Model Train Forum banner

1 - 20 of 26 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,715 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
I received a 6 pack of Lionel ore cars and there was a large label on the shipping carton declairing that the ore cars were made in Viet Nam.

I have read dozens of times on all the forums that Lionel or any manufacture cannot remove tooling from China. So, did Lionel manufacture new tooling out of China to produce these cars or can tooling be removed from China.

Either case I wonder why Lionel didn't transfer the tooling to the good ole USA to produce these ore cars.

Bill

2020 Lionel Viet Nam.JPG
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,427 Posts
I'm wondering if this ore car tooling might have come from a fairly recent Lionel acquisition. The only "existing" tooling that I'm aware of for ore cars would be Lionel, MTH, Atlas-O, K-Line and RMT.

I really don't know what to believe anymore regarding tooling in China. I do know that the Lionel Milk Cars have been quite the fiasco in that they were announced over 3+ years ago as a China-based project. Then something happened that caused Lionel to move the project to Romania. Apparently, that was like going from the frying pan into the fire, because Lionel ultimately gave up on that project -- reportedly saying they'd need to re-invest in tooling to give the Milk Cars (and rotary gondolas as well if I'm not mistaken) any chance of seeing the light of day again. Now there have been reports that the Milk Cars are in fact due out later this month. So who knows where those were manufactured!!! :confused:

As for Vietnam as a factory location... I suppose if the math works, Lionel will have trains manufactured anywhere. The guys in Lionel's boardroom making these decisions are not train guys -- they can just as easily be executives at a company making widgets. As a result, nobody at Lionel knows what's gonna arrive in North Carolina until the containers with finished product arrive in the warehouse. So it is what it is.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
95 Posts
And what makes anyone think that those ore cars were not actually cast in China, shipped to Viet Nam for painting and final assembly, and then labeled as "Made in Viet Nam." The world of tariffs and taxes allows for multiple definitions of "manufacturing," some based on where most "value" is added in the process. There may not be much value in simple casting, and dealing with two Communist countries makes the wording even more questionable.

Just food for thought form a retired IRS agent :D.

Chuck
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,440 Posts
And what makes anyone think that those ore cars were not actually cast in China, shipped to Viet Nam for painting and final assembly, and then labeled as "Made in Viet Nam." The world of tariffs and taxes allows for multiple definitions of "manufacturing," some based on where most "value" is added in the process. There may not be much value in simple casting, and dealing with two Communist countries makes the wording even more questionable.

Just food for thought form a retired IRS agent :D.

Chuck
That’s a good point. I watched a show recently on adulterated honey. After the US added a sizable tariff to counteract Chinese dumping of the stuff, they trans shipped it thru various SE Asia countries to try to avoid the tariff.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,285 Posts
If LL Bean can make much of their product line in Vietnam, so can Lionel I suppose. Vietnam is the next cheap labor pool in a long history of Asian manufacturing.

I remember when “made in” Japan, Taiwan, Korea and Hong Kong was considered a label for cheap/poor quality. Now if we get any train items from these countries, they are considered superior to the Chinese products...

Tom
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,427 Posts
Not due out this month but re-cataloged in this months addition. Hopefully, we'll find out in a couple of weeks.
Thanks for clarifying that point, Gary. So you're referring to the Milk Cars "possibly" being catalog'd again in Lionel's new catalog due out on 1/20? Even as recently as last year's missed delivery estimates, I was thinking we'd be looking at mid-year 2020 at the earliest for actual delivery of the Milk Cars from wherever they're being manufactured... ;)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,468 Posts
it all boils down to cost unfortunately , quality is a very poor third runner in this scenario ...
and 'cost' does include tariffs, even if the actual assembly or casting costs -may- be higher, there -could- be lower tariff [or even shipping] associated with the end location ..
it's not that easy to figure out the actual 'why' ..
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,593 Posts
If LL Bean can make much of their product line in Vietnam, so can Lionel I suppose. Vietnam is the next cheap labor pool in a long history of Asian manufacturing.

I remember when “made in” Japan, Taiwan, Korea and Hong Kong was considered a label for cheap/poor quality. Now if we get any train items from these countries, they are considered superior to the Chinese products...

Tom
The Japanese have been making excellent quality electronics since the '50's. It's too bad that number is dwindling.

Top shelf amateur radio gear and high-end professional and semi-pro gear is still made in Japan.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,427 Posts
I received a 6 pack of Lionel ore cars and there was a large label on the shipping carton declairing that the ore cars were made in Viet Nam.

.....

View attachment 520618
At the last couple of Allentown ATMA train shows, the regular big-name dealers were selling these 6-packs of ore cars for just around $100. That's SIGNIFICANTLY more reasonable than Lionel's former ore cars of years ago that were priced north of $40 or $50 each. So whatever tooling Lionel is now using, or whatever country is actually manufacturing these latest ore cars, Lionel is pricing the cars so it's considerably easier to create long ore-car, unit-trains. :D

David
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,715 Posts
Discussion Starter #13
At the last couple of Allentown ATMA train shows, the regular big-name dealers were selling these 6-packs of ore cars for just around $100. That's SIGNIFICANTLY more reasonable than Lionel's former ore cars of years ago that were priced north of $40 or $50 each. So whatever tooling Lionel is now using, or whatever country is actually manufacturing these latest ore cars, Lionel is pricing the cars so it's considerably easier to create long ore-car, unit-trains. :D

David
Yep, priced right. The ore cars are identical down to the rivits compared to older Lionel ore cars even though manufactured in different countries. A photo of the new Erie Mining ore car compared to a Lionel ore car from many years ago.

Bill

P1020066.JPG
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,105 Posts
I agree with the idea the parts are still made in China but assembled in Viet Nam to skirt the tariffs. China won't allow the dies to leave the factory and I doubt Lionel had new ones made.

Pete
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,715 Posts
Discussion Starter #16
I agree with the idea the parts are still made in China but assembled in Viet Nam to skirt the tariffs. China won't allow the dies to leave the factory and I doubt Lionel had new ones made.

Pete
If the parts were manufactured in China but assembled in Viet Nam wouldn't the current label be somewhat misleading.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,105 Posts
Bill, I am no expert on international trade but its been widely reported many items from China are being diverted through other countries to avoid the tariffs. That makes more sense to me than Lionel or their factories actually moving equipment out of China.
My opinion only.

Pete
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,427 Posts
I agree with the idea the parts are still made in China but assembled in Viet Nam to skirt the tariffs. China won't allow the dies to leave the factory and I doubt Lionel had new ones made.

Pete
We'll probably never know the real truth as it relates to the Milk Car fiasco. I was always under the impression that the project STARTED in China originally about 3+ years ago, but then for some unknown reason was re-located to Romania. Whether it was tooling or various parts that got shipped to Romania was never openly explained. But then Lionel reportedly could never get satisfactory production out of Romania -- or so that's what we've been told at train shows by Lionel personnel. So the party line became Lionel re-invested in new tooling to ultimately get the Milk Cars (and I believe rotary gondolas too) made in Lord-knows-where. So we shall see. :rolleyes:

As I've shared recently.... I just don't know what or who to believe anymore. :confused:

David
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
42 Posts
Moving tooling and fixtures out of China is not impossible. I have relocated electronic items in the broadcast space in and out of China, Brazil and Thailand. It is possible, and contrary to popular belief not all tooling is lost to the Chinese. There are some specific rules around country of origin, it is not always a simple thing to manipulate.
 
1 - 20 of 26 Posts
Top