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View Full Version : Pricing, Value Proposition, and Solvency



JediGuy
07-10-20, 15:55
Iím mostly going to copy/paste from a rabbit trail that started on the Deals thread. My proposition is this:
Colt makes quality, known products that typically (nearly always) function well, though not always cosmetically perfect. They are the originators of the M4 and the longest builders of the AR-15 family. However, their value has not maintained due to lack of innovation, with subjectively and/or objectively better products from competitors available for the same price or less.

My original comment:

Originally Posted by JediGuy View Post
I can identify with this, as my company never competes on price: we compete on value. Our service is by far the best in the industry, so we charge accordingly.
The difficulty with Colt is that...at $1200 for a semi-auto, 1.5Ē extra long, M4 heat shield as handguards, carbine-gassed, govít profile carbine... They are well into the territory of other solid manufacturers that provide improvements at the same price point.
For a coarse analogy... You canít charge a premium to ship a pallet, if your service is equivalent to other shippers (and good)...but your competitors offer online tracking and you donít.
Pardon the aside. I love my CCU, and a complete CCU is probably worth $1200. Not so sure about a 6920. I have a feeling that Colt wasnít selling at $1200 and was forced to drop their price to move product.

And Stickmanís response:


Letís start a new thread on this topic if you are up for it. Title it whatever you want and drop it in this section. I think there are a lot of arguments both ways for what you are saying.
Stick

mack7.62
07-10-20, 22:48
I agree with this premise 100%, Colt could sell a lot more at higher prices if they would build mid length gas and 14.5's

flenna
07-11-20, 06:20
I see Colt as the '95 Toyota Camry of rifles- it's not fancy, nothing groundbreaking, reliable and just keeps on running.

JediGuy
07-11-20, 07:55
I see Colt as the '95 Toyota Camry of rifles- it's not fancy, nothing groundbreaking, reliable and just keeps on running.

Fair enough.
But you donít spend $8,000 on it, either.

flenna
07-11-20, 08:01
Fair enough.
But you don’t spend $8,000 on it, either.

Well, that is true. Unless you really like the "T" logo on the front of your car :D.

26 Inf
07-11-20, 12:12
I'm not sure I understand the discussion, I'm basing my response on this:

The difficulty with Colt is that...at $1200 for a semi-auto, 1.5” extra long, M4 heat shield as handguards, carbine-gassed, gov’t profile carbine... They are well into the territory of other solid manufacturers that provide improvements at the same price point.

I agree. There have been numerous articles, podcasts, and videos, describing Colt's problems. The consensus seems to be that Colt ignored the civilian market in terms of product development and relied too heavily on military contracts. When faced with competition in the government contract arena they faltered.

They were significantly behind the general market in introducing ML gas systems and free float rails. Do they even offer an optimized trigger group?

There are clearly better options available for similar or less money, so Colt has an uphill battle from this point forward, IMO.

At this point, I think much of the love for Colt is just dogma, fueled by internet sites such as this one.

Stickman
07-11-20, 16:53
Go back 15 years ago, and Colts were selling for well over 1K. IIRC, 1100 wasn't uncommon at all. Colt (IMHO) only hurt themselves when they started playing price wars with other companies. Instead of going with the flow and developing new weapons that WERE NOT MIL SOLICITATION, Colt stayed with its tried and true offerings. Colt was ahead of the pack for a long time in terms of both quality, and offerings. Everyone else followed along and wanted to be "just as good as Colt".

Colt now dabbles a little into the midlength market, but they still don't seem to get where the market is. Instead of improving their lineup as they did with the Midlength Centurion Arms railed model, they dumped the price on their carbines. Once the price goes down, people perceive the value as low. If Noveske decided to start selling for half their current prices, people would quickly blow them off.

JediGuy
07-11-20, 22:13
Once the price goes down, people perceive the value as low. If Noveske decided to start selling for half their current prices, people would quickly blow them off.

This reality, combined with the aforementioned lack of product improvement/offerings, equals a company with a really tough road ahead.

Headache
07-12-20, 09:15
Yeah, Colt hasn’t exactly been an “innovation leader” for a while now. It seems that people buy a Colt to have that one carbine that just runs... then they buy a four other brands to get the stuff they want.

Stickman
07-12-20, 13:31
Yeah, Colt hasn’t exactly been an “innovation leader” for a while now. It seems that people buy a Colt to have that one carbine that just runs... then they buy a four other brands to get the stuff they want.

Colt may very well be one of the best AR15s to buy as a base gun, but like you mentioned, it doesn't seem many people leave them as is. They get other guns or get to modifications...

TBAR_94
07-12-20, 13:54
I am a fan of most Colt guns, but as a corporation they definitely seem to have the agility of an iceberg. 20 years ago they were selling basically GI 1911s under the 1991 label for about the same price that Springfield and Kimber were putting out a gun that had a lot of shooter friendly features. Yet back then people (myself among them) bought Colt 1911's for the Pony and took them to a gunsmith to turn them in to the type of pistol we wanted.

The M4A1 SOCOM that's basically unobtainium these guys would be an awesome rifle if it was available. I bought an FN M4 because I wanted basically a milspec gun--if there was a Colt offering available that had a GI rail I absolutely would have bought it.