while with its ''no nuts'' system.

Starnut
 

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pacificaslim said:
Good point. It's totally possible that they are satisfied with the size and profitability of their company and can carry on status quo indefinitely. I know it's some sort of sin in american business to not try to grow every freakin' business to the size and dominance of walmart. But this is not as common of a desire in other countries.
I dunno... in a good, stable market, there's seemingly nothing wrong with being niche.

But when things turn/the unexpected happens, or there's ever a need to invest heavily in expensive new tech/tooling, niche players sometimes get wiped out, or bought out. I think having a broader-based appeal is more conducive to long-term independence/survival.

Ppl will say, "Well, Lamborghini and Ferrari seem to do fine being niche." Yeah, but Lamborghini is owned by Audi/VW and Ferrari is owned by Fiat, lol.

I think Campy just gave up on trying to compete against the Shimano juggernaut, and decided that they were 'going to be where Shimano weren't' in order to survive. Then SRAM comes along years later and proves its possible to take Shimano on head-on and do well. Hmm.

Maybe it's bitter memories for them, or a lack of vision at the top, but Campy just doesn't seem to be that interested in expanding their share of the market, and they and their faithful have all the rationalizations in the world as to why that's okay. Just my 2.0 cents.


/ btw, I do like Campy. I just wish they were a bit bolder.
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I'm a campy guy, even my commuter is campy. I buy my stuff overseas because even a "bike shop buddy hook up deal" is considerably more than what I would pay at Ribble or PBK. Campy has a marketing problem in the US and it all goes back to OEM. ShimaNo and SRAM can drop the big bucks on support and advertising because they can convince joe biker with his Trek or Sbrand to upgrade his parts to DuraAce or Red. Campy is a greater commitment and very few bikes are OEM campy. Most of the campy riders I know start out with Chorus or Record and ride it until it's obsolete and beyond.
 

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classiquesklassieker
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You're absolutely right about the scaling of size/market share and survivability. One real risk here, I think, is increasing difficulty in finding a Campy-experienced shop. Not only for sales, but also for support and warranty issues. But maybe the technical support angle is already being satisfied by online remote service providers like Branford Bike.

I think that right now Campy USA/NA is banking on a zero-growth strategy. Or maybe even NEGATIVE revenue growth but positive profit growth. At least I hope that they are, given the way they have set their pricing policy. Whether this is good or bad for Campy Intl remains to be seen. This kind of strategy is far from unique, just look at Harley-Davidson. Even with falling revenue, their profit has increased steadily.

Compared with the Ferrari and Lamborghini comparison, I think that one key issue the car industry is facing is the very high cost of developing significantly different new technology, such as hybrids. That's why Ferrari and Lambo cannot survive on their own, and they have to have a large-revenue outfit like Fiat and VW/Audi to shore up the cost effectiveness of the technology investments.

Right now, if a magical new material were to come around to replace the role of carbon and alu, steel, Ti, then I expect that Campy would be in deep trouble whereas Shimano and SRAM may be able to absorb the costs. Either that, or increased regulation such as in the pharma industry.
 

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orange_julius said:
Compared with the Ferrari and Lamborghini comparison, I think that one key issue the car industry is facing is the very high cost of developing significantly different new technology, such as hybrids. That's why Ferrari and Lambo cannot survive on their own, and they have to have a large-revenue outfit like Fiat and VW/Audi to shore up the cost effectiveness of the technology investments.
Not saying that your general point is wrong, but just as a heads-up, Audi/VW didn't buy Lamborghini 'til the late '90s, and Fiat took a 50% stake in Ferrari back in 1969. Obviously well before hybrids were ever an issue.

What is true is that developing new car platforms is a pricey business, and it's hard for small companies to absorb those kind of costs/make those kind of investments unless absolutely everything they make sells well. And it's difficult to have that kind of winning steak forever and ever amen. :(

orange_julius said:
I think that right now Campy USA/NA is banking on a zero-growth strategy. Or maybe even NEGATIVE revenue growth but positive profit growth. At least I hope that they are, given the way they have set their pricing policy. Whether this is good or bad for Campy Intl remains to be seen. This kind of strategy is far from unique, just look at Harley-Davidson. Even with falling revenue, their profit has increased steadily.
I think that's probably an accurate assessment. And maybe in the short term, 'milking it in the US' will help Campy's bottom line.

But in the long-term, what are they doing? Destroying the brand with most any LBS in one of the richest markets in the world. Ensuring that only hobbyists/DIYers who order from Euro online shops will use Campy in the US. Pretty much killing any hope of making any American converts or growing the market signficantly here.

Might work well for 'em in the short-term. But long-term, doesn't seem like the most brilliant move.

I only hope this strategy isn't borne out of desperation, i.e. things are worse at Campy than is commonly believed.
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I THINK the reason that they have the Euro blow outs is not that they sell it out the back door locally but the Law. The EU has VERY strick price fixing laws. Either Campy or Campy USA actually has the US distributors sign a contract with a minimum price (according to the distributor my local shop spoke to recently when they decided to order from over seas for their personal rides), this is strictly illegal in Europe so the pricing is much more effected by the market itself.

So I have my Campy Chorus 11 spd for WELL under a grand cause I bought from Europe and they offered free shipping. Whats funny (or sad depending on your view) is that there were even steeper discounts on Record and Super record, but for me Chorus has always been fine so I didn't see a need to spend more cash.

So it may be they don't care about the US market. It may also be that they are looking at the US market as a place to make up for some of they cash they lose in Europe.

I do know that if I could not order from Europe, when I did swap out my Chorus 10spd for something new, it would have been SRAM and not Campy that I bought.
 

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badge118 said:
I THINK the reason that they have the Euro blow outs is not that they sell it out the back door locally but the Law. The EU has VERY strick price fixing laws. Either Campy or Campy USA actually has the US distributors sign a contract with a minimum price (according to the distributor my local shop spoke to recently when they decided to order from over seas for their personal rides), this is strictly illegal in Europe so the pricing is much more effected by the market itself.

So I have my Campy Chorus 11 spd for WELL under a grand cause I bought from Europe and they offered free shipping. Whats funny (or sad depending on your view) is that there were even steeper discounts on Record and Super record, but for me Chorus has always been fine so I didn't see a need to spend more cash.

So it may be they don't care about the US market. It may also be that they are looking at the US market as a place to make up for some of they cash they lose in Europe.

I do know that if I could not order from Europe, when I did swap out my Chorus 10spd for something new, it would have been SRAM and not Campy that I bought.
I see what you are saying about pricing laws. But you should distinguish between Campy Intl, Campy NA, and Campy Europe (if there is such a thing). If Campy Intl feels that they need to make more money, they can increase their wholesale price. That's how they make money anyway.

From what you are saying, European Campy retailers are more willing and able to work with smaller margins, and that their distributor cannot stop them from doing this. Whereas Campy NA decided on much higher margins and insisted that the NA retailers comply with this (there being no legal impediment to this insistence in NA?).

I'm not sure how this affects Campy Intl's bottom line, however.
 

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orange_julius said:
Compared with the Ferrari and Lamborghini comparison, I think that one key issue the car industry is facing is the very high cost of developing significantly different new technology, such as hybrids. That's why Ferrari and Lambo cannot survive on their own, and they have to have a large-revenue outfit like Fiat and VW/Audi to shore up the cost effectiveness of the technology investments.
Sorry but this was bothering me. Ferrari is turning profits for Fiat who is struggling. Even with all of Ferrari's development cost they turn healthy profits. This is because most of the technological advanced are done at the track. Be it in F1, GT2, their challenge car series, or the FXX and 599XX programs. These are are sponsored by companies or individual with way too much money. Thats why Ferrari and Porsche are so great because theres produces come from what they learn in a race environment, much like what Campy seem to do.

But you right about Lambo. It wouldn't surprise me if they are sold within a few years.
 

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SEK82089 said:
But you right about Lambo. It wouldn't surprise me if they are sold within a few years.
You think Audi/VW will sell Lambo?

Wonder who the potential takers would be. :idea:
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SystemShock said:
You think Audi/VW will sell Lambo?

Wonder who the potential takers would be. :idea:
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I could see them selling off Lambo, Bugatti, and maybe Bentley. The way it stand, Lambo only has 2 models with only one of them offering something the Audi/VW don't have. The Lambo Murciélago is the only thing that Audi/VW aren't replicating in one of their auto lines. And even then that car is due to be replace in the next year or so.

The Lambo Gallardo is a flashy version of the Audi R8. They both use the same engine and now both come in convertible. I'm not 100% sure but I think the R8 is cheap by some margin and imo looks way better.

Those 3 manufactures just don't really seem to fit into Audi/VW family tree without some justification. The whole VW means "people's car" seems to point to a company producing vehicles that are attainable but everyone and those 3 companies produce cars that are not. Don't get me wrong, I love sports cars, but I think that If Lambo doesn't fit into VW's way of thinking. With costs of developing a new super car I think they will not stay.
 

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I read that article and laughed out loud. Have you ever seen these embro guys? Talk about a bunch of insecure dudes that have to make themselves stick out by plastering their bodies with tattoos - it was comical. Here is what I don't get - SRAM came in and took on Shimano, not campy - at least here in the US. Sure there are some euro teams who ride SRAM whereas they used to ride Campy, but most of the teams were on Shimano (think saxo). As for the domestic scene, well, sure, SRAM has a lock there, but so too does Trek, Specialized and Dale and not everyone is on one of those. I think it's clear - Campy will never, ever make a hard play here in the US. That's fine by me, but it does get frustrating that shops don't know the brand, but then again they don't know the first thing on bikes either.

I can say this, I have a shimano bike, I've used SRAM and I can say without hesitation campy chorus kills em all. I'm not saying it will make you faster, but I am saying it's better.
 

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pacificaslim said:
Good point. It's totally possible that they are satisfied with the size and profitability of their company and can carry on status quo indefinitely. I know it's some sort of sin in american business to not try to grow every freakin' business to the size and dominance of walmart. But this is not as common of a desire in other countries.
Exactly, one only needs to look at Harely Davidson (circa 1980, 1981 with the AMF buyout), and GM or Toyota USA for that matter to realize that sometimes companies should be happy with ensuring they do what they do best (what got them to that point) rather than trying to conquer the world. I'd prefer to run a smaller, leaner, profitable company than an overgrown gorilla that is a slave to creditors, shareholders, etc.
 

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Mr. Scary said:
rather than trying to conquer the world. I'd prefer to run a smaller, leaner, profitable company than an overgrown gorilla that is a slave to creditors, shareholders, etc.
By overgrown you mean like Shimano.
 
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