Sorry for the slow responce guys. I was away on a little mini-vacation. I only had a chance to get my creative "batteries" half charged. But - I'm back to making dust in my shop.
Yes, the DNA1 has been submitted to ROAR for approval. I don't have any tentative date as to when we will recieve an answer. I'll post it here as soon as I know something. (I don't expect any problems - meaning I'm fairly
certain it will be on Scotty's IIC approved list when it goes to print)
1. Yes - RC body manufacturers are required by law to pay royalties to the auto manufacturers for the name and likeness of every body thats sold. Some body companies (especially those in Italy, Asia, Holland and UK) "fly under the radar" so to speak, and pay absolutely nothing.
2. No - you probably won't see prices come down much or even at all. Lexan is an oil by-product and thus the price is constantly on the rise. We've seen our gasoline prices triple in the last couple of years - with no relief in site. In the early 90's an average rc body list price was $19.95. So, in the last decade and a half the cost of the average racebody has only increased approx. 25 - 30% while our costs to manufacture the average body has gone up approx 400% or more. These increases are from: raw material price increases for lexan as well as mold-making materials, increases in labour rates and associated employee benefits and insurances etc, shipping costs that have over doubled, increases in advertising rates, and other promotional tools, the rising cost of packaging materials, decals & window masks (which were not included 10 years ago) and the grossly out of line royalty rates - not to mention the cost of clerical personel to keep the books and contracts up to date. It's all about volume these days - just to make it worth doing.
As for PROTOform, you'll notice that the DNA1 (like the Nemesis) is already a dollar less than the fully licenced bodies on our web site. We're trying our best to be fair - believe me.
Guess this is one reason why it's kinda tough to know just how to feel about a situation like the one I faced at the Worlds in Italy. Some dude has a body sales table set up outside the pit area - where he proceeds to proudly shows me his latest and greatest backpoured Mazda 6 body - that he made by backpouring someone elses "backpoured Pf Mazda 6"
. (he proudly showed me that one
as well) It's just gotten totally crazy out there right now with the blatant bootlegging of proven, successfull rc bodies. Maybe this is why some "more reputable" rc companies now feel they have the moral right to rip us off and hide behind the "Type S/Type M" names. Hey, without the royalty payments to cut into their expenses, they're even able to sell the product for less money than Pf as well.
All I know for sure is this: Integrity always
wins in the end - even if you end up going out of business while trying . There's much more to life than easy profit.
Forgive me for my rant - but it's all indirectly related to your question.
Regards - Dale - PROTOform