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Wittner stops selling Beaulieu parts, throws unsold equipment away


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#1 Heikki Repo

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Posted 22 August 2016 - 04:21 PM

Wittner is apparently going to stop selling Beaulieu parts and equipment. What's a bit worrying though, it seems they are going to throw away everything they aren't able to sell: "21.08.2016 - Beaulieu Ersatzteile - Last Orders Please!"

 

http://wittner-kinotechnik.de/neu/


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#2 Todd Pinder

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Posted 22 August 2016 - 04:26 PM

They could at least give it all to Bjorn!


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#3 Michael Lehnert

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Posted 22 August 2016 - 04:53 PM

They could at least give it all to Bjorn!


Agreed, that would at least constitute meaningful disposal for them and sustainable development for Beaulieu users.

I appreciate the high costs of storage in business, but to simply through everything away, and to say so without any doubt or remorse, is the most repugnant and shameful thing I have encountered in the industry in quite a while.

Taking over the Beaulieu spare parts and refurbish activities from Beaulieu and Ritter Film + Videotechnik in 2003 made Wittner. It gave them the credibility to be recognised as a serious company to shop with in the European Super 8 scene. And from there, their international expansion became possible at all.

While I guess there is hope in some parts of the Super 8 industry thst people will start tossing away all old cameras and shift to buy Kodak's new Super 8 camera (improving quality of total camera stock, and making Kodak's product viable), there's simply no replacement for thr technical and aesthetic proposition that a mirror-reflex Beaulieu offers.

There aren't enough facepalms in the world for Wittner's tactics there.
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#4 Giorgio Taricco

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Posted 22 August 2016 - 05:19 PM

I'm a Beaulieu user and enthusiast and this is very sad, I hope Bjorn would be able to get the whole lot for a penny...

Very very sad.

 

Giorgio


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#5 Andries Molenaar

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Posted 23 August 2016 - 01:45 AM

Scrapping the lot is bluff. The problem seems more Wittner is driving itself out off business. It is a compact market and this high and higher price policy it going to bite itself in the tail. The looming revival of fresh supplies from Kodak possibly is a factor in breaking this camels back too.


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#6 Tyler Purcell

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Posted 23 August 2016 - 12:08 PM

It's a real shame, I hope people who are local/close to these guys can start making some negotiations on camera parts. 


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#7 Martin Baumgarten

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Posted 25 August 2016 - 12:46 AM

That is just insane and reminds of me a scorched earth type philosophy.  No one else can have it so we will destroy it.  Some auto scrapyards have acted this way as well, even when they knew full well how rare the vehicles they had on hand were.  No one can dictate to someone else what to do.  But sadly, if true, it is not only very discouraging, but might make quite a few Super 8mm users not do any further business with them, even those that do not use Beaulieu cameras.   I still can't believe that I actually read that on their website.  Super 8mm despite some serious professional inroads, is still primarily a realm for artists, storytellers, and those that desire to capture family memories on celluloid, as well as for students of cinematography......those in courses or those just learning on their own.   Not to cheapen its value, but those that usually work in this medium do so for a variety of reasons, and one is to do filmmaking at a more affordable DIY type approach.   Anyhow, let's hope there's a change to this.  Not everyone can afford to buy a Beaulieu and pay to have it fully refurbished.   If space is such a commodity at Wittner, then park the parts somewhere affordable, or sell them if they no longer desire to support these cameras.  Telling us that they wish to just dispose of them, is just so, well, childish on a certain level.   


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#8 Tyler Purcell

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Posted 25 August 2016 - 02:17 AM

When Sony discontinued the 1" format, they told retailers to literally throw the machines into the dumpster. 

 

When Buell went out of business, dealers were ordered to throw bikes into dumpsters. 

 

When DeLuxe and Technicolor went out of business, they threw millions of dollars worth of one-off custom equipment into the dumpster, including two of the ONLY modern 70mm flatbeds ever made and the last two high-speed duplicators. I have a friend who witnessed the whole thing and it was a scary experience. 

 

Companies do things not for logical reasons, but for financial. If you have a million dollars of worthless property, if you have insurance, you can destroy it and get some insurance money. If you keep it, then you may continue to loose money. This mentality is what has driven the "business" world for decades, maybe even longer. Since we live in a highly dependent world, where people rely on manufacturers to deliver them goods, they just assume those manufacturers care about the customer and honestly, they don't. In most cases, all they care about is getting your money and if they can't do that, they go out of business. 

 

I have one more story... It's about a steam ship called the SS Nobska, based in Woods Hole MA. It was the LAST steel plated coastal steam ship on the north east, eventually becoming the last one in the whole country once the SS Catalina lost funding and sunk. A group of conservationists saved the Nobska from certain destruction and raised millions of dollars to get it refurbished. However, they were such greedy pigs, they were only it it for the money and the ship was eventually scrapped after only three years. They claimed to have run out of money, but that was a bullshit cover-up because the government offered them a grant and they declined. Pretty much a similar story with the SS Catalina, a very sad story of destruction and corruption. 

 

Plain and simple... People are mostly driven by money these days and it's sad. 


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#9 Michael Lehnert

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Posted 25 August 2016 - 02:34 AM

I can relate to your scrapyard comments, as I drive an old car where spares are sometimes rare now due to such practice.

Looking at the website, the Beaulieu items on dramatically-reduced sales prices are items rarely bought already back in the 1970s and 80s, and now largely obsolete, such as the original Macro Banc, external containers for the 2008-series, car battery clamps, or some lens adapter rings. Key products for cameramen back in the 1960s, but now no longer part of a shooting infrastructure or workflow. If they have hundreds of those, I could see that the prospect of ever selling them is very low, and thus it's dead capital and an expensive drain through storage cost.

However, their announcement is referring to all Beaulieu parts, which means everything from spare pin or drive units they had manufactured themselves in the last few years, to battery and charging accessories, whose disposal would be insane and stupid and potentially kill off Beaulieu cameras still widely used in the field.

It could well be this is an ill-advised marketing ploy to increase the sale of All Beaulieu accessories through psychology of fear, like the absurdly expensive but necessay battery and charging accessories, while in fact, they would realistically only ditch or discard those items now on sale (some I mentioned above, which are bulky and obscure and difficult to sell at their original prices Wittner wanted for years).

The thing is: this is "ill-advised" because a company and its management whose recognition is largely based on being the world's leading Beaulieu supplier would only take such drastic measures - in terms of marketing communication and strategy - if the company is existentially threatened from the capital expense that Beaulieu storage costs represent. If that were the case, than most people with basic business understanding would conclude that Wittner is on the verge of going bust. And that's not an idea you would want to even seed in customers' minds if you are a professional business leader, and former entrepreneur as Wittner. Once the trust in a company's viability is gone, it's almost impossible to regain.

So either this is bogus marketing gone wild'n bad, or Wittner's business base is crumbling and the company is on the verge of bankruptcy. In which case I wouldn't order or do business with them at all anymore, because German legislation is such that end consumers are in the worst position to reclaim money, purchased products or items legally belonging to them but held with the bancrupt company. They almost always loose out, as many Beualieu owners cna testify when Wittner's predecessor, Ritter Film + Videotechnik, folded over a decade ago. That was really messy.

Stupid Wittner, really, whatever the idea or motivation or need is behind this "Aktion".
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#10 christophernigel

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Posted 26 August 2016 - 01:16 PM

Scrapping the lot is bluff. The problem seems more Wittner is driving itself out off business. It is a compact market and this high and higher price policy it going to bite itself in the tail. The looming revival of fresh supplies from Kodak possibly is a factor in breaking this camels back too.

 

It must be a bluff as there no sale  with a cut price ?


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#11 Michael Lehnert

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Posted 02 September 2016 - 09:05 AM

There are a few items on sale, but the gross of it has not been reduced. If you want to safe you preferred Beaulieu spare part that they will throw away, you gotta pay full prize  ;) .


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#12 christophernigel

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Posted 04 September 2016 - 06:23 AM

There are a few items on sale, but the gross of it has not been reduced. If you want to safe you preferred Beaulieu spare part that they will throw away, you gotta pay full prize  ;) .

 

May be  its all part of this sad Age were all that matters is money and is money really worth anything ?

still you would think a sale would help with there loss  .


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#13 JD Hartman

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Posted 04 September 2016 - 07:40 AM

Maybe they've reached the maximum depreciation or tax write-off they could take on the parts.  At that point they have to be disposed of.


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#14 Mark Sperry

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Posted 14 September 2016 - 12:26 PM

Well if anyone wants the 4008ZM rebuild that Pro8mm does at a steep discount I'm going to be posting mine in the classifieds in a few days.  It's like new, and max 8.  PM me if you want to beat me to the post.  


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