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Dandi

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About Dandi

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    HPC Newbie
  1. Anyone know why northern Italy is so good/competitive for moulded plastic products? Doesn't make any sense to me- all I can think of is that the transport to Europe is too bulky for the Far East...
  2. Yes...point taken. I do think they are very wrong in their current direction (the 2010 Yamaha R1 is £13,000- business suicide surely) but I do stand by my previous point. Go to any motorbike meeting- it WILL be 75% Japanese, 10% Italian, 10% German and the rest "British." The Japanese have done extremely well in the global market; and you wont see their products emptying their sump all over the road! Well, so far the Chinese have sold exclusively on price with 125s for £699, etc; but they do have an appalling reputation for service and parts backup. They are, according to reports, the motorcyle equivalent of the disposable barbecue. That's all very well, but when they get their act together and start offering a quality 600 with 100hp and full dealer networks for £5,000- the things that Europeans actually want, rather than crossplane cranks- it won't be the time to be laughing at them! I give it 5 years...
  3. It's a dangerous assumption that everything that is made in China is tat. A rep at work (industrial tooling), who regularly goes on buying trips, was telling me last week that Chinese factories can reproduce any quality you like, including top-notch. Trouble is, most western buyers are only buying on price, so that is what they are getting. The motorcycle industry in the Sixties/Seventies is a good example of complacency. The Japanese products were derided as vastly inferior to what we were churning out in the Midlands. Look at them now!
  4. It certainly looks catastrophic. Too much reliance on foreign money, too few real non-bubble based jobs; and of those who are in work, a huge number of mileuristas and- worse- inframileuristas. Excellent source of anecdotal information (the Spanish equivalent of HPC, only much more pessimistic) I don't know whether this has been posted before but it's pretty shocking:-
  5. Great thread, especially Ken's insight...things you can't learn in a textbook! My accountant was disgusted with the implications of the POCA reporting regulations and openly told me he would be doing no such thing for any of his clients. Although, as 'tipping off' is also a criminal offence I doubt if any of them would ever find out until it's too late... I have sympathy with the view that many smaller businesses only survive/achieve acceptable ROCE through a proportion of cash-in-hand work. Some just take the p!ss though- anyone see the Aleef newsagents case a few years ago? Chain of 100+ shops in Manchester, all with two tills running? (And PAYE/benefits fraud on top!) I don't know how the owners slept at night: it only takes one disgruntled employee and you're finished. I read a Government report that weighed up the advantages of undeclared income after factoring in all taxes, etc. In the worst cases, for an owner-operator, you had to invoice for £35 legitimately to achieve the same spending power as £10 cash in the back pocket. I don't know if that's accurate but I found it astonishing.
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