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Future B&O

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Puncher
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Puncher posted on Thu, Nov 23 2017 10:16 AM

Meliora:

You are spot on. All engineers that worked on Eclipse and BeoLab50 has left the company. They where all laid off between may and October 2017. The company has no engineering left (only the aluminium factory that rumors say is for sale). In future the functions left will be design, purchasing, sourcing and some support functions left. Rest is RIP.

The future vision of B&O management is to run the business as a Beoplay business unit. That means all engineering in the future will happen at subcontractors in China and production will be handled by Chinese controlled Thyphany factory in Czech.

I will not buy B&O anymore because of this decission - I don't want a LG TV with a chinese speaker box attached. I think I would be better off with a LG TV with an LG soundbar. At least you know the two parts will be compatible.

I think BeoLab 90 and 50 are the last real Danish B&O icons.

The above was posted in the Eclipse thread. Can anyone confirmed whether this is true? 

If this is indeed the future will the products be "sourced", in which case B&O are still responsible for warranty/support etc., or "licensed" in which case total product liability is the licensee's in which case B&O are only printing their name on someone elses product for a fee.

Ban boring signatures!

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Calvin
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Answered (Verified) Calvin replied on Thu, Nov 23 2017 3:18 PM
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I think the key comparison is to Apple which moved everything to Asia. It's not necessarily a bad thing, unless you're Danish I suppose and see local production as a key intangible aspect of the product. If it's well designed I don't really care where it's made as long as the quality controls are in place, the days of China only being able to manufacture cheap rubbish are long gone. Yes they specialise in cheap bad manufacturing but they also do a good line in cheap(er) high quality manufacturing.

Opening up an old Apple product is a joy, new products are unserviceable but that doesn't mean I'm ditching MacBooks any time soon, there's far more to my product choice. I will agree it is somewhat sad in a way but every industry sector is the same, you could equally complain 40 years ago about car production lines replacing humans with 'soulless' robots and demand refuse to drink from wine glasses that weren't hand blown. I prefer one over the other but as I'm not a billionaire I'd rather pay half as much if I'm pushed to choose one over the other.

Roger
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Answered (Verified) Roger replied on Thu, Nov 23 2017 6:12 PM
Verified by Meliora

From my post on the Eclipse - copy & paste:

I can confirm the info from Meliora.

A consequence is also that the integration with the old ML is soon to be lost (the NL/ML converter is already in the history books, no replacement). The connection and interaction will be via "native" apps on your phone such as Apple Music, Deezer, Spotify etc to stream music - both locally and to multi-rooms - in the not too distant future. The good thing is that you can mix any Spotify Connect or AirPlay 2 compatible product with the B&O gear - you do not need to go all-in on B&O. But....and there is a big but.... B&O as we know it is more or less about to change drastically seen from a BeoWorlders point of view. 

And as Meliora points out - the success of BeoPlay indicates that this is what the market wants. 

The strategy makes sense, IMHO, for a BeoSound 2 - not so much for a BeoVision, which should be the heart and brain of my home network. But, not anymore.

Roger

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Steve at Sounds Heavenly
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Hi everyone,

I have watched this thread with interest over the past few days and it has been good to hear the various viewpoints over what constitutes B&O's "future", either in terms of their products, their manufacturing base, their quality control or their corporate vision.

One thing is certain - B&O aren't the same company that they were even a couple of years ago.  But then, I suppose they must be prepared to adapt in order to survive in this fast moving world.

Today is supposed to be "Cyber Monday", allegedly the busiest day of the year for online shopping.  I don't know how the B&O dealers have faired today, or how well beoplay.com has done for sales, but I was quite stunned to see that by the time the postman came for the mail collection at 4pm, today had been my busiest day of cable sales in the whole 13 years since I stated trading!

Looking across the range of B&O products that we support (everything from the new Eclipse TV back to the Beogram turntables from the early 1960's), interest is still strong for cables to connect B&O products from each generation.  Cables have gone out today for early Beovox speakers, new Beoplay headphones and almost every B&O product in between.

So I would suggest that B&O as a brand has never been stronger - let's hope that their current and future products succeed in connecting with a new generation of buyers, who in turn become B&O enthusiasts (and hopefully Beoworld members!) Big Smile

Kind regards, Steve.

Steve.

www.soundsheavenly.com

Founder of Sounds Heavenly Cables and Brand Ambassador for Bang & Olufsen

Sounds Heavenly are proud to sponsor BeoWorld!

9 LEE
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9 LEE replied on Thu, Nov 23 2017 10:33 AM

I was unaware that so many people had been laid off..  

Talking about myself here.. As I get older, I get more suspicious, then I start looking at the story behind the story. 

Did Tue Mantoni see the certain demise of the company coming?  He got paid lots and lots of cheap shares instead of cash (I was told it was his decision) - and was this because his main aim was to inflate the share price, sell them, and make a fortune?  I mean, what a great signal of good intentions to want to be paid in shares. Looks good to everyone, doesn't it.  It's a PR thumbs-up, and a very shrewd move from a McKinsey trained and very savvy businessman with lots of contacts.

Inflating the share price means the board and the Bang and Olufsen families either had a chance to bail out of their shares for a good price, or the company would be an attractive purchase for someone as the books looked good. Maybe the books don't look good once you turn the pages, otherwise someone would have bought B&O by now? 

I'd love to know how many shares Tue has left, and how many of the family and boards shares have been sold.  I think that would reveal a few things.

As I've found out - to the cost of my own B&O business, the world has changed. AV has changed. B&O isn't the all-powerful name it once was, and that once great name has been ridden like a mule up a mountain for too long now. 

The Danish will always be great designers. No doubt. 

But, when people demand Danish design, Made in Denmark, at China prices, it all falls apart.

Lee

 

 

Millemissen
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jimcaj:

I find it great that they are hiring new people to further improve the work in the acoustic department in Struer.

Good news for us.....

....at least for those of us, who still stick to B&O ;-)

MM

There is a tv - and there is a BV.

vikinger
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vikinger replied on Thu, Nov 23 2017 10:58 AM

Millemissen:

jimcaj:

I find it great that they are hiring new people to further improve the work in the acoustic department in Struer.

Good news for us.....

....at least for those of us, who still stick to B&O ;-)

MM

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Puncher
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Puncher replied on Thu, Nov 23 2017 11:09 AM

Millemissen:

I find it great that they are hiring new people to further improve the work in the acoustic department in Struer.

Good news for us.....

Are we to take it that recruiting a student for one semester's unpaid work is a sign that everything is fine and dandy on the mothership?

 

Ban boring signatures!

BenSA
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BenSA replied on Thu, Nov 23 2017 11:11 AM

Puncher:

Millemissen:

I find it great that they are hiring new people to further improve the work in the acoustic department in Struer.

Good news for us.....

Are we to take it that recruiting a student for one semester's unpaid work is a sign that everything is fine and dandy on the mothership?

 

Well there is no concrete proof that everything isn't fine and dandy on the mothership. All because someone wrote something on the internet doesn't make it true.

 

9 LEE
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9 LEE replied on Thu, Nov 23 2017 11:23 AM

BenSA:

Well there is no concrete proof that everything isn't fine and dandy on the mothership. All because someone wrote something on the internet doesn't make it true.

In the interest of fairness and balance, I have to agree with this. Lots of things are said and written, and just because they're said (or written) doesn't mean they're true either.

Sometimes, when I look at B&O now, I wonder if I'm seeing the birth of a star - or the death of a galaxy...

I'll be the first to fling my hands in the air and say "I have no idea" when asked.

Lee

 

Puncher
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Puncher Huh? [:^)] replied on Thu, Nov 23 2017 11:35 AM

BenSA:

Puncher:

Millemissen:

I find it great that they are hiring new people to further improve the work in the acoustic department in Struer.

Good news for us.....

Are we to take it that recruiting a student for one semester's unpaid work is a sign that everything is fine and dandy on the mothership?

 

Well there is no concrete proof that everything isn't fine and dandy on the mothership. All because someone wrote something on the internet doesn't make it true.

 

Which is why I asked if anyone could confirm whether it was true!

Ban boring signatures!

jimcaj
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jimcaj replied on Thu, Nov 23 2017 11:47 AM

.. found this

Newspaper article from October 5, 2017: "Innovation binds B & O to the (Struer) base"

https://tinyurl.com/y7x4vhvd

(google translated)

moxxey
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moxxey replied on Thu, Nov 23 2017 11:48 AM

Puncher:

Which is why I asked if anyone could confirm whether it was true!

I knew what you meant, but I think it was lost in translation.

Also, there's a distinct lack of engineering roles on the B&O careers website, for a company which is focussed on engineering and product design.

Maybe B&O sees the current range as the "last for a while" so simply does not need a tonne of engineering staff? I can't imagine them replacing the BL50 and others for the foreseeable future.

But didn't someone say that B&O was removing a lot of products from the BeoPlay range, too, soon?

moxxey
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moxxey replied on Thu, Nov 23 2017 11:50 AM

jimcaj:

.. found this

Newspaper article: "Innovation binds B & O to the (Struer) base"

https://tinyurl.com/y7x4vhvd

(google translated)

It says "Bang & Olufsen invests a large million in a new innovation center. It will be a common workplace for 250 B & O employees....Money includes building an acoustic competence center and new test facilities."

So, this kind of concludes this thread, I guess :)

BenSA
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BenSA replied on Thu, Nov 23 2017 11:56 AM

moxxey:

jimcaj:

.. found this

Newspaper article: "Innovation binds B & O to the (Struer) base"

https://tinyurl.com/y7x4vhvd

(google translated)

It says "Bang & Olufsen invests a large million in a new innovation center. It will be a common workplace for 250 B & O employees....Money includes building an acoustic competence center and new test facilities."

So, this kind of concludes this thread, I guess :)

Yes I think thats that! Big Smile

BeoGreg
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« The company has no engineering left (only the aluminium factory that rumors say is for sale). In future the functions left will be design, purchasing, sourcing and some support functions left. Rest is RIP ».

I don’t see how employing 250 in the near future is controversial to what the original poster (Meloria) said.

I don’t say that what is said is true, but no engineering left means no production in Struer (that will all know it’s happening) and 250 are going to work in the design ... departments.

Like Apple (designed in Cupertino made in China).

So the conclusion for me is that it could be perfectly true.

Bye bye for ever the Struer badge.
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