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 Post subject: Yearly Production Numbers
 Post Posted: Tue Jun 09, 2009 3:51 pm 
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Joined: Thu Nov 29, 2007 8:16 am
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Location: New Jersey
I just did a search and did not find what I was curious about, so I guess I'll ask here. In general what is the yearly production at Ric (assuming this number is a secret)? This number must be going up year to year due to innovation (although, apparently demand has clearly increased as well)What is the breakdown guitar vs base? I'd guess more 330's are made than anything else. Just curious. Thanks.


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 Post subject: Re: Yearly Production Numbers
 Post Posted: Tue Jun 09, 2009 9:10 pm 
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Given this is a private company, production numbers are not published, but as your have surmised, more instruments have been produced each year than the previous since 1990.

The ratio of guitars to basses is highly cyclical; currently basses are about 60% of our business, guitar 40%. Until about three years ago, this was reversed, guitars outselling basses.

The 4003 JG is far and away the best seller, and if you believe some of the industry stats, it's the number one selling bass in the above $750 category during several of the last quarters.

The 330 FG is the best selling guitar, followed very closely by the 360 JG.

All numbers would be much higher if we had greater production capacity: we're entirely production bound. Some studies have suggested our market demand is as much as 8 times higher than current production. We'd love to take advantage of that opportunity but we won't sacrifice quality for quantity, which combined with restraints to manufacturing here in the US and California specifically, have kept expansion slower than we would prefer.


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 Post subject: Re: Yearly Production Numbers
 Post Posted: Tue Jun 09, 2009 9:56 pm 
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Location: CT
Quote:
Some studies have suggested our market demand is as much as 8 times higher than current production.


I like it, keep current production, quality high and price for a healthy profit. That backlog is money in the bank for RIC and protects the value of your our guitars.

Your company is in a very enviable position.


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 Post subject: Re: Yearly Production Numbers
 Post Posted: Tue Jun 09, 2009 9:59 pm 
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Location: Denver
Quote:
The ratio of guitars to basses is highly cyclical; currently basses are about 60% of our business, guitar 40%. Until about three years ago, this was reversed, guitars outselling basses.


I once got really irritated when on another forum someone denied that RIC even devoted any time to the guitar side of the equation (when I had over and over seen RIC guitars in big city music stores in my quest for the fabled RIC bass). I wish I'd had access to this quote--but I'm glad you've confirmed it now. I knew guitars used to be in the majority. Sure enough, this was a couple of years ago.

Keep up the good work..! Things might seem slow now but I do believe you will find creative ways to beat the backlog. The UV finish was a recent example, and sure enough I've seen LOTS of 4004s and some 4003s in stock in several places, and of course plenty of guitars. I definitely do think it would be in the company's benefit to beat the backlog at least in part in order to garner a wider share of the player demographics... lots of people would love to play a Rickenbacker instrument but they never even get to try one.


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 Post subject: Re: Yearly Production Numbers
 Post Posted: Wed Jun 10, 2009 1:44 am 
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Thanks Mr. Hall, very interesting and informative. I guess I was trying to gauge a guess at the total also, because when you look at the picture of the factory, it just seems so small and you just wonder (even with technology) how many could possible come out of there in a year? 1000-2000 maybe? More? It doesn't seem as if demand is slowing down much either. I know a few car companies that probably wish they knew Ric's secret. Thanks again for the info.


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 Post subject: Re: Yearly Production Numbers
 Post Posted: Wed Jun 10, 2009 3:56 am 
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The 4003 JG is far and away the best seller, and if you believe some of the industry stats, it's the number one selling bass in the above $750 category during several of the last quarters.


I call this the "Geddy Lee" effect. I mean, the 4003 JG is a totally badass bass with great merit in and of itself. However, I am sure you can concede that Geddy Lee likely has a lot to do with this particular model's popularity.

I think Geddy should be offered a token of appreciation (like a custom Geddy Lee commemorative bass) for the influence he has had on the 4003's popularity over the years. Or, maybe, just invite him in for a factory tour. Maybe he can be coerced into using Ricks on a full time basis again while he is there for a visit. :D

I wonder if he has ever tried a 4004?

Regards,

Koose


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 Post subject: Re: Yearly Production Numbers
 Post Posted: Wed Jun 10, 2009 4:55 am 
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Location: Canada
I would be curious on old production #'s...50's, 60's,70's like the car manufacturers have supplied. It would be great for collectors to know, percentages of colors/models etc.
Example, my 76 4001 is PE 36hundredsomething...is that the 36++ guitar off the line, or the 36++ 4001 off the line or does it correlate to a run# + a scheduled production date or something like that?


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 Post subject: Re: Yearly Production Numbers
 Post Posted: Wed Jun 10, 2009 9:08 am 
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Location: Santa Ana, CA
Quote:
I guess I was trying to gauge a guess at the total also, because when you look at the picture of the factory, it just seems so small and you just wonder (even with technology) how many could possible come out of there in a year? 1000-2000 maybe? More?
More, an order of magnitude more! At 37,000 square feet, we're one of the larger US electric guitar factories.
Quote:
However, I am sure you can concede that Geddy Lee likely has a lot to do with this particular model's popularity.
Actually, I don't think so. He's been using a string of other basses for decades now and already has a limited edition with someone else.
Quote:
Example, my 76 4001 is PE 36hundredsomething...is that the 36++ guitar off the line, or the 36++ 4001 off the line or does it correlate to a run# + a scheduled production date or something like that?
You can't infer anything from the serial number sequence as they have intentionally been entirely random for many years. However, you can get the year and month of production, or even the week of manufacture from the serial number.


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 Post subject: Re: Yearly Production Numbers
 Post Posted: Wed Jun 10, 2009 11:18 pm 
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Location: Los Angeles
Yeah, I agree with Mr. Hall about that "Geddy Lee effect" theory.

To me, the whole tuxedo-penguin effect (black body with white pickguard) looks better on a 4003 than any other bass: elegant yet mean, graceful yet edgy, devil and angel all in one...

Also, from what I've read in these forums over the past couple of years, I think Chris Squire may have influenced just as many (if not more) people to play a Ric bass than Geddy did (or any bass, for that matter). However, like Koose, I wallow in conjecture...

Perhaps asking those of us who own the ever-popular 4003 in jetglo why we chose that color would be worthwhile. Here's the first entry: I own one because mapleglo was not available.



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 Post subject: Re: Yearly Production Numbers
 Post Posted: Wed Jun 10, 2009 11:56 pm 
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Location: Rickenbacker Headquarters
Just to chime in on the expansion question...

I know of a few major guitar companies that expanded well beyond their market and are now in some pretty dire straits.

Unfortunately, that leaves them with few options but to lay off workers (in some cases 20 year veterans) or cut back their hours significantly.

We are fortunate to not be in that position. No layoffs here at RIC, in fact, we have been hiring!

This is not to say that we don't want to expand and rein in the backlog, we do. However, it must be done with great caution and foresight.






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