Archived posting to the Leica Users Group, 2000/08/09

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Subject: Re: [Leica] Leica Financials Good Overall
From: Pascal <>
Date: Wed, 9 Aug 2000 10:50:10 +0200

On 08-08-2000 22:52 Larry Kopitnik wrote:

>But sales for 2 product groups dropped. Slide projectors fell 16.7% 
>to DM 19.1 million. And R system sales, after falling 37% the 
>previous year, fell another 12.3% last year to DM 37.4 million. The 
>report says, "The exaggerated expectations, with which the high 
>development costs were justified, have not been fulfilled with regard 
>to the Leica R8 camera presented in 1996."


the slide projectors decline is quite natural as the overall market for 
slide projectors is in decline.

But it's, as you noted, the part on the R sales decline that kept me 
wondering. Especially wording like "the exxaggerated expectations, with 
which the high development costs were justified, have not been fulfilled 
with regard to the Leica R8 camera presented in 1996."

In between the lines this would imply that the return on investment in 
the R8 development has been poor and, even more worrysome to me, that 
future investments will not be made in view of the situation.

Now, what this implies for the future of the R series I do not know as I 
am not in the inner circle of decision making in Solms.
Either this means "benign neglect" and concentrating on strengths like 
the M system, or this could also mean that Leica *itself* will not again 
pour R&D money into future R body development but rely on a third party 
to deliver a camera body (rebadging most probably, with adapted lens 

Only future will tell us, but I strongly suspect that the next R body 
will be based on a a partnership with another maker and will be digital 
(whereby the R8 would be kept on the catalogue for traditional purposes).

no archive

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Who else than Leica could make a camera like the R8 ?
With that unique design and above all: that ergonomics.
Nikon ? Canon ? Nobody but Leica !
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