Open Letter From Atlas
An Open Letter to Atlas Dealers, Distributors and Consumers
December 16th, 2014
Dear Atlas Customers,
In this season of caring, giving and hope, I would like to sincerely thank you all for the past and continued support you have given to Atlas Model Railroad Company during recent turbulent times.
As many of you know, Atlas dissolved its relationship with a primary overseas supplier due to their request for excessive, across the board price increases. These increases would have placed Atlas and our dealers and distributors in a no-win competitive position, resulting in more severe business disruption, and potential business failure for Atlas. We, of course, could not allow this to happen.
Following this decision, Atlas needed to transfer thousands of its proprietary molds and tools from multiple factory and warehouse locations to multiple new supplier locations. This was easier said than done. Mold transfers were delayed, incomplete, damaged, etc., which necessitated Atlas to remake needed molds and tools, acquire new machinery, and in some cases go through a steep manufacturing learning curve.
The chosen path, while painful for Atlas and our customers, has eventually allowed Atlas to reconfigure its supplier base and resulted in a stronger and wiser Company. At this point in time, Atlas is close to the healthy production levels reached prior to market disruption. Dealer and distributor fulfillment is currently averaging 70% and many of our products are at much higher levels. 2015 will be better, as our new suppliers work smarter and more productively to deliver needed products.
Let me be crystal clear regarding any rumors about the imminent demise of Atlas Model, Atlas O, and our products. Setting aside the wishful thinking of a few competitors, these rumors are baseless and without merit. I will admit that some of the O scale product re-development efforts were more difficult than some of the N & HO. This was caused by complex and lengthy re-creation of needed molds and tools, as well as the additional opportunity to upgrade all 2 & 3 rail switches. Be assured that the added time to market for any Atlas product is well worth the effort.
Atlas has re-established consistency in the production and shipment of HO & N track and accessories, and a 100% effort is now being given to O scale 2 & 3 rail track and accessories. We are totally committed to the complete return of all scales in all categories, including rolling stock, locomotives, track and accessories. The overwhelming majority of all Atlas product categories in every scale have had molds and tools fully restored to equal or better quality. Initial production and reproduction is proceeding on schedule, and an active new product development plan is being carried out.
The resolution of the above situation could not have occurred without the hard work and dedication of all Atlas team members, as well as the understanding and continued loyalty and support of our customers. I sincerely apologize for the effects this disruption may have caused your business and, or hobby pursuits, and I look forward to increased mutual development and growth in this great hobby of model railroading both now and in the immediate future.
Happy Holidays to All,
Thomas W. Haedrich
Atlas Model Railroad Co. Inc.
It's not whats best... it whats best for you"