AUTHORIZED CHAMONIX DEALERS IN USA

This is the marketplace forum for Special Editions, Inc., builder of 550 and 356 replicas (1-16-14 pd)

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AUTHORIZED CHAMONIX DEALERS IN USA

Postby 24+yearsinthebiz » Thu Sep 29, 2005 8:55 pm

It has been brought to our attention that there is some confusion as to how our BECK and Chamonix products are sold in the USA.

I would like to clear this up.

1.) Special Edition, Inc. is the sole USA distributor for ALL Chamonix manufactured products. We have been assigned these rights by the factory in Brazil AND by the official USA importer of their products. A company who has handled this portion of Chamonix's business for nearly 20 years now.

2.) We sell our products through Authorized Dealers across the USA.

3.) All authorized dealers participate in our toll free contact system. By dialing 1-866 396-BECK you will be connected to an authorized dealer, or, in the event that the territory has no local or regional dealer, it will ring directly to Special Edition, Inc. There are NO exceptions. Anyone telling you otherwise is trying to deceive you.

4.) All of our dealers represent, and stock the BECK Speedster, 356A replica. Most also handle our Spyder product in air cooled form, and several have now joined in on the distribution of the 550S watercooled version of the car. Here is a list of current AUTHORIZED DEALERS (1-866 396-BECK):

ARNOLD CLASSIC CARS - Deerfield Beach, FL. and several locations in New York and New Jersey. Handle all 3 products.

AUTO TOY STORE, West Berlin, NJ - the BECK Speedster.

CHARLES (CHUCK) L. BECK (the individual) - now semi-retired in GA. can buy/sell any of our products. (So long as I can get a \"sweetheart\" deal on one of his awesome 904's one day!)

D & M MOTORSPORTS, Glen Ellyn, IL. (Chicago) - handles the Speedster and Spyder \"S\" from Chamonix.


RICK PEARCE MOTORSPORTS, Hayes, VA. - handles the BECK Speedster, and Chamonix aircooled Spyder.

TROBY'S MEMORY LANE - Hackensack, NJ. BECK Speedster.




5.) Simply dial the toll free number and you will be in direct contact with an Authorized Dealer.

6.) Special Edition, Inc. is currently seeking qualified dealers for select areas of the country. Serious inquiries may be directed to our business line at 574-546-4656 or 574 546-6393. Initial investment is entirely inventory based. no francise fees. Estimated at $100,000 to $250,000. depending on territory and product lines selected.

7.) Lastly, I would like to thank all of the people on this forum who have made us welcome. I wish there had been an internet 25 years ago when we started in this business.

Kevin Hines
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Last edited by 24+yearsinthebiz on Thu Mar 16, 2006 3:36 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby AJK » Fri Sep 30, 2005 12:59 pm

I am confused. Who is the company that has been handling this business for 20 years now...

I've only just heard of Special Edition.
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Postby 24+yearsinthebiz » Fri Sep 30, 2005 6:48 pm

Here is the short answer to who is Special Edition, Inc.

Special Edition, Inc. has been in existence since 1986. Chuck and I did a few projects together under this name. the Shogun was a Special Edition project as was the Ramside stepside bed for the 1995 intro of the new Dodge truck. (We made about 600 \"Special Edition\" trucks for dodge's Houston and Dallas zones betwqeen 1995 -1997.) A very successful project for us back then.

As for the answer to who is the company that has handled the Chamonix business for 20 years. The name of the company is irrelevent. It is simply an import company that holds the contracts with Chamonix to do so (and has since the beginning of the project.). It supplied Chuck Beck(Beck Development), and then CBMS and now Special Edition, Inc.

I think the notion that gets lost or misunderstood here is the difference between distribution of a product and importation of a product.

Think of it this way. your local shoe store may sell shoes made in China, but they did not import these. They are a distributor.

Hope this answers the question for you.

Thanks.

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Postby onlycafe » Fri Sep 30, 2005 8:36 pm

hi kevin, i have to say your second paragraph kind of reminded me of john mitchells testimony to the watergate investigators . so to be more direct and to the point : did the company have a name , and what was it ? please answer in a direct resonse to the question . just curious , thank you .
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Postby 24+yearsinthebiz » Fri Sep 30, 2005 9:16 pm

David,

I get your Watergate reference. But not your question

\"Did the company have a name, and what was it.\"

It (the import company) has a name. It is not a was, but rather it is an \"is\". It exists, imports(this means brings to U.S.A. and delivers to Authorized Distributor as listed on Chamonixcars.com.br website) all Chamonix product, always has and will continue to do so.

Currently the distribution of Chamonix spyders in U.S.A. market is listed as Special Edition, Inc. That is the company that interacts with the public, the dealers, magazines, etc.

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Postby stitchmon » Sat Oct 01, 2005 10:39 am

Kevin,
Thanks for the info on your venture. I’m glad to see the free market at work. Please take my below comments as opinion (& @ no charge). Among the prevailing vendor attributes is a true love & talent for the product. Not unusual w/ such a product, one of the lacking attributes is business acumen. In this market, it’s my observation that that result from such an environment has fostered rather than hindered the value, both real & intrinsic of the ~$30,000 & under, 550 Spyder replica. As example look at the recent frustrations expressed by Mark Reid & Simon (sorry guys - I'm not picking on you), in vendor relations; I contend while individually painful – it has added to the value of our product.

I have a concern, based purely on what I’ve read here & on your site (& I would dig to read your business plan w/ a signed NCA). In each business plan I review I look to (in order) the background of the founders, then the exit strategy. If I ‘buy’ the narrative I’ll focus on the assumed valuation and investor profiles. If I’ve gotten this far, I then look to the market assessment. So, not having any of the former - I am a bit concerned that your efforts in market penetration will be tactically successful. Yet, I wouldn’t be surprised if as a result of your increased unit throughput, not only will you experience a short lived reduction in production & operating costs, but more importantly a dilution of the total segment. If I’m correct, this would result in a sharp reduction in value of the consumer owned 550 Spyder replicas. This is not to suggest that all owners of Spyder replicas made their purchase solely on the lack of depreciating value experience. There is also uniqueness to the product, which could see dilution. You list at least 10 distributors in addition to your own efforts. With stated inventory investment I can assume that we’ll instantly (within 12 mos) have ~ 100 Spyders for sale. That’s a lot of Guidos!

I’m confident that your (and your investor’s) initial investment will pay returns, may even make second stage. I perceive that you have some astute decision makers & business professionals. However, I’m concerned about what the market for 550 Spyder replicas will look like following the execution of your exit strategy. I have an assumption that the market size is not as large as your firm seems to be preparing towards; even if you successfully realize a 25% reductions in costs. I just don’t see the market size increasing dramatically enough to counter increased supply. I hope I’m wrong; I have an emotional not a finical, attachment to this car. I haven’t done a thorough market analysis. The invisible hand continues; your individual venture will succeed, my question is: at what cost to the current market?

Best Regards,
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Postby TerryB » Sat Oct 01, 2005 3:08 pm

Huh?????? [:0]
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Postby Simonster » Sat Oct 01, 2005 3:16 pm

stichmon seems hell-bent on getting his money's worth from that textbook that he bought...

i typically got my money's worth from my textbooks by selling them back at the end of each semester for beer money.

where kevin confuses me is i'm still not clear as to whether special edition will function only as an importer/distributor, or as a dealer as well. by saying that the public will be interfacing with special edition, that leads me to believe special edition will have a retail presence.

doesn't that mean it will compete with its dealers? or will it be like certain companies where some retail stores are franchises, and some are \"company\" stores?

hmmmm. maybe i should have read those textbooks first before returning them for beer money. on the other hand, i was thirsty.
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Postby 24+yearsinthebiz » Sat Oct 01, 2005 3:34 pm

Simonster,

Did not mean to confuse anyone, sorry.

What I mean here is that Special Edition (SEI)functions as the USA distributor on an exclusive basis. (not the importer however.) SEI has a dealer network across the country. They are not stand alone dealerships, but rather high line used, exotics, etc. run by forward thinking individuals who see the market for our product.

SEI is located in the cornfields of N. Indiana, and acts as a dealer only in the sense that if a customer lives closer to Bremen than another dealer he can come here.

Most inquiries are \"self-sorting\" in that our contact 866 396-BECK number detects your area code and routes the call to the dealer in your geographical location. Web inquiries are sent daily to the proper dealership.

We encourage our dealers to know each other and work together when it is beneficial. This seems to work well.

I hope this helps to clear this up a bit. I try to read my posts several times, and they always make sense to me.

Thanks for the interest.

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Postby 24+yearsinthebiz » Sat Oct 01, 2005 4:27 pm

Brandon,

Quite an interesting analysis, well written, and appreciated.

Your initial statement is quite true. True love.... simply put, this venture, now in its 24th year, is a labor of love. As a pioneer in the Brazilian Specialty car industry (I am sorry if this sounds a bit egotistical) I do love the projects. Sometimes just for the sake of the challenge.

Brandon, I believe you may be thinking this is a new venture, and we will be adding 100 Spyders to the market \"within 12 months\". No. The Chamonix spyder is now 18 years in production and we have been adding 70 spyders a year to the USA market every year since 1987.

That said, judging the market size from outside the industry is also a challenge. It is an historical fact that we (at the Chamonix factory) have produced, on average, about 70 Spyders per year, every year, since 1987. I have attached a photo of unit 1000 leaving the assembly floor Jan. of '04, just for grins.

Add to this the Speedster product, also produced in the plant, and it sold out the 72 unit maximum production each year since it's introduction.

I respect the concern toward exit stategy, and its relative importance on your \"short list\" if you will.

While considering the exit strategy, I tend to focus on the solid, growing family business in that both Chamonix, and Special Edition, Inc. (SEI) are family owned businesses, second generation at this time.

SEI is headed by my son, Carey, and Chamonix is headed by Newton Masteguin, the son of the founder of PUMA, and my old boss/partner/friend.

There have been no Venture Capital type investors, as this business is far too fringe for their taste, and return expectations. Rather there have been, and I suspect will continue to be the occasional, \"Angel\" type investors. Those individuals that have an interest in the product from a personal standpoint. There participation is strictly on an inventory basis.

(as we have what I refer to as \"the world's longest assembly line\". Starts in Brazil, ends in Indiana.) Logistics to have steady product flow is an important issue. Product is on the assy line, on the dock in SA, on the boat, on the dock here, on the train, and in the USA warehouse. Quite a pipeline, and it must atay full in order to have smooth output.) but perhaps this is an aspect best saved for another discussion.

SEI has never been afraid to reinvest into the company. It is small, well run, and closely held. This can be an asset, or, as I expect you know, can be a real limiting factor to growth.

As for the \"reduction in value of the consumer owned 550's\", this is simply not born out in the history of the venture. Chamonix product, whether marketed as the Beck, as it was by Chuck, or as Chamonix as it is known in the remainder of the world has actually held its value quite well.

Case in point. In the early 90's a Beck Spyder here in the USA, made by Chamonix sold for $21,500.00 retail. No discounts, not offered with a bunch of aftermarket do-dads on it, just a quality product, Silver and red. This same 1990's Spyder sells today, used, for very close to the same as it cost 10 to 15 years ago.



This is not a start-up venture. You may not have ever been aware of Chamonix, but hey, we never heard of Brandon until today either!

Seriously though, your post was well written and insightful. Some incorrect assumptions crept in there, and perhaps led to conclusions not in evidence.

Thanks for the post.

sincerely,

Kevin
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Postby gtwatson » Sat Oct 01, 2005 8:19 pm

I guess I have a question on who does the final assembly of the car. I will assume the body is attached to the frame and maybe painted in Brazil where the lobor is cheaper than the USA. Then, is it shipped to Indiana for the addition of the engine/trans and finishing or does it go to the dealer for them to finish to the customers spec?

My assumption is that the body/frame is sent to Indiana and finished to the customer's order specs. Then, is it tested and shipped to the dealer for delivery or sent directly to the customer? I assume that your dealer network acts as an order taker like any Ford dealer would and has a few demo cars to wow the potential buyer. Just like Ford, you buy from a local dealer since it would be tough to travel to Deerborn to buy a Taurus. The local dealer fixes any warranty problems and tries to keep the consumer happy.

It seems to me like a smart move to have a few dealers near more potential customers than have one place to come buy a car. :)
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Postby Simonster » Sat Oct 01, 2005 9:24 pm

george, congratulations on joining the elite society of the spyderclub old timers. your secret decoder ring and book of coupons for use in the old-timers-only section of the site are on their way.

to celebrate, go ahead an go loot yourself something nice...
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Postby gtwatson » Sat Oct 01, 2005 9:40 pm

Simonster wrote:george, congratulations on joining the elite society of the spyderclub old timers. your secret decoder ring and book of coupons for use in the old-timers-only section of the site are on their way.

to celebrate, go ahead an go loot yourself something nice...
Thanks, Simon. I was hanging around the gun store with my ski mask rolled up on my head in 99 degree heat doing some window shopping just waiting on them to evacuate when I passed out from the heat. Now I have a missing wallet and several receipts for a lifetime supply of Viagra (which I don't need). #-o
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Postby Simonster » Sat Oct 01, 2005 9:55 pm

gtwatson wrote:several receipts for a lifetime supply of Viagra (which I don't need). #-o


hell, i'll take 'em. \:D/ my (much younger) girlfriend thanks you.
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Postby 24+yearsinthebiz » Sun Oct 02, 2005 7:35 am

Wow, with the perks of \"oldTimership\", I can hardly wait until I've worn the prints off my fingers (all two of them) pecking at this keyboard!

George,

Thank you. You have gotten it.

SEI believes, just as you have stated, that it is a better idea to bring the product into the regional market than vice versa.

Special Edition, Inc. receives containers of product here in Indiana. As much of the work as possible is performed at the factory in Brazil. Paint, upholstery, wiring, most trim, front suspension componentry, steering componentry, etc.

This is essentially what SEI calls the \"Deluxe Pre-assembled Body Package\" (DPABP), and with the addition of a few parts is what a \"build it yourself\" customer receives.

This is also the first purchase in the process regardless of what stage of completion the end client wishes to receive.

Some retail customers have a \"local shop\" that specializes in VW where they may prefer to buy an engine for example. In this case they can choose to receive a \"roller\" (complete less engine) or ship the engine to the assembly facility and have it installed, tested and ready to drive on arrival.

The final assembly of a DPABP into a turn-key is performed , under strict guidelines, by a separate company under contract directly with the customer/dealer, using mechanical components supplied by same customer/dealer.

SEI has many years of good relations with mechanical suppliers, but does not require the purchase of these from any particular company. It is the dealer/clients choice and responsibility.

SEI handles all of the DPABP and assembly warranty issues either through a customers local shop of choosing (in the case of a rural sale), or through the dealer location when convenient to the customer. We maintain a series of service FAQ's, wiring diagrams, and a VERY knowledgable shop foreman who has encounteres most of the small difficulties and assists in speeding the troubleshooting/repair procedure.

Good customer service is one of our strengths and, in reality, this procedure reduces the down time and the warranty repair bill. Win/win.

Your Ford analogy was right on target, with one exception. A small one, based on economics.

A dealer in a larger area (say Texas) may opt to have a unit that he sold shipped directly from here to the customer, who may live a few 100 miles or more from the dealer location. This saves everyone deisel fuel and money.

Thanks for the post, George.


P.S. Our facility used to be in Houston. In 1982 we relocated from Lafayette, Louisiana to a warehouse on Navigation Blvd. It got too dangerous down there (literally at night you could often hear gunfire), so we moved out to Humble, then in 1988 over to Spring, near the Woodlands.

Many a Spyder was assembled right there in Houston. Chuck would come over from L.A. (when on Navigation my shop was a mile off I 10 or so, and Chuck, in Upland was a mile off I-10. We used to joke thet we were right down the road from each other -just a LONG road!), we would assemble East coast bound spyders and put them on my truck. West coast on his, and say \"see ya next month!\"


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