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Old 03-01-2004, 07:29 PM   #1
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Default PRO 4 AT THE NATS... end of March

I cant believe that no HPI drivers are registered for the Nats. It seems that there hasnt been any since its awesome appearance at the Indoor Champs. Whats the deal.
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Old 03-01-2004, 09:57 PM   #2
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I feel the same way. The only factory drivers I can think of are Hara and Thad. And maybe Eric. I don't know if Eric is a "Factory Driver", but he does work for HPI and helped develop the Pro 4. They don't sponsor the number of drivers like Associated, Trinity, Losi and Xray. I hope they start. Because the car is great and turning alot of heads at the track.

I'll be there sponsored by my back pocket. Or is that the hole that was burned in my back pocket because I spent the cash.
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Old 03-02-2004, 12:13 AM   #3
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Kinda strange.....if I just came out with a new car I'd be hitting every race I can. So what if you have to pick up a few more guys.

Hopefully I'll be running mine at the Nats, if it ever gets here.....I think we are the last shop in the country to get them in. I really need that front diff tho, dont wanna chance running with the one way and breaking the tranny gears....then having to switch to my TC3 in the middle of things.
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Old 03-02-2004, 12:25 AM   #4
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Here's my guess; the car isn't really a money maker for the company. It is their loss leader. It improves image and is their flagship electric car. They use it to strengthen their image for the other cars to sell like the Sprint. Since most of their sales are from these kind of buyers, only the top drivers will stand out and that's where the company invests; in guys like Hara, etc. Its a good car, but not their money maker. Its their marketing plan. That's my Hypothesis. Its not unreasonable to do something like this. That's why Japanese companies like Acura come out with cars like the NSX. That car doesn't pay their bills, but when launched was meant to create hype for the brand. It isn't neccessarily a bad thing. Without this kind of marketing, we wouldn't have these cars. They can't justify it with sales, but with marketing. Heh they make a 1/8 scale nitro pan car too; but it helps their image for others to know they do.
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Old 03-02-2004, 01:57 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally posted by edseb
Here's my guess; the car isn't really a money maker for the company. It is their loss leader. It improves image and is their flagship electric car. They use it to strengthen their image for the other cars to sell like the Sprint. Since most of their sales are from these kind of buyers, only the top drivers will stand out and that's where the company invests; in guys like Hara, etc. Its a good car, but not their money maker. Its their marketing plan. That's my Hypothesis. Its not unreasonable to do something like this. That's why Japanese companies like Acura come out with cars like the NSX. That car doesn't pay their bills, but when launched was meant to create hype for the brand. It isn't neccessarily a bad thing. Without this kind of marketing, we wouldn't have these cars. They can't justify it with sales, but with marketing. Heh they make a 1/8 scale nitro pan car too; but it helps their image for others to know they do.
i respectfully disagree.
I hang out at the HPI dealer in my countryall the time.
I've seen more than triple the amount of Pro4's sold compared to Sprint etc etc.
Even at a time when we have the yokomo SD(i drive this ),TC3 ,Barracuda and Xray have strong market shares.
Take a look in Japan.
I dont think they sell a single Sprint.There are a crazy lot of Pro4's there.

To give an answer to the question why it's ill represented , it's because HPI is concentrating in the Asian(particularly Japan) market.
They have plenty of sponsored drivers there.
Take a look at the recent Thai Touring Race.
i think about 6-7 A-mains were pro4's(3 were factory drivers).It's a poor thing that HPI isn't sponsoring the American race scene,but i guess it's not much of a big deal to them and us in Asia.
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Old 03-02-2004, 07:07 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally posted by lee82gx
i respectfully disagree.
I hang out at the HPI dealer in my countryall the time.
I've seen more than triple the amount of Pro4's sold compared to Sprint etc etc.
Even at a time when we have the yokomo SD(i drive this ),TC3 ,Barracuda and Xray have strong market shares.
Take a look in Japan.
I dont think they sell a single Sprint.There are a crazy lot of Pro4's there.

To give an answer to the question why it's ill represented , it's because HPI is concentrating in the Asian(particularly Japan) market.
They have plenty of sponsored drivers there.
Take a look at the recent Thai Touring Race.
i think about 6-7 A-mains were pro4's(3 were factory drivers).It's a poor thing that HPI isn't sponsoring the American race scene,but i guess it's not much of a big deal to them and us in Asia.
That was a very well written post. HPI already knows that Losi and AE have a pretty good stranglehold on the American market, and there's not a whole lot of point in trying to challenge that. There are other cars in the market, and some are more popular than others, but at most tracks, the Losi and AE cars outnumber all the other brands combined by about two to one. It's all about Market penetration. Unfortunately in this country a Carpet Nats win doesn't sell a whole lotta kits. The big carpet win is Cleveland. I'm sure you'll see quite a few Pro 4's at the Asphalt Nats. Who knows, HPI might even bring HARA back over here to live for six months so he'll be eligible for the Asphalt Nats like they did for the Fuel Nats last year.
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Old 03-02-2004, 12:56 PM   #7
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I'd imagine they'd be here in full force for the Reedy Race as well as the Worlds.
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Old 03-02-2004, 03:43 PM   #8
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i think there may have been a loss in interpretation. a loss leader is a product put out by company that is designed to promote good market relations. it is one in which the company offers a product in which alot of units are moved and usually at a loss to the vendor, profit is not its primary intention. the thinking is that the consumer will buy this product that is dirt cheap and then see another product (in which profit is built in) and include that in the purchase. i think the analogy of the nsx was slightly off. the nsx was designed as a high-end not mass produced thoroughbred. a better example would be a honda accord, but i'm not sure what there profit margin is. loss leaders are more common in consumable goods (ie.clothes, food, etc.) i did want to say, that edseb's hypothesis wouldn't be out of the question when you look at how much car you get for the price. and if lee82gx's approximation of 3 to 1 sales of the pro4 to the sprint is correct, than the pro4 as a loss leader would be dead on.

anyway, i guess it's all semantics, but i thought i'd play academic for a minute

btw,

from what i've seen and heard about this rig, i'm surprised that not more of them are turning up in the states. perhaps, it's timing because of the all new cars that have come out, or are forth coming. it might have something to do w/ the disappointment of the pro3. it might be because of the idea that hpi is considered a "toy" maker (i disagree). it's probably all these things. bottom line is if they want to sell more, they need to market themselves better.
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Old 03-02-2004, 04:09 PM   #9
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Another thing to think about is, carpet season is coming to an end for the most part.

I know here in the Mid-West TC is mainly ran on the rug, once it gets nice enough to run outside weekly, most head to off-road or to gas cars in general.

The best time to release the kit would be end of summer, in my opinion.

Another thing that may be hurting sales is part support.
When the TC3 came out, the LHS could order the parts to build a TC3 before the kit was released.

I know that is one of the things I am waiting on. My LHS can get the kit, just not all the support parts. Which to me is VERY important.

I was one of the few in the area that ran a MR4-TC and I had to carry a lot of parts with me. There where NO LHS's that stocked parts. Most could order from YOK, but it was a pain for them.

Nothing is more of pain than to know you have a fast car, but can't run due to a broke part you don't have a replacement for.

Just another 2 cents.
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Old 03-02-2004, 04:40 PM   #10
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FYI. I do believe Hara is a US resident now. He is eligible to race.......
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Old 03-02-2004, 04:49 PM   #11
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Thats what I thought too Rob........maybe it was just a rumor. I dont know of any other big races coming up that he might be in.....maybe something going on overseas he has to attend.

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Old 03-02-2004, 04:59 PM   #12
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or maybe he's focusing on off road. he raced 1/8 scale buggy @ the gas nats @ the dirt in hemet...and he got served. that's ok, 1/8 scale buggy is "slightly" different than touring car, but i'm sure he'll get it down.
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Old 03-02-2004, 05:14 PM   #13
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I'm still sticking to my Hypothesis. Yes, in Asia the HPI is a big car and a lot of people have them there. But, the general consumer doesn't follow what happens over there. We are a nich demographic. Why do you think Monster trucks do so well?
Anyway, over here in the States, I still think it is a loss leader. Yeah you guys might see a decent amount, but not in comparison to the RC mainstream. I'd like to see actual numbers to prove me wrong. The NSX might not have been a good example, I was just using it to illustrate a point.
For the US, it still works for their marketing plan, just like their 1/8 scale on road pan car.
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Old 03-02-2004, 05:25 PM   #14
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lee82gx,

what's the situation like in malaysia for pro4 parts....i'll be there in KL this w/end, would love to get some spares and hop-ups
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Old 03-02-2004, 08:50 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally posted by snoopy
lee82gx,

what's the situation like in malaysia for pro4 parts....i'll be there in KL this w/end, would love to get some spares and hop-ups
Parts support is great.You can get almost every part(except those 'NEW' parts).There are HPI and Hotbodies parts here,but none of them fancy aftermarket stuff.
But pricing is another matter .
I've PM'ed you their phone number.
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