Page 6 of 8 FirstFirst ... 45678 LastLast
Results 51 to 60 of 75
Like Tree7Likes

Thread: Ariel china ???

  1. #51
    Quote Originally Posted by AtomJohnny View Post
    What is immoral is to enter a deal with someone and when it goes pear-shaped to try and block them from making an attempt to recover their lost investment.
    I agree with a good bit of what Johnny says, particularly with respect to quality of Chinese manufactured products. Being made in Chine is not in itself a sign inadequate quality. To me, that is not the point.

    Most business ventures involve substantial risk of capital. I do not believe a failed venture entitles an investor to dump the byproducts of it's failed efforts into a market of unsuspecting prospects in a way that clearly undermines the interests of the other venture partners.

    Imagine if the drug companies decided to do this with the compounds into which they had deeply invested which subsequently went "pear-shaped". By the quoted reasoning they should sell them under another name and maybe in a different country.

    It has always been true that some folks will do anything to make a buck and morality hardly enters into it for them. When it comes to buying a special interest limited production thing like an Atom, a D2 or D4, the integrity of the manufacturer is of great importance. Many were less than happy with Brammo, based on their experiences and view that integrity was lacking in it's conduct. By all accounts, TMI has done just the oposite and has earned a strong reputation for being upright in their dealings. It is the high road and I applaud them for taking it, despite it being the more difficult choice.

    I have considered purchasing one of the DP series cars. This episode and especially Mr. Palatov's childish responses to Mark have helped me see him in a way that eliminates further consideration of that. I'm sure he will do fine without me, and bear him no ill will, but prefer to deal with folks whose idea of integrity is closer to my own.
    sector: 4 likes this.
    Rogers, Arkansas
    My Atoms are gone to new homes ...

  2. #52
    Proton FourFather's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    Wichita Falls, Texas, United States
    Posts
    776
    Country
    United States
    Very well said, Randy. As you are one of the most enthusiastic motorsports participants, and probably the most hororable and ethical person, I have ever met, your opinion carries maximum weight with me, and I thank you for stating your opinion.

    Eddie :
    Eddie FourFather Hill
    Top Fuel Champion on land and water
    www.eddiehillsfuncycles.com since 1966
    Honda, Kawasaki, Polaris, Yamaha

  3. #53
    Ion
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Posts
    93
    Country
    United States
    Quote Originally Posted by Norm View Post
    So Havok, how significant of an issue is this? By that, I mean how many chassis are sitting around waiting to be sold. By what was stated, I am inferring that there some outside of the Portland connection's influence that they could still get their hands on. Any idea what the total numbers are?
    The number mentioned was 18 chassis available in total (Altra has two). From what Dennis said, the manufacturer only sold *two* cars in China. Apparently it's not possible to get them approved for street use there and there is essentially no access to tracks where they could be used-- hence no domestic demand over a couple years now. The manufacturer moved on to other things (electrics) and had contacted Palatov Motorsport to consult on their new projects. The availability of the leftover chassis just fell out of that relationship.

    FrankRizzo kinda nailed it a few days ago-- for all intents and purposes these are an end of run 'overstock' that are now up for a clearance sale.

  4. #54
    Ion
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Posts
    93
    Country
    United States
    Quote Originally Posted by RandyLamp View Post
    Most business ventures involve substantial risk of capital. I do not believe a failed venture entitles an investor to dump the byproducts of it's failed efforts into a market of unsuspecting prospects in a way that clearly undermines the interests of the other venture partners.
    For what it's worth, that happens a lot in other industries (I'm familiar with tech in particular). Back in the day, the company FrankRizzo and I worked for got clobbered on three separate occasions when a much bigger company (Intel!) decided they were going to exit a market and just dump their inventory. (Once when they got out of modems, then when they got out of PCMCIA cards, then when they got out of graphics cards and finally when they dumped MP3 players. Wait... That's four! On some items, the firesale prices were less than we could manufacture our competing products for!)

    HP just did it recently when they ditched their attempt at tablets. Retail priced at $499 and $599. They sold ~25,000 out of 270,000 built in the first few weeks, so 49 days after it came out they discontinued the product line and dumped a quarter million units for $99/$149. (Their cost of goods was estimated to be ~$315/ea.)

    Working backwards from the numbers, by the time you deduct shipping costs, eBay/Paypal fees, and some profit margin to Altra, even with Chinese manufacturing prowess I have to believe that based on what's in the box the manufacturer is probably taking a loss on what's actually being sold vs. the fully burdened costs. (But for them, better to recover some $$$ than just sell 'em by the pound to a metal recycler in China.)

  5. #55
    Quote Originally Posted by havok1919 View Post
    For what it's worth, that happens a lot in other industries (I'm familiar with tech in particular). Back in the day, the company FrankRizzo and I worked for got clobbered on three separate occasions when a much bigger company (Intel!) decided they were going to exit a market and just dump their inventory. (Once when they got out of modems, then when they got out of PCMCIA cards, then when they got out of graphics cards and finally when they dumped MP3 players. Wait... That's four! On some items, the firesale prices were less than we could manufacture our competing products for!)
    i would agree that this is a good parallel if the modems, graphics cards, etc. were designed by you and Intel had entered into a licensing deal to produce your design. Did Intel dump products for which you had exclusive design? If not, then your example would apply to how other car makers might feel about this, but not as it relates to Ariel and TMI.
    Rogers, Arkansas
    My Atoms are gone to new homes ...

  6. #56
    Ion
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Posts
    93
    Country
    United States
    Quote Originally Posted by RandyLamp View Post
    i would agree that this is a good parallel if the modems, graphics cards, etc. were designed by you and Intel had entered into a licensing deal to produce your design. Did Intel dump products for which you had exclusive design? If not, then your example would apply to how other car makers might feel about this, but not as it relates to Ariel and TMI.
    Valid point. I think the "exactness" is what makes this an interesting/unique situation. If these had some 'x' braces instead of 'v' on the sides and they were 1" longer than the originals I think everyone would agree that there's not a damn thing anybody could claim to do about it. It might come down to "does the design of the Atom body constitute 'sculptural authorship' and not 'mechanical function'". Therefore copyright protected or not? (Courts may be pretty lenient with that definition on an automobile given the huge market and history of availability of aftermarket replacement parts.)

    If the Chinese really did reverse engineer the entire thing from one car/frame they bought on the open market and built all their own tooling and factory setup without help from Ariel ("clean roomed" it), the issue of the license may be somewhat moot-- we could have just as easily been seeing "replica" frames coming out of there without any cooperation from Ariel. (Negotiations could have been "we've made this and are going to sell them with or without you as 'replicas', but we'd rather have the license with you to do it as an actual Atom".) I agree with the fallout though; kinda sucks for TMI. Paying for an exclusive license to be the US manufacturer and then having to deal with fallout from Ariel's other licensing deal gone bad can't be fun.

    As I think someone else mentioned earlier it all might just boil down to a contract dispute between Ariel and their licensee. Can the licensee sell the frames to anyone outside China? (And if it was defined in the license agreement, does that clause survive termination of the agreement for remaining stock on hand? Wonder where governing law for that agreement is... *shudder*)

    If there's a silver lining (other than the 'limited to stock on hand' news), I see it as the parts would have made it over here in some way through some channel or other eventually anyway-- and at least Altra is identifying them as "replicas" and we know about it. Better than having someone import and build 'em up on the down-low and sell them as genuine Ariel/Brammo/TMI cars to unsuspecting buyers and create a huge mess months/years from now with people unknowingly having purchased 'counterfeit' cars!

    I can't help but think this would be a great topic for the Harvard Business Review. Jan-Feb 2013 has a similar fictionalized case study: "Will Our Partner Steal Our IP?"

    http://pedroantaoalves.files.wordpre...eal-our-ip.pdf

  7. #57
    Electron
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
    Posts
    243
    Country
    United States
    Unfortunately Honor/morality and legality have never been on the same path, if they were, no lawyer would have a job. My company have fought and won 2 trademark infringement against us, and still in the process of dealing with another trademark and several other copyright violations atm, so I know the feeling.
    Somewhat sad but a fact of life that we have to live with

  8. #58
    Quote Originally Posted by atom ant View Post
    Unfortunately Honor/morality and legality have never been on the same path, ...
    I agree with you and Havok. My comments were in response to the suggestion that it is somehow imoral for Ariel/TMI to defend what is clearly their intellectual property. Clever lawyering might result in a judgement that what Palatov is doing is not strictly-speaking illegal. Courtrooms regularly churn out such results based on the skimpiest of technicalities.

    Keep in mind the proportions here. I don't have TMI production numbers, but Brammos are well known. The entire production run of Brammo Atoms from 2005 through 2009 was less than 140 cars. During that period total Ferrari Scuderia 430 production was around 7,300. If in fact there are 18 of these unauthorized copies, that would be the numerical equivalent of dumping 938 "unauthorized" Scuderia 430s into the US market. Would it be imoral for Ferrari to defend?

    I am saddened because going forward, every Atom offered for sale will be subject to a realistic skepticism of it's origins. With such exact copies being pushed into the marketplace, a new level of scrutiny will need to be applied by potential buyers.
    Rogers, Arkansas
    My Atoms are gone to new homes ...

  9. #59
    Neutrino Norm's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Location
    Lake Tapps, WA
    Posts
    2,223
    Country
    United States
    I have thought about this long and hard and I agree with Randy 100%, can't really add much to what has been said.

    FYI, Dennis is posting on the not Atom only forum ExoCars.com ExoCars, Kit Car Forum, Atom Ariel, Kit Speed, Superlite Roadster, Cobra, reverse trike, lotus, Caterham, Sonic7,Ariel Atom, KTM, for sale, regarding this issue

  10. #60
    Lepton AtomJohnny's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    Auckland
    Posts
    284
    Country
    New Zealand
    Quote Originally Posted by RandyLamp View Post
    Imagine if the drug companies decided to do this with the compounds into which they had deeply invested which subsequently went "pear-shaped". By the quoted reasoning they should sell them under another name and maybe in a different country.
    Quote Originally Posted by RandyLamp View Post
    I agree with you and Havok. My comments were in response to the suggestion that it is somehow imoral for Ariel/TMI to defend what is clearly their intellectual property.
    Hi Randy, Glad to see you're still around despite giving up your car. It seems you may have understood the part of my post that you don't agree with. I definitely don't condone the flooding of any market with sub-standard products and I certainly don't agree with piracy of other peoples IP.

    What I question is this reverse engineering. From memory there was an announcement, with all the fanfare, of Atoms to be made in China. Condoned by Simon with the promise of it yielding some feedback from a race class to be run there. (This feedback is probably now coming back from the SRA series.) At the same time as the announcement 18 chassis (same number that's just been quoted) appeared in China. There is no sign of jigs or manufacturing and that number has remained unchanged in 3 years. Surely if you can make them you'd make to order as they were sold instead of rushing to make 18 and no more. Or if the chinese are that unscrupulous and were geared up to make the frames why stop at 18? Why not flood the market with 100?

    My guess is that these chassis were made by Arch Motorsport in the UK, the same as Ariel's. Even the photos suggest they are too good to be some cheap knock off. So they have been paid for and could be bought back by the supplier even at a reduced rate. To me it's as if I were to sell you 10 computers that you had lined up for a job, then when the job fell through I refused to take them back or let you sell them to anyone else. I'm more inclined to help you find a buyer for them and have you respect me as a supplier than leave you swinging. I guess I'm not as cut-throat as some business people.

    Also I hate waste and like to help others so I see it as an opportunity to help 18 other owners into cars rather than put all that nice work onto a scrap heap. After all if Ariel/TMI continue another 20 years then 18 cars will seem insignificant. If they are not going to be around that long then perhaps I'd best get one as a spare.
    Last edited by AtomJohnny; March 11, 2013 at 06:48 AM.
    01100001 01110100 01101111 01101101 00110001

Page 6 of 8 FirstFirst ... 45678 LastLast

Similar Threads

  1. Ariel China gone rogue?
    By bolus in forum General Ariel Atom Discussion (for all UK and US versions)
    Replies: 21
    Last Post: March 10, 2013, 12:35 PM

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •