Rupes Mark II Polishers
Staff Editorial: October 31, 2015
So by now you’ve probably heard about the introduction of the new Rupes Mark II Polishers. One thing we learned a long time ago is that competition stimulates performance so this shouldn’t really come as a surprise to anyone. In actuality, Rupes really doesn’t have any competition outside of Flex for contemporary high quality polishers. Sure, there are some knock offs flooding that market and in our opinion, the decision by Rupes to introduce the Mark II has a lot to do with regaining some of the lost market share in the lower cost arena while at the same time creating more of a technological gap with their machines. Will the masses run to get the latest generation like iPhone users do every year? There will surely be a period of excitement but the problem lies in the fact that the “Legacy” machines are pretty amazing to begin with so it will take some time to gauge the market’s reaction.
The roll-out for the Rupes Mark II Polisher is next week at SEMA. They are absolutely on our schedule of companies to see and yes, we want to get our hands on the new machine as well. 30% more power is intriguing but how will that translate into actual performance? Is it slightly incremental or a huge step that will same us all time when trying to achieve that ultimate finish. Our guess is that it’s somewhere in the middle. Expect to see some respected names in the industry get behind the machine and promote it as the best thing to happen to the auto detailing market since…. well, since the machine it’s replacing.
What does this mean to us? We’re forecasting based on our customer surveys (65% indicated they would still by the Legacy) that we will now sell more of the Legacy machines due to the lower price point. At the same time, we must also be prepared with the Mark II Polisher for those that are seeking the latest and greatest and looking for any level of competitive advantage.
All we have to do is ask ourselves if we think Rupes would do this in the absence of competition? Where would automotive technology be without competition or anything else for that matter. We probably wouldn’t be driving Model T’s still but it undoubtedly wouldn’t be where it’s at today. Your competitor makes you better. They push you to find new innovative and unique solutions to everyday challenges. In this respect, we must thank the folks over in China for helping us lower the price of the machines while creating this new opportunity. Thanks, China! Keep up the good work! Also, look at the machines that are not changing – the Duetto and LHR75E Mini. Why? Because the market is not as big and there hasn’t been a serious competitive threat to these machines.
So you just threw down $399 for a machine that is now being replaced by the Mark II. Should you be upset? NO! You bought it for a reason. It’s a great machine and it’s made a lot of people a lot of money. Unless the Mark II can butter our bread for us, the $100 premium will keep a lot more people buying the Legacy machines.
Summarizing, this move by Rupes should be applauded. They are capitalizing in a number of areas not the least of which being the timing. Just before SEMA – I expect to see their booth look like a frenzy on the floor of Wall Street
Upodium Enterprises, LLC is a CA based company that owns and distributes Clarity1 Polishes & Waxes and other auto detailing supplies.