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Discussion in 'Other Guns' started by guru2sum, Nov 24, 2017.
Maybe if they spent a little more on QC on the products they churn out so they don't have so many lemons out there on the shelves, it might help rebuild their reputation after the whole R51 gave them quite a black eye. Even their "improved" version of the R51 is buggy as heck, and while handling an RM380 at Sportsman's Warehouse some months ago, the darned thing locked up just from pulling back the slide - the takedown pin walked itself out somehow just by racking the slide, and it refused to budge one way or the other. I even had hopes the RP9/RP45 would be a good deal, and it at least has the POTENTIAL to be a good pistol, but again it's been plagued with a lot of reports of poor quality control, which doesn't help their reputation.
Add to that the current post-election market saturation of firearms - everyone bought up a bunch of stuff in anticipation of Hillary winning, but now that Trump's in office, a lot of folks are thinking it's "safe" now and aren't buying so much - and you have a situation where a tough time is made even worse.
They reeeeeeally need to make some serious changes on the corporate executive leadership level before they completely sink.
If they go bankrupt, warranty and parts might not be available.
Don't hold your breath. As they say down south: "Remington ain't going nowhere"...
They are not going bankrupt. They may be less profitable for a few years or operate at a loss for a few, but that's it. My
Edit: And they wouldn't be hiring white-collar workers, TODAY!
Or it could be an indication the Engineering Manager bailed because of his inside information or lack of corporate financial/staff support.
It would be a shame to lose the Remington and other lines.
The EM is only one of 10 good job openings.
If they were in a bind, there would be a hiring freeze on high-salary positions.
They are running wide open.
Their earnings will be down, but they are in it for the long haul.
I am not worried about them going bankrupt at all.
*of course, I could be completely wrong.
Or, if Remington was in serious trouble (it is), their upper management would be axing the people who caused the problems or shuffling them to the side and hiring people who can turn that big ship around. I suspect that's what the new hires at Remington are all about... or back filling the positions of insiders who are close enough to the problem to read the writing on the wall and who jumped ship while they could. It's much easier to be hired away from a big company like Remington before it's a big hulking dead company.
At this point, Remington's real problem is their well earned negatively trending reputation. As difficult as it'll be to fix the problems they've had in engineering and manufacturing, I think their marketing department has a much tougher row to hoe. I haven't liked the looks of any Remington products in recent memory, and while aesthetics are very subjective, I've read many similar comments online recently so it's not just me. Even worse, their image problems are more than skin deep. Gun buyers are very concerned about Remington quality, both in design and manufacturing. Seemingly every Remington article and blog post has at least one person comment, "They don't call it Rem**** for nothing." They have some strong negative images to overcome among their potential customers. The problem is much more systemic than the R51, which is generally regarded as an ugly pistol that is unreliable and so dangerous that it was recalled. It seems every new Remington product was either met with lackluster response from the market, or lackluster response plus a recall.
Speaking of recalls, I was particularly put out by Remington's response to their 17 HMR Model 597 recall. Basically, send it in and we'll give you $200 off the purchase of another Remington product. Never mind that their customers spent between $350 and $450 on these rifles. I was thinking of getting the 597 in 17 HMR when this fiasco broke. If I owned a 597, I'd have been seriously upset about them selling me a dangerously malfunctioning firearm after Hornady warned Remington in advance that the 17 HMR ammunition wasn't suitable for use in a semi-automatic firearm without some serious engineering work to verify it can be done safely. Remington hung out their customers on that deal. That was the last time I considered purchasing a Remington, and I'm not exactly a fussy buyer. I'll buy almost anything that goes bang (and not kaboom) that wasn't made by anti-gun turncoat hypocrites.
Remington has had a lot of recalls. Firearms and ammo. Not just new firearms designs, either. Their once lauded 700 rifles had a huge recall for unsafe triggers. I think 60 Minutes even did a hit segment on it.
Among Marlin fans, there is a persistent belief that "Remington bought out Marlin and then ruined Marlin. I think the business end of that tale is a bit more complicated but the basic story is fundamentally true. There are many Marlin collectors who won't buy a Marlin that was made in a Remington factory.
Remington may be a large company with well heeled owners (Freedom Group, which is itself owned by Cerberus Capital Management), but they cannot continue to fail so miserably. It's simply unsustainable. I suspect it's already too late for Remington. Once a company develops this much animosity among their potential customers, it's almost impossible to overcome that. Being such a large company prolongs the agony, but that inertia works both ways and right now it's working against Remington.
I've bought Remington products and plan on buying more. I did buy an R51 Gen 1. The biggest problem they had with the Gen 1 fiasco was not being transparent and keeping everything hidden from R51 owners. I now own a Gen 2 and a 1911R1, a serious $$$ upgrade from the R51. As a customer, I thought that was great. I paid the $ for an R51. They took that back and send me a 1911R1 valued at R51+$$$.
I am on a R51 forum.
From what I can see, the reports of serious bugs with the R51 are exaggerated. You know how it is here on TheKTOG, people posting with problems are much higher than people who post, "hey, I'm not having any problems, just wanted to let you know." But even on the R51 forum, I don't see a whole lot of people posting who have problems to sort out. Those that do usually revolve around the magazines. My R51 is not perfect, but it does run reliably and it does tick all the boxes that Remington claims it does. It's a reliable, comfortable, naturally shooting, all metal gun. The barrel is stainless, the slide is nitrocarborized. It has a lot going for it.
That said, there are a few things that I tick in the "things I don't like or would change" column.
Yeah, there are lemons. Every product has them. The question is, are there more lemons in the Remington products than competitors? I don't know, to be completely honest. No one knows because none of the gun companies publish statistics on how many lemons they have. But I really don't get the feel that there are.
Peace favor your sword,
I agree with Lawson.
Handguns are everything? NOT!
Do you really think the manufacturer of the most popular auto-loading shotgun in history is just going to vanish in a puff of smoke?
Anybody remember Colt going bankrupt?
No more Colt pistols
no more Colt AR-15's
Colt stacked all their chips on military/LE contracts and turned a deaf ear to the public.
They have since wised-up.
Remington's excursion into handgun production is well, very 'Kel-Tec like'.
We definitely need to stay tuned in on Remington
If Remington keeps posting huge losses, yes, they will go bankrupt. No past product successes ensure perpetual existence despite long term ongoing losses. The bond prices are a good reflection of what the market knows about the long term solvency of Remington. They've made the transition from troubled to nearly doomed.
All I see is the bond prices reaction to the news article (from people manipulating the market).
Take a step back and realize that Remington is owned by Cerberus Capital Management LP.
Which just bought $1.2 Billion worth of Deutsche Bank AG last week:
(yawn)... just for fun.
Do you really think Remington losing 10-20 million$ is going to make them pee their pants?
If Kel-Tec lost that much there wouldn't even be a parking lot left.
For Cerberus, it would be like a tip for a valet.
Often, when corporations are bought by large equity companies, that corporation becomes lazy and nonproductive. They believe they have access to all the cash they need, so the bad habits that got them in trouble become addictions. It's sort of like welfare for corporations. When that happens and the company becomes a consistent nonproductive loser, hemorrhaging cash, quarter after quarter, the company that was bought is just as quickly sold, often to a raider or vulture that breaks it up and sells off the bits to the highest bidder. It's a brutal process. It's no fun to see a once proud and prosperous company hauled off to the knackers. When a big company like Remington folds, there are massive layoffs.
Cerberus specializes in distressed investments. The very fact that Cerberus bought them is an indication that Remington has been mismanaged for so long that it is now in serious trouble. The previous ten years have been a huge boon for the firearms industry and Remington managed to lose money and market share during this boom phase. Now there is the inevitable contraction. If Remington couldn't make money when there was a lot of money to be made, what are their chances of getting their train wreck back on the tracks during lean times for the industry? Cerberus is a private investment company. It's not a charity. They're in business to make money. They'll probably change up the management and other key personnel and invest money as long as they believe that Remington can turn it around. Once they become convinced that Remington isn't able to fix its problems, perhaps because of loss of goodwill in the market, they'll drop Remington like a bad habit.
The argument that Cerberus is a huge company and they can afford Remington's ongoing losses is a lot like the specious argument that the United States is a big country and it can sustain exponential increases in the national debt and unfunded liabilities indefinitely. That statement is completely true... right up until the unfortunate day when it is not true.
That which cannot be sustained will not be sustained.
Corollary: The bigger they are, the harder they fall.
To somewhat restate my position: There is a perception in much of the gun community that Remington is producing sub-par, buggy, junk. I believe that this is not true. It is certainly not reflected in the Remington products which I have bought nor in most of the personal reports I've seen. I believe that the reports of problems with Remington products, in particular the R51 Gen 2 and certain "shortcomings" of design/expectation of the RP9, are not just exaggerated, but vastly exaggerated in some sort of feed-back loop, mostly perpetrated by <cough> "new media" "citizen reporters" who often lack experience, perspective, are badly in need of a basic Business Ethics course, and are desperate for attention and deep into the pile-on "me too" circuit. But that's the new reality and, while I can complain that the "old media" is dominated by can't-changers intent on indoctrination and propaganda and that the "new media" is brimming with untalented, untrained, business/media ignorant, wannabe stars, complaining about it doesn't change things.
Worse, humans are an unforgiving lot. I was going to say, "the gun community" but I realized that we in said community usually act the same way as those outside. But humans are an unforgiving lot and when the R51 Gen 1 had serious problems, which Remington mismanaged the optics of, few were willing to be unbiased about any new products such as the Gen 2 or the RP9. The summation of this is a "stacked deck" of perception. "New media" personalities are desperately trying to find anything to stand out and get recognized so they look for problems which may not be there and find ways to exaggerate small or even non-issues (Sig P320 anyone?) and the gun community (humans) are all too ready, eager even, to accept a distorted perception as reality. Remington could literally be buying Glocks and rebranding them and the "gun community" would find ways to blame them, hate it, speculate how it's a terrible product, and refuse to buy them "just on principle."
Is Remington having financial problems? Unequivocally yes. Is it "mismanagement?" Probably. They horribly mismanaged the optics of the R51 Gen 1 recall, making the process so opaque as to anger people who were willing to give them a chance. Remington was late the the "Carry Revolution" and to the exploding gun competition market. They focused on a dwindling hunting market and missed the boat on MSR, CC handguns, and striker polymer handguns, coming in LATE on all of them. Even now the Remington MSR's are still exclusively hunting. Remington's bread and butter for the last 50 years has been hunting but it's a shrinking market. They only just recently, as a corporate entity, figured out (similar to Colt) that this is a death-spiral, and are trying to expand into the growing segments. But because they have no real experience with that market they keep making missteps or are being penalized because of their lateness to the game.
My opinion is the gun community is not a monoculture. Hunters still like Remington. The 700 is still popular with the rifle marksmans community. But that's not enough to keep Remington going in its current structure and Remington desperately needs the MSR buyers, the CC buyers, the Duty Gun and the Competition Pistol (full sized, polymer, striker-fired) buyers. Those last three segments have a significant percentage who believe that Remington is either irrelevant or makes shoddy products (or feels like they have been burned/know someone who they feel got burned and won't "take the chance"). And those last three (MSR/CC/Competition) is the largest segment of "the gun community," the segment which is growing, which made the last Black Friday NICS checks record breaking.
Because this growing part isn't buying Remington products, the Financial Market sees that and reflects it. The Financial Market DOES NOT CARE if Remington makes good products or bad products. They care if people are buying Remington products.
I think you're going to see an up-tick of Remington in post-Christmas financial figures. I know of people who were willing to give Remington a chance on the pistols because of the steep discounts and rebates but couldn't buy the product because the retailer was sold out.
How "good" will that be for Remington? I don't know. If the vast majority of Remington products are just fine (as I believe) then the buyers will use them and ignore "new media" and "social media experts." Old school "word of mouth" will slooooowly spread on the reliability of the products. If that happens, and if Remington can survive until their reputation is rebuilt. But if the percentage of lemons is "too high" (whatever that may be) or if there isn't a critical mass of market saturation of Remington products, then there will be no reputation repair and Remington will be dumped rudely back in pure hunting only products. That will probably doom them as a manufacturing entity because it's hard to compete with imports.
Will Remington survive another hundred years? I dunno. But I don't expect them to be gone in 10.
Peace favor your sword,
I go through a good number of guns for various reasons and I actually designed the VersaMax Competition model. I knew 3 engineers and 3 top executives at Remington up until recently. Now, they are all gone. The QC has declined in some (not all) of their product lines as well. They had some serious QC issues in some lines, others were minor. But being behind the curtain, it sure looked to me like apathy more than anything else. Bean counters over-ruling designers, marketers and engineers is never a good strategy from a health perspective. Yes, they built a new factory in Alabama for ammunition production.
All that said, the moves they have made in the past 5 years make them ripe for a buyout, which the owners may in fact have done on purpose. They are also well positioned for a buy and sell off of the profitable lines while liquidating those losing money. Also realize it is not just "Remington" but also Bushmaster, AAC, Marlin, H&R, Dakota Arms, Para, Parker, Tapco, and Barnes. Remington itself could easily be considered to be 4 different entities in how it is structured. Remington long guns are not going to cease production anytime soon. But some of their other lines I will bet get hacked. I am already seeing the price drops at distributor level in a few lines.
I suppose I was pre-sensitized by this thread, but it seems that everywhere I looked online since my previous post I saw Rem-Hate - YouTube comments, TheFirearmBlog comments, etc. I do agree with almost everything Kirk said. Inertia is currently working against Remington. They had a solid reputation, but lately it's taken a precipitous nosedive, and the suddenness of it amplified the effect in people's minds. There has been a lot of piling on, and I suppose my first post in this thread is an example. I think it's also true that Remington probably does still enjoy a good reputation in the hunting segment of the market and I'm not seeing it because I don't hunt. I don't watch those videos. I don't read those blog posts. However, I do see online media that represents the fast growing part of the industry and Remington really missed the boat via very late entries, lackluster me-too products, as well as design and quality issues that make it appear that they were two decades late to market from lack of vision and not understanding their industry so management then required a two year new product development cycle to be rushed through in six months, making them late... with major problems. And the apparent management problems were compounded when they're bleeding cash and the hastily developed new product that was intended to save the company has an expensive critical safety recall. As if that wasn't bad enough, Remington management seems to have repeatedly decided that it's not their fault that they had a recall, so they shouldn't be punished for it, and they try to push the cost onto their customers, thus causing a lot of the Rem-Hate they're experiencing. A lot of it is a market over reaction, but the initial grumbling seems warranted.
One area where I'd differ with Kirk is his comment that humans are an unforgiving lot. In his context it's actually true, but I think in a broader context, humans are very forgiving and shootings sports enthusiasts are even more so. Anyone can make a mistake, and multimillion dollar companies are made up of people so they're no exception. The goal is perfection, but the market doesn't demand that unattainable goal. Mostly, customers just want more success than failure, and when there is a problem, own it and fix it. Don't hide behind weasel word warranties. Don't try to make the customer pay for the problem when they're already suffering because they bought a lemon. Don't hunker down and pretend a problem doesn't exist and hope it goes away. That might have worked in the days when you can buy all the gun mags and people have few options for sharing their dissatisfaction but it does not work in the internet age when one abused and disgruntled customer can make a YouTube video that goes viral and is featured on a couple of high traffic online forums or blogs.
I actually think this is a good thing. It can be cruel and punishing, but markets run on information and democratizing the source of information reduces cronyism and corruption. It cuts both ways. Make good products and your customers will make unsolicited fan videos, and those are all the more credible because consumers can generally tell that the positive comments are genuine and not propaganda from the marketing department. Make bad products and your customers will make negative videos, but even that's ultimately a good thing because it'll force the company to fix their problems rather than ignoring them and allowing them to worsen until that becomes the corporate culture.
I wouldn't ignore the bond chart that I posted. Remington's bond chart looks a lot like Venezuela's. That's some seriously bad juju.
This is purely anecdotal... I've been a Pennsylvania hunter for over 50 years, though at 68 years young I'm not nearly as active as I used to be. I do still get to hang out with a good number, especially out in the sticks. When it comes to wish guns that people would actually buy (this is a surprisingly common topic), the hunting brands I hear about the most are primarily Ruger, then CZ, and Savage. Sako gets mentioned but not that seriously, also Henry and Browning. Marlin still has some cred, but Remington usually gets mentioned for their much older rifles. Several people I know swear they will never buy another Remington after the 700 debacle. The 'young pups' tend to buy rifles used or from a handgun vendor they are familiar with, i.e. Ruger. If Glock made hunting rifles, I'd guess that Remington would be toast.
Just listening to the This Week In Guns podcast from The Firearms Radio Network in which a panel of "experts" discuss what happened in the gun-world during the last week.
The discussion at one point turned to Remingtons financial woes and there was a long discussion of why. One "expert" panelist opined that the problem is that Remington is showing no innovation whatsoever and, as proof, referenced the R51. Huh? The biggest selling point about that gun is that it's different, with its Pedersen delayed blowback action. Nope, didn't mention it. What were his complaints? The R51 is "not ambidextrous." Huh? The mag release is ambi, the grip safety is, by definition, ambi, and the trigger as well. Maybe the slide lock? Well that's only on one side but it's a slide lock, not a "slide release" and Remington very specifically tells users to use the slingshot method. The gun is very very clearly ambidextrous. This so-called "expert" didn't know that but it didn't prevent him from "me too" dogpiling based on his own personal ignorance and, apparently, internet based hear-say. Now, some of the other panelists talked about perceptions of declining quality and loss of consumer confidence. OK, that's fair. But none of them corrected the obvious misinformation (fake news? it is supposed to be a news commentary podcast.). They apparently didn't know either or were happy to also me-too.
Nope. I am just not seeing the "gun community" as being particularly more forgiving and open-minded than the rest of humanity. We, as a community, tend to be just as petty, ignorant, insular, and self-important as every one else. That makes me sad.
Peace favor your sword,
Remington should exit the handgun arena post haste and work on the QC of their long guns. My .02.
From actual tests I've seen, their QC on handguns had dramatically improved. From what I can tell, Remington's problem isn't their current QC, it's a dramatic loss of consumer confidence, as evidenced by your opinion. What I mean is that the most recent hands-on reviews of Remington firearms doesn't show any significant QC issues but you still believe there is. That is not a physical or actual QC problem, that is a consumer perception problem, and it is a MAJOR problem. I do not believe at all that Remington stopping production of handguns would help that consumer perception problem. In fact, I believe that it would harm Remington's image greatly by making it appear that Remington admits they just can't make guns. Not only would that not be true it would be the kiss of death for a gun maker.
The damage to Remington's image and customer perceptions has already been done. The only way out of it is to maintain QC and try to ride out the negative perceptions. But that is not easy to do. As I have already shown, the "gun community" is every bit as insular, petty, and unforgiving as any other, no matter what we like to tell ourselves about being open-minded and inviting. It's horse crap we tell ourselves to make us feel superior, or at least better about ourselves. How long will it take for negative impressions and low consumer confidence of Remington products to fade? My guess is slightly less than one generation. I'm 100% serious. People in general, and the "gun community" is no different at all, hold grudges and that's what I see here. It takes almost no effort to find scads of internet posters going on and on about how (and I quote) they "will never buy anything Remington ever again." That means they won't ever give Remington a chance regardless of how "innovative" the product, how well it meets consumer needs, or how high the QC is. And once people become entrenched in their position, it's nearly impossible to get them out, especially when there are so many other alternatives.
Remington's products are more-or-less fine now, from everything I can tell from actual hands-on tests. But "experienced" gun consumers just don't trust Remington much. The real question is can Remington survive long enough to weather this, likely very long, storm? Can Remington bring in enough new shooters to survive? I don't have the answer to that, but I suspect that it will be tough going for Remington for a few decades and they'll have to run a lean ship.
Peace favor your sword,
Kirk, I totally get your take on Remington’s woes, and I almost posted something similar with my original post. However, bad engineering, QC and corporate decisions all have played a role in their current situation, IMO.
Granted, gun-buyer perceptions will continue to exacerbate their woes until drastic changes/improvements occur. However, I maintain that a hyper focus on their long guns would have the greatest chance of saving them. The real magic will start in the public relations department.