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pat hattori

new upgrade prices

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Just in case anyone at Leica is interested:

 

For me, every single announcement they have made for the last six months translates into "Don't buy Leica, don't buy Leica, don't buy Leica - or you will regret it." The longer they go on with this the more I'm inclined to follow their advice.

 

As long as I have used a camera I have never encountered such idiotic marketing behaviour of a camera manufacturer, ever.

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I confirm the same from the Leica site in France.

 

Shutter plus frames was 1.000 € and now it is 1.500 € (i.e. a 50% increase even if annual inflation in Europe went back under 2% for 2008). Another incredible idea from Solms' marketing and sales department!

 

I am just tired and upset with this company! Time for the competition to enter this niche market (Nikon, MX?) and to have Leica coming down to the real life... Do they read the newspapers?

 

Bebert

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Have fun shipping it back to either the UK or to Germany for any service or being charged by Leica USA for any service.

 

Leica wants to stop the upgrade program and start selling more M8.2. So how do you do that, raise the prices on all upgrades.

 

If the new one turns out to be as reliable as my old M8, which is now for the first time in the clinic (after being in use since Jan 07) because of random shutter recocking issues, I'm not concerned about some potential minor inconveniences.

Whether I ship to Europe or NJ does not make that much of a difference. I also believe that the Solms service is superior to the NJ one.Besides, business travel brings me to Europe every few weeks, so no big deal there.

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So Leica wants out of the upgrade system and wants to avoid legal hassles. So raise the price to the point of impossibility..... Does it mean there will be a major improvement in the pipeline, one that might be considered upgradable but that they want to reserve for a new model? Sensor? (Starting the rumour mill here )

No I don't think there is any new features that Leica wants to save for a future M digital, not yet anyway.

It's just they want out of the upgrade program and get on with selling new cameras.

If you don't like the feature set of this model then buy the new one that has the new feature set.

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but that they want to reserve for a new model? Sensor? (Starting the rumour mill here

 

lets feed it a little...

 

here is someone claims to have seen FF leica M at solms. Just read near the end of the thread.

 

But there is absolutely no way I will be buying one before Leica looses it arrogance towards paying customers and gets its product quality at the same level as their prices

 

To give an idea of arrogance

 

I got a new M8, so I registered it and ofcourse expected two new filters. Filled in all required data. No filters came. After 5 mails to leica on which I got no answer and the still polite question why they did not answer mails I got a single line reply "we need your telephone number", no background, ..... The phone number was not part of the required information. Why would you need a phone number for a shipment. But if they really needed it, they had my mail address so you could have asked, something like:

 

Dear valued customer

We have received your registration of the M8 and order of two complemmentary IR filters. In order to process your order we are currently lacking your phone number. Please fill this in in the registration form and we will ship the filters as soon as possible.

 

We appreciate your trust in our high quality equipmentt and wish you much enjoyment with your new camera

 

regards

Leica support team

 

 

Well keep on dreaming with Leica

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Have fun shipping it back to either the UK or to Germany for any service or being charged by Leica USA for any service.

 

Leica goods bought through an authorised dealer come with a worldwide warranty. Leica USA will not have any grounds to charge for normal warranty work.

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Leica=emotion I see

 

The problem is Jaap that Leica Marketing has no consistency, so we as customers have no idea where we are being led (probably up the garden path). They introduce a product at a high price, sales are disappointing so they introduce rebates. Or they up the price, sales are disappointing so the price hike does not hold.

 

Why dont they just learn about their market and price things accordingly? I would say that looking at their current financial results their marketing strategy is not working - in fact it is hopeless.

 

They will do exactly the same with the S2, it will come in at an astronomical price, sales volumes will be low and they will have to re-think, yet again. In fact they have done the same with virtually every digital product, ended up trying to clear-out the large left-over inventory. Re-reading this last bit it does seem that they do have a consistent approach but it is not the correct one from this customer's point of view.

 

Jeff

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now I'm trying to use my memory...

 

I can recall that the update with the glass and the shutter alone was introduced at about 1400 euro's some time ago. And that later the frame lines were added and the total remained 1400...

 

maybe someone at Leica found out they goofed up and inserted the correct prices???

 

actually I thought the price for the 3 updates was pretty correct and the moment you think that of Leica prices there must be something wrong

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I think the reason for the price upgrade is to be find in the 800EUR cash back program. If you buy the M8 now and decide to upgrade later you come closer to the M8.2 price, i.e. the M8.2 gets more attractive. For the guys who are not interested in the M8.2 features they get the M8 at a more affordable price level.

 

The only pity is that this model does not consider the trustingly M8 owners...

 

Regards

Steve

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The problem is Jaap that Leica Marketing has no consistency, so we as customers have no idea where we are being led (probably up the garden path). They introduce a product at a high price, sales are disappointing so they introduce rebates. Or they up the price, sales are disappointing so the price hike does not hold.

 

Why dont they just learn about their market and price things accordingly? I would say that looking at their current financial results their marketing strategy is not working - in fact it is hopeless.

 

They will do exactly the same with the S2, it will come in at an astronomical price, sales volumes will be low and they will have to re-think, yet again. In fact they have done the same with virtually every digital product, ended up trying to clear-out the large left-over inventory. Re-reading this last bit it does seem that they do have a consistent approach but it is not the correct one from this customer's point of view.

 

Jeff

I see where you are coming from, but maybe some things must be considered.. Part of last year's price fluctuations have to do with crazy international exchange rates. And as for rebates on end-of-series products, I cannot call that exceptional, plenty of companies do so. But I admit the final effect is a bit chaotic....

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There do seem to be some mixed messages. On the one hand they introduce rebates on the M8 and lenses (to improve the end of year sales figures?), and on the other there are price increases in the New Year.

 

I don't think I'll be spending £1800 or so on the upgrades - a sum that's nearly the same as I paid for the camera when new - which is a pity as the shutter is a noticible improvement and I would prefer the new framelines. The glass I could live without, but had planned to have done anyway.

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It's quite possible the price increase is due to the decline of the British pound to the Euro in the last couple months. The rate was about 1.30 Euros per pound, and it's down to about 1.10. That's about an 18% drop. If this is only an increase in the UK, I think that is the likely reason.

 

I'm sure Leica doesn't have as much flexibility in pricing due to small quantities of goods shipped and the small nature of the company. Large companies are less sensitive to these kinds of changes in the short term because they have cushioning provided by other divisions, etc.

 

Think of it this way. If Leica was performing these upgrades at a 15% profit, due to the drop in the value of the pound, they would now be *losing* money on each upgrade. The only way they would continue to be making a (reasonable) profit on these upgrades (and camera sales) is if the previous price was at a 30-40%. And *that* would truly be outrageous.

 

I think this is probably the case since there are now rebates in the US because the dollar has been doing better. Of course, I could be totally wrong. It also doesn't change the fact that in absolute terms, it's still a lot of money.

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Don't regret the shutter too much, Steve. I sent in my noisiest body - there is some sample variation in shutter noise, I find, and the effect was quite marked. But my silent body in comparison, well, it sounds a bit "heavier" than my upgraded one, but I would not classify the difference as overwhelming. Funnily I expected the glass not to be much of an upgrade - I only threw it in as an afterthought as I scratched the other and it was going in anyway - but I am quite pleased. The LCD seems to be more precise, if that is the correct descrition.

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The upgrades are priced in Euros so Leica is carefully passing the currency risk on to the users. The shutter of course comes from Japan where the Yen is currently high but (SFAWK) the glass comes from Schott. Most of the Leica cost will be labour, not parts.

 

I'm actually quite annoyed there was no warning of this as despite my "hot air and broken promises" assertion that I was done with Leica, I've recently relented (being the spineless turn-coat I am) and had planned to send both my un-dissected cameras in after Christmas for upgrade.

 

I think the real issue is a lack of competition. Leica (IMVHO) are a much better lens manufacturer than they are a camera manufacturer and what wouldn't we give to have an alternative body to run the M glass on. That's why I'm excited by the G1 - it may turn out to be a duffer when it comes to working with M lenses but at least it's feasible so we can try. A through-the-lens live view with a Noctilux is going to be interesting - and before people deride it for it's 2.0 crop factor, Leica themselves were quite happy to push the Digilux 3 for use with R glass on exactly the same basis.

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It's quite possible the price increase is due to the decline of the British pound to the Euro in the last couple months. The rate was about 1.30 Euros per pound, and it's down to about 1.10. That's about an 18% drop. If this is only an increase in the UK, I think that is the likely reason.

 

Think of it this way. If Leica was performing these upgrades at a 15% profit, due to the drop in the value of the pound, they would now be *losing* money on each upgrade. The only way they would continue to be making a (reasonable) profit on these upgrades (and camera sales) is if the previous price was at a 30-40%. And *that* would truly be outrageous.

 

Yes, but it is not linked to forex fluctuations : the "French" prices for the upgrades in the Euro zone for work to be handled in Germany just increased by 50% between yesterday and today (I checked that on the Leica official site yesterday because I wanted to drop my M8 to my prefered reseller next Saturday)!

 

Bebert

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Don't regret the shutter too much...

 

Jaap, I've heard the shutter on a couple of M8.2s and it was noticably quieter than the one in my M8. It wasn't just the same sound, but quieter, there was much less of a KerChunk sound as the shutter was re-cocked..

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Yes, but it is not linked to forex fluctuations : the "French" prices for the upgrades in the Euro zone for work to be handled in Germany just increased by 50% between yesterday and today (I checked that on the Leica official site yesterday because I wanted to drop my M8 to my prefered reseller next Saturday)!

 

Bebert

 

Yes, we're unlikely to get one of those smarmy Leica newsletters announcing the "price realignment".

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I guess they just need the money

What irritates me to some degree is the boldness of their price increases.

Either they have great trust that these price increases will not frighten off their customers

or

they are standing in really deep water

 

 

BTW, it really makes me laugh my arse off when I read in this forum several times how people trust in Dr. Kauffmann's will to empty his "deep pockets" for the benefit of 1000 German employers and some hundred leica afficionados. What do You expect the man to say?

"I'm in it for a while but will move out as far as I see it doesn't work"?????

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