Simon Kohler

Started by mojo, August 02, 2023, 03:41:34 PM

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mojo

Any news as to why Simon has parted company with Hornby?
Possibly for TT120 reasons?

Maurice

nickk

I never met, or corresponded with Simon personally but I did enjoy watching the TV series about Hornby in which he featured quite significantly.

I know Hornby say they've had a big reorganisation of their marketing dept. According to my local model shop owner he 'retired' by 'mutual agreement' but thats just repeating stuff I've heard. I wish the guy well and TT120 was a brave move but I do wonder if it was a bit too brave.

I actually liked the idea of TT120 - note liked not like. For me the wait for any GWR / SR stuff would have been too long if not infinite so in the end I preferred to commit to N.

So if it was TT or not who knows but I know my local guy was very anti. He reckoned they might now offer it to retailers but most, including him, are going to refuse to stock it

crewearpley40

There's an article railway modeller july 2023 volume 74

No.873 page 543

ntpntpntp

#3
Very much doubt it was to do with TT:120 as that's done very well.

I thought it was just a case of him re-starting his consultant work.
Nick.   2021 celebrating the 25th anniversary of "Königshafen" exhibition layout!
https://www.ngaugeforum.co.uk/SMFN/index.php?topic=50050.0


RBTKraisee

He wouldn't have jumped on his own, so it's pretty clear he was pushed.

https://www.ajbell.co.uk/articles/latestnews/261927/hornby-shares-drop-profit-loss-and-%E2%80%98disappointing%E2%80%99-revenue-results

Pretax loss of £5.9 million. While revenue was up a little, it was 10% below management predictions. Both of those are likely heavily influenced TT-120 activities. And there were no dividends. Shareholders are pretty ruthless when they see such results.

Ross.
"The meek shall inherit the Earth. The rest of us are going to the stars" -Robert Heinlein
An Ex-Pat Brit:  Two decades living in Florida and still an unhealthy shade of "British Tourist White"

Steam Locomotive Wheel Dimensions: https://www.shorturl.at/xAEKW

All my available products are listed in the first post in my workbench thread.

woodbury22uk

Quote from: RBTKraisee on August 02, 2023, 06:45:56 PMHe wouldn't have jumped on his own, so it's pretty clear he was pushed.

https://www.ajbell.co.uk/articles/latestnews/261927/hornby-shares-drop-profit-loss-and-%E2%80%98disappointing%E2%80%99-revenue-results

Pretax loss of £5.9 million. While revenue was up a little, it was 10% below management predictions. Both of those are likely heavily influenced TT-120 activities. And there were no dividends. Shareholders are pretty ruthless when they see such results.

Ross.

The big stock increase which dented the results is most likely 00 gauge stuff, Airfix and Scalextric which was intended for the Christmas market, and did not sell. SK was only involved with trains. Hornby have sold out on almost every TT:120 item soon after release. Undersupply and the need to rework the wheels on one of the early locos probably constrained the sales. A new CEO is always bound to make changes in an underperforming enterprise and after 5 years back in the frontline at Hornby, Simon Kohler was an easy target. My money is on Hornby divesting itself of Corgi and Oxford Diecast in the next 3 months when there is another Board level change of personnel.
Mike

Membre AFAN 0196

RBTKraisee

#7
One other thing that stood out to me from their 2023 results, is the amount of stock they have on their shelves increased 29% since last year, from £16.5m to £21.3m. While various factors will clearly be at work, it boils down to having nearly £5 million worth of additional products that they haven't shifted as quickly as they would have liked. All companies would always say that a new product is doing brilliantly - but I wonder if TT:120 really *IS*.

Ross.
"The meek shall inherit the Earth. The rest of us are going to the stars" -Robert Heinlein
An Ex-Pat Brit:  Two decades living in Florida and still an unhealthy shade of "British Tourist White"

Steam Locomotive Wheel Dimensions: https://www.shorturl.at/xAEKW

All my available products are listed in the first post in my workbench thread.

ntpntpntp

Quote from: RBTKraisee on August 02, 2023, 08:16:20 PMAll companies would always say that a new product is doing brilliantly - but I wonder if TT:120 really *IS*.

It's certainly not doing bad.  Stuff comes in on the website and sells out very quickly.  Hornby are starting to sell the stuff via a select bunch of retail shops now.
Nick.   2021 celebrating the 25th anniversary of "Königshafen" exhibition layout!
https://www.ngaugeforum.co.uk/SMFN/index.php?topic=50050.0

Bob G

Question is, will TT 120 it survive and grow, and who is buying it now?

ntpntpntp

#10
Quote from: Bob G on August 02, 2023, 11:29:14 PMQuestion is, will TT 120 it survive and grow, and who is buying it now?

I like it and have an Easterner set plus extra track, but it's on hold for me until an 0-6-0T steamer or old livery 08 comes along for shunting.

It is interesting reading some of the other varied opinions out there regarding Simon's tenure (was it good or bad for the firm?), Hornby's direction, was TT:120 a good idea etc.  The number of folk totally against TT:120 or saying they wish it was the same (wrong) scale as the old TT3 stuff.
Nick.   2021 celebrating the 25th anniversary of "Königshafen" exhibition layout!
https://www.ngaugeforum.co.uk/SMFN/index.php?topic=50050.0

Roy L S

Quote from: Bob G on August 02, 2023, 11:29:14 PMQuestion is, will TT 120 it survive and grow, and who is buying it now?

I have bought the Easterner set at launch just because it was an absolute bargain at £160ish, I have since bought an 08 in blue, a few wagons and some Peco track. My plan was a simple shunting plank as a side project just for a bit of fun but I have parked it for now due to a lack of coherent products, lack of a small to medium steam loco in the initial phases and the originally stated delivery dates not being met. I will give it a year and then either sell up, or if things have improved resume.

In terms of my opinion of the Hornby TT120 models delivered to date, I would describe them as competent but not ground-breaking, for example the TT120 08 is nice enough but not spectacular and no better detailed than the N Farish model overall, it only has a 6 pin DCC socket and no provision for sound whatsoever. A lot has been made by Simon Kohler of getting a layout in a smaller space than OO, but the extra area required over N is a fifth, meaning an 8ft x 3ft layout in N would need an area of 10ft x 3ft 9 inches in TT120 - another 8 square feet.

It does have some attractions, for example scale/gauge ratio is spot on and the scale is common to European products so relative sizes match for those who want to run them together. That said, British N's gauge scales out at a shade over 4ft 4 ins so the disparity to true scale is very small (just over 0.5mm) so for all practical purposes it is not noticeable.

TT120's target market is said to be those new to model railways, and more likely I think those wanting something more based on a train set, with a loco, three coaches and an oval of track developing on a track-mat. From all accounts there is a Facebook Group with about 8,000 followers.

Will it threaten N? Personally with houses getting smaller I don't think so to any significant extent, whatever space advantage TT120 has N delivers to a greater extent and with models just as well detailed. I think much more likely if the range continues to grow it will take a small slice out of the OO market over time, but a lot depends on a more complete and balanced range being established and that will take some years.

Roy

Chris Morris

#12
I think British TT:120 N is entirely unnecessary as it is not very much bigger than British N and quite a lot smaller than 00. This is different to European & US scales where N, TT:120 and H0 are pretty much evenly spaced. It seems to me that Hornby's TT:120 project was founded on their desire to have a marketplace to themselves with little competition. Its fair to say that pretty much everything that stands a chance of selling has been done in 00. The N market is much smaller but I guess there are very few gaps in terms of locos that would sell in sufficient quantities to make the investment worthwhile. There are gaps though and I wish Hornby would have decided to plugs those gaps in N rather than go off on their own. On the other hand they really need to get good sales and a good return on investment so the decision to go for TT:120 rather than N is understandable although I think quite risky. I get the impression that Simon was the driving force behind TT:120. It is interesting that Simon has now gone (for the second time) but he is well into retirement age so maybe that was the reason. It's also interesting that Montana has now moved on as well; I have absolutely no clue as to whether she jumped or was pushed.

Is TT:120 selling well? I think there are conflicting signs. The sets that arrived first sold out very rapidly indeed which is a great start. Hornby are now selling bundles at a discount - that could be to keep things ticking over during the slow summer months, or because they have no sets to sell, or because they have a lot of stock. We just don't know and we have no right to know. Also they have now opened up TT:120 to selected dealers before originally planned. This could be the effect of a change of CEO or again it could be because sales through the website aren't up to expectations. Again we don't know and have no right to know. It will be interesting to see how things pan out. Meanwhile I shall carry on enjoying N gauge.  :)
Working doesn't seem to be the perfect thing for me so I'll continue to play.
Steve Marriott / Ronnie Lane

Bob G

@Chris Morris (the software dosnt allow me to tag your name properly as it doesn't go down so far - IT please fix) I hope you can look back and edit your text for the typos.

I think you mean British TT at the start, and Simon is a he unless he has started using she/her adjectives :)

Bob

Calnefoxile

I also bought the Easterner set at launch and took it to Club for others to have a look at a run a crticial eye over, I also took some of my Continental TT stock for a comparison and the Hornby stuff is awful when compared to my Piko or even my Arnold Stock (Hornby own Arnold by the way  :doh:  :doh:  )

My Easterner set is now back in it's box gathering dust, I really must get round to selling it on.

Regards

Neal.

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