ugaarguy wrote: ↑
Sat Sep 12, 2020 6:57 pm
Menipo wrote: ↑
Sat Sep 12, 2020 3:18 pm
I think that this a masterstroke by Sal & Eric because they manage to kill three birds with one stone:
1) Chinese people are gradually increasing their purchasing power. So offering to hundreds of thousands of potential Chinese customers a knife made in their own country by a top US company witha a premium US steel and costing way more than what they are used to pay (ability to buy expensive products is a sign of success in any society) but way less than what they should pay for products made in Oregon or Seki, is a win-win.
2) There is, I think, another target: people in the US (or Europe) with a limited budget who have been dreaming of a knife with a (really) premium steel and now can get one for the price they can/want to pay.
3) Providing the Chinese partner with a premium steel which allows him to manufacture knives in a different (higher) league, entitles Sypderco to request higher quality levels. If the experiment works and it is replicated a number of times, the Chinese partner might be soon ready to manufacture products which can be hardly differentiated from those made in the US (for a fraction of their cost).
1 - China heavily restricts ownership of locking folding knives.
2- The US made Native 5 LW with S30V blade is $105 minimum advertised price in the US, while this Chinese made Tenacious LW with S35VN blade is $98 minimum advertised price. What's the advantage to buying the Chinese made Tenacious when I can get a Colorado, USA made knife of similar size with equivalent blade steel for basically the same price? In the US, I can get dealer exclusive USA made knives from some Spyderco's competitors with frame lock, metal handles, ball bearing pivot, and 20CV blade for $110 or less. Again, where's the price advantage to a plastic handled Chinese made knife.
3 - We'll see if the Chinese partner can bring costs down while providing equal materials, fit, and finish to Spyderco's US made knives. Right now, there's basically no price advantage to buying the Chinese made knife.
Again, I hope it sells well so that the folks who love the Tenacious design and who want it with a premium can easily get it. If it was $75 or less, I might buy one to try it. At $98, nope, I'll support US manufacturing for $7 more.
1- Laws of many countries (including mine) restrict heavily the ownership of certain knives as well. But this does not mean that there is no market for them. For instance, in my country autos are so heavily restricted ... that they are banned. But many of my friends have autos in their collections. They will never carry them but autos are essential to have a complete collection.
2 - I would buy your argument if for patriotic reasons you would be willing to pay an extra of, say, $20 for the SAME Tenacious made at the Oregon plant. But the Native 5 LW argument does not convince me. They are completely different knifes (different lock system, different blade/handle ratio, different shape ..) Locback and leaf shape are way down in my list of preferences and I would never buy a knife because it is made in my country, if I do not like it.
3. I am sure the Chinese partner will manage to do that if he is offered the opportunity. First, because I am sure that Spyderco only partners with the very best of the best, and second because when many costs in the process (including labour cost) are significantly lower than their equivalent in the US, the price can be significantly reduced. Manufacturing abroad is perfectly OK for me because profits generated by the outbound operation many times allow to pay salaries or fund R&D at home. In addtion, and with all due respect, lower labour costs does not equals to slave work. I dunno the labour conditions of the workers who manufacture the Tenacious, but I would bet that they are better than those of some Mexican peons who harvest US grapes at Napa Valley to produce US made Screaming Eagle Cabernet Sauvignon ($6,000 a bottle).
I have pre-ordered one. I want to see how S35VN sharpens and I prefer to do my experiment with a blade under $100 (before putting at risk more expensive blades I have in my collection ....)