The first question addresses the origin of TWH and their transition from working only with the OEM dealers like Oshkosh and Vermeer to working with the hobby industry. So...
"Why did you choose to transition from being a promotional model reseller to becoming an actual model manufacturer?" Here is what John had to say, to lay down the origins:
The simple math showed us that there were already too many distribution layers and that we could not be profitable unless we manufactured the models ourselves. Additionally, our market research showed us that there was a potential niche between the available promotional quality models & the exclusive/high priced hand-made brass models.
In February 2004, my partner John Niedermeyer & I traveled to China in search of a model company to partner with. The type of premium model manufacturing we were looking for had moved from the USA to China during the 1980's. We were blessed during our very first interview in Hong Kong to find a factory that was likewise looking for a customer wanting to take the next steps toward premium construction collectibles. I was able to obtain a Chinese Visa and travel that week to the factory located in southern China.
In April 2004, I traveled back to China to start three Manitowoc Crane Group models. TWH's first three releases included the National 1400H, Grove GMK 3055 and Potain Igo 21.We will hear more on this subject in the coming weeks, as John and his crew take us a little deeper. If you have any questions or comments that you'd like to John to consider, feel free to leave us a comment here and we will pass it along.