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Price Variations: Why? - Page 2

post #31 of 32
Originally Posted by CanuckInstructor View Post
despite the fact that the race stuff costs as much or more (lower quantity production, sandwich vs. cap, more metal). ...Want some proof? Look at the top list price skis for each manufacturer. For Volkl, it's the TigerShark with the Powerswitch. Atomic is tied between its various top tier hardpack skis - GS12, SX12, SXB5, and M:B5. Rossignol's top priced ski is (wait for it...) the R11 Mutix.
CI, I agree with the rest of your excellent post except this.

While it almost certainly was true at some point in the past, the new class of premium skis absolutely cost more to produce than a pair of race stock skis. These skis have constantly evolving shapes, binding system interfaces, constructions and gizmos - requiring new and more complicated (read: expensive) molds every year. Worse, these molds become obsolete when the new crop of premium models is introduced. Molds are one of the largest fixed costs in manufacturing skis.

In comparison, change comes more slowly to race stock ski production. Sidecuts and constructions don't change radically every year, allowing the manufacturer to use these sidewall/sandwich molds over a much longer period of time. Also, sidewall molds can be modified to make different sidecuts - cap molds generally can't. The mold cost gets ammortized over a much longer period of time, ultimately making the skis less expensive to "produce."
post #32 of 32
You do raise a good point, which I passed over when I probably shouldn't have. Some of the new skis, like the Volkls with Powerswitch and to some extent the B5s are undoubtedly more expensive to produce with their various gizmos and new tech, but I think an argument can be made that while the design and molds may be as expensive or more than those for race stock skis, keep in mind that the volumes are drastically higher. You talked about amortizing the cost over time, but the more accurate metric is amortizing it over the number of pairs built. The number of M:B5s sold compared to the numbers of race stock GS:12s are fairly staggering I'm sure.

It's a fairly meaningless discussion without real numbers, but I think it's fair to say that the "flagship" skis are generally on par with the race stock skis in terms of manufacturing cost, if not under.

Thanks for bringing it up however, it's a valid point that's worth some discussion. The escalating costs of these flagship skis in some cases are getting fairly ridiculous - when I looked it up on the Ski Canada site, the MSRP for the R11 Mutix was $1750 CDN. Now admittedly that's list price, but any way you slice it that's an obscene amount for any ski, especially one like the Mutix. That's a 40% increase over the World Cup RX. I think it just goes to show that there is a lot more than just manufacturing cost factored into these skis.
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