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#1281194 10/05/09 12:57 PM
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I was reading a German news source claiming that Seiler and Schimmel were in trouble financially.
I have always loved the Schimmel and hope that this is not completely true.....any info from industry insiders?
Thanks


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Sorry I meant to post the source of this info.

http://www.thelocal.de/national/20090927-22187.html


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Thank you, Greg. It is sad news indeed when piano makers of distinction like Schimmel and Seiler are reduced to this.

Piano makers depend on the sales of new pianos for their economic survival. The veritable deluge of cheaper and improving pianos from China has taken its toll on even the established European makers.

The gradual demise of these great European manufacturers is for some a crying shame, but for others an economic reality.

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Seiler was purchased by Samick and, I believe left in tact.

Schimmel is, I believe, working their way out of bankruptcy.

So, all is not as bad as it seems.


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I wonder how the current difficulties some manufacturers are facing compare with the problems Steinway has faced during various periods in their history. I don't remember the details because I read the book about Steinway's history a while ago(a terrific read), but as I recall they had quite a few periods where they almost didn't survive.

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Originally Posted by stein-wegge the Vth
I was reading a German news source claiming that Seiler and Schimmel were in trouble financially.


Rönisch too:

http://www.nmz.de/kiz/nachrichten/t...ofortefabrik-leipzig-meldet-insolvenz-an

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Schimmel's problems with sales volume were not helped by price increases over the past couple of years that moved them close to Steinway pricing (notwithstanding equally ill-advised Steinway price increases). The article says that Schimmel declared bankruptcy. Not sure exactly what that means in Germany but it probably just means that they don't have to pay their bills for a while, giving them the chance to "re-structure". Wishing them luck but I won't be buying one any time soon. Nice piano but over-priced, at least around here.


Buy some good stock and hold it till it goes up, then sell it. If it don't go up, don't buy it.
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Schimmel is one of my favourite brands but prices have rocketed in the UK over the past couple of years. They used to be great value and sat squarely inbetween the likes of Yamaha and the top German makes. On a recent trip to the UK main Schimmel dealer I noticed the K132 upright had a sticker price of £18000 (yes I did say upright!). That's similar money to a Bluthner B or a Bechstein concert 8. Discounts might make a big difference of course.


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The emergence, or not as the case may be, of Schimmel from administration proceedings, will inevitably depend on there being a credibly successful business plan as well as a deal with creditors. The German / central European piano manufacturing sector appears to be saturated with surplus supply and hit by dramatically insufficient customers.

Schimmel have pretty much priced themselves out of the market in the UK and elsewhere. One wonders if they have fallen into the often encountered accountancy led trap of putting up prices in a vain attempt to compensate for falling sales, hence strategically hastening their own demise.




C212 used for me to delude myself I will one day be a good player, and to do a bit of teaching.
AJB #1281704 10/06/09 11:13 AM
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Originally Posted by AJB


Schimmel have pretty much priced themselves out of the market in the UK and elsewhere. One wonders if they have fallen into the often encountered accountancy led trap of putting up prices in a vain attempt to compensate for falling sales, hence strategically hastening their own demise.




I think that pretty much sums it up...


Buy some good stock and hold it till it goes up, then sell it. If it don't go up, don't buy it.
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While some piano makers in Germany are suffering, others are using their resources to gain strength, and hope to emerge in better position at the end of this economic downturn.

In the article, Mr. Stein is quoted as saying that: 'The firm Leipziger Pianoforte has had to halt production completely'.

This was indeed true, however, to provide Mr. Stein with news he may not be aware of, the 'Lipziger Piano Fabric', who made both Ronish and another less known line of pianos, Hupfeld, was recently purchased by Bluthner, and actually resumed production under the new ownership.

Bluthner's purchase of this company demonstrates the opportunities that some of the stronger piano makers in Germany have these days.


To clarify further, 'the National Piano Makers Association of Germany (BK)', have a rotating chairman each year from amongst the 12 more known piano makers.
This year, it is Grotrian's Burkhard Stein's turn. Nest year, it will be someone else’s turn.

As the rotating head of the BK, Mr. Stein would be the logical candidate to interview for such an article, however, I would not automatically assume that because of his temporary position, his remarks reflect the state of ALL German manufacturers, but rather of only those that his intimately familiar with...starting perhaps with the company he heads.


Stein Veggie,

It’s interesting to see you posting again, say hello to old buddies from the past...

As you probably know through your past posting history, if those having some inside knowledge of the industry decide to share it here, and especially if it relates to a manufacturers less than positive actions or stability, we are likely to be confronted with multiple responses as to our agendas and intentions, rather than appreciation for the information.

I’m sure that others, just as I did, had clear knowledge of the issues with Schimmel months before it filed for bankruptcy, and months before the subject was discussed on any website.
However, we also learned that it’s better to keep such information to ourselves.



Ori Bukai - Owner/Founder of Allegro Pianos - CT / NYC area.

One can usually play at our showroom:

Bluthner, Steingraeber, Estonia, Haessler, Sauter, Kawai, Steinway, Bosendorfer and more.

www.allegropianos.com
Ori #1281818 10/06/09 02:26 PM
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Ori, glad to learn that Bluthner is strong enough to rescue another brand.

Ori #1282009 10/06/09 09:25 PM
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Originally Posted by Ori


In the article, Mr. Stein is quoted as saying that: 'The firm Leipziger Pianoforte has had to halt production completely'.

This was indeed true, however, to provide Mr. Stein with news he may not be aware of, the 'Lipziger Piano Fabric', who made both Ronish and another less known line of pianos, Hupfeld, was recently purchased by Bluthner, and actually resumed production under the new ownership.

Blunther's purchase of this company demonstrates the opportunities that some of the stronger piano makers in Germany have these days.


To clarify further, 'the National Piano Makers Association of Germany (BK)', have a rotating chairman each year from amongst the 12 more known piano makers.
This year, it is Grotrian's Burkhard Stein's turn. Nest year, it will be someone else’s turn.

As the rotating head of the BK, Mr. Stein would be the logical candidate to interview for such an article, however, I would not automatically assume that because of his temporary position, his remarks reflect the state of ALL German manufacturers, but rather of only those that his intimately familiar with...starting perhaps with the company he heads.



Ori,

Read the article more carefully.

Mr. Stein is not quoted as you suggest. It's the author of the article who makes the statement you attribute to Stein. Furthermore, you seem to be taking certain statements of the article out of context to somehow impugn Mr. Stein's credibility and Grotrian's performance. No bother - for those of us who know Burkhard personally and professionally, we know that his integrity is beyond reproach.

On another note, I'm certain that Mr. Stein is "aware" of the news you bring here to PW concerning the purchase of the Leipziger Pianoforte firm unless, of course, it's of relatively minimal importance.

BC



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Ori #1282207 10/07/09 06:36 AM
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Originally Posted by Ori

the 'Lipziger Piano Fabric', who made both Ronish and another less known line of pianos, Hupfeld, was recently purchased by Bluthner, and actually resumed production under the new ownership.


What do you mean by recently? 1997 Pfeiffer bought Rönisch and Rönisch went bankrupt in August this year. Was Rönisch sold to Blüthner this year?

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Gregor,

The purchase was made within the last couple of months.


Chris,

I do not attempt to 'impugn Mr. Stein's credibility and Grotrian's performance' as you suggest, to explain that he is the current head of the BK due to a rotation system, and that he is not likely to be privy as to how all other companies are affected by, or viewing this recession.

To give you an example, there is no doubt that 2009 shall be remembered as a year of severe economic downturn, with very difficult real estate market.
Yet, I have friend that during the course of the year bought the mortgages or deeds of several THOUSANDS of real estate properties all across the US, paying pennies on the dollar.

While he too knows that we are in a midst of a severe recession, and may have even suffered losses on some previous investments, he considers this period to be one of great opportunity rather than a bust.



Ori Bukai - Owner/Founder of Allegro Pianos - CT / NYC area.

One can usually play at our showroom:

Bluthner, Steingraeber, Estonia, Haessler, Sauter, Kawai, Steinway, Bosendorfer and more.

www.allegropianos.com
Ori #1282492 10/07/09 01:59 PM
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Originally Posted by Ori

Gregor,

The purchase was made within the last couple of months.


Chris,

I do not attempt to 'impugn Mr. Stein's credibility and Grotrian's performance' as you suggest, to explain that he is the current head of the BK due to a rotation system, and that he is not likely to be privy as to how all other companies are affected by, or viewing this recession.




The readers of the forum can draw their own conclusions regarding your intentions. Insofar as the head of BK or anyone else being privy to the state of German piano corporations, the financial statements of all of these companies are a matter of public record according to German law and readily available online. No big secret.

BC


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Chris,

since most German piano manufacturers are private companies, they are not necessarily (depending on the company form chosen) required to publish accounts. The only piano manufacturer in Germany (apart from Steinway & Sons, which operates as part of an American firm) which is a public company (and therefore required to publish full financial statements), is C. Bechstein.

Markus


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Markus,

I'm certain this has changed in recent years as I, myself, have seen all of these statements online. If I have some time, I'll find the web address for you. Since I'm not in the habit of gossiping about piano brands ad nauseum I don't have the site bookmarked or anything.

Thanks for the interest.


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That would be the ebundesanzeiger.de. Only companies in form of an AG (public listed company) and a GmbH (limited liability company) are required to do so. Not all piano manufacturers fall in that category. And: smaller companies have over a year after the end of their business year to file, so the information is not exactly up to date.


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MJS,

Thank you for providing Chris with an explanation regarding the difference between the publicly held and privately held companies, and Gmbh.

Chris,


As I said before:

Those having some inside knowledge of the industry and decide to share it here, and especially if it relates to a manufacturers less than positive actions or stability, are likely to be confronted with multiple responses as to our agendas and intentions, rather than appreciation for the information.


Thank you too for supporting the above by your remarks, and demonstrating the reason readers (like you?) find out about things months/years after they happened and only after they become 'public knowledge', rather than as they occur.


Ori Bukai - Owner/Founder of Allegro Pianos - CT / NYC area.

One can usually play at our showroom:

Bluthner, Steingraeber, Estonia, Haessler, Sauter, Kawai, Steinway, Bosendorfer and more.

www.allegropianos.com
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