A somewhat sombre mood is coming out of the Australian distributor for Graupner with the iconic Radio Control brand going through some further negative publicity after last years insolvency and subsequent transfer in ownership to Korean company SJ Propo. The extracts below are from a press release to Australian dealers:
"Effective 1st March 2014 OMP is no longer the exclusive Australian Agent for Graupner products. Continued Warranty and Service of Graupner products and associated technology will cease and transfer to a new distributor, should they eventually be announced. Effective immediately."
"It is with a sincere note of sadness that this day has come for one of the most iconic Radio Control brands. The OReillys have done business with Graupner since 1965 when my father, Leo, imported the first Graupner/Grundig radio in Australia. OMP has sold Graupner products since 1975 and was the exclusive distributor from 1990. Graupner/JR radios dominated the European market and were popular in Australia with the MX-22 and MC-24 sets being strong sellers. The introduction of new technology (2.4 Ghz radios namely) saw Graupner divorce themselves from JR and Spektrum technologies and partner with XPS. That ill-fated choice was a major contributing factor in the decline of Graupner that eventually led to Graupner GmbH becoming insolvent."
"Graupner GmbH was sold to SJ Propo from Korea on February 28th 2013 and Graupner/SJ was formed and changes began to be made at the Kirchheim facility in Germany. The workforce of over 600 was cut to now be less than 60, thankfully with some of our flying friends remaining in sales and R&D. The Export Department suffered large cuts and key personnel were dismissed which resulted in lengthy delays in communication and deteriorating technical support. For the last 12 months as we endeavoured to get answers from the new Korean management, we have handled the vast majority of mechanical and technical issues with the Graupner/HOTT radios in Australia so as to not disadvantage our customers. 3-4 month delays in returning radios to Germany for warranty repair was unacceptable to us. New products, and variation in product specification on the SJ retail web site www.openhobby.com, had us concerned for the future and level of support of Graupner in Australia."
"After meeting with the SJ management at Nuremberg last month where we outlined the acceptable business practises that would make Graupner/SJ distribution in Australia successful the Korean owners have chosen to end the 38 year relationship and pursue their business model with a different partner under new sales channels."
We look forward to continuing to serve you, our Dealers and valued customers, with market leading brands and products that we can support with the level of technical and warranty support that you should expect."
What does this mean for Modelflight customers of Graupner? Well, you can expect service and warranty to continue via our service centre for any Graupner RC radio or other Graupner products that you have purchased recently. After all we have been doing it for the last 38-years and have too much respect for the brand of Graupner, and the Graupner Family. It will however make further supply of parts and any new products virtually impossible.
This development will affect all Graupner products sold at Modelflight and include the products that are tabled below:
|Graupner Radios||MC-20 radio|
|MX-16 RC radio|
|MZ-24 radio (New Product)|
|MZ-18 transmitter (New Product)|
|MZ-12 RC radio (New Product)|
|MZ-10 transmitter (New Product)|
|Graupner RC Planes||Super Decathlon RC plane|
|Graupner RC Gliders||Amigo IV RC glider|
|Elektro Junior remote control glider|
|Graupner RC Boats||Micro Magic RC Racing Yacht|
|Graupner Chargers and Power Supplies||Polaron EX charger (New Product)|
|Polaron AC/DC Sports Charger (New Product)|
|Polaron Pro Combo Charger (New Product)|
|Polaron Power Supply (New Product)|
This change also extends to all:
- Graupner Hopping Telemetry Transmission (HoTT) products
- Graupner propellers
- Graupner supplies
In the coming days, a Graupner sale will be announced with all products heavily discounted, before the brand is finally discontinued. Of course, Modelflight will continue to supply quality alternatives to Graupner, including:
This is in addition to a broad range of alternative chargers, power supplies and propellers. As we have done over our 38 year history, Modelflight looks forward to continuing to provide our customers with quality products from the most trusted brands in RC.