People will bend the nib.
-> Steel nibs don't get easily sprung and anyway they're very cheap to replace.""""
Most fountain pen companies out side of Japan or China, are minor twigs on a conglomerate's tree.....so really don't matter much in the scheme of things.
MB, Pelikan, Waterman......Lamy is still family owned...or controlled.
That is the reason companies went away from even regular flex nibs.....Ball Point Barbarians with Jack Hammer hands bending the hell out of the nibs.....holding the pen like a ball point stresses nibs but one can't tell the idiot how to hold the fountain pen....it would be too complicated and he won't buy one. (Which is why Pelikan went from a nice regular flex nib on the 400/600/800 to fat and blobby double kugal/ball nibs....semi-nail for the 400/600, nail for the 800.
....then you have to have pay trained workers to replace the nibs....need more stock....have to pay the mailing of the pen back....more admin.
As time went by.....Fountain pens did have to deal more and more with carbon paper....and in the Day of One Man, One Pen.....folks didn't have a nice soft writing fountain pen, but a one size fits all nail.......well, regular flex did hang until the '90's. By then you had a ball point for your carbon work, if you enjoyed writing.
Which many don't, because a nail's not a lot of fun....but does near as good as a ball point.
The bottom line....is no longer that dead word Dividend, ie make and sell more pens, but Bonus, hold on to market share ... or don't lose enough to affect the Bonus.
Once baseball caps didn't have snaps...you bought one that fit.............that's real hard to do today.
Just as likely fountain pen companies like Pelikan and MB make more ball points and roller balls than fountain pens. I'm fairly sure Lamy does....if not it's close. They sell 600,000 pens a year....but the tour leader didn't answer my question of how many were fountain pens. They have many, many ball points....some real nice. Some a bit better than free. MB and Pelikan make high class ball points and roller balls.
Had there only been nails to use....or even just semi-nails.....I'd be .... One Man, One Pen....my semi-nail P-75. But then I ran into semi-flex and lost my mind.
They stopped making them @ 1970 in Germany....too much comp from ball points, regular flex cost less to make..............then in the late '90's semi-nail/nails cost less to repair in there are fewer needing repair.
This is modern days.....no more stock option s....only a Bonus, so customer wishes are minor and filled with the used pen market. The manager will be gone to another lemon tree, in a couple of years anyway.
The Japanese do worry about tomorrow and the next three generations....as proved by the Toyota, and the Pilot pen companies. In the early '90's Japanese pens were nitch local market items. I certainly never heard of them.
In the mid-late '90's, they come out with a fantastic cheap loss leader fountain pen. They listen, folks want a soft writing fountain pen, they give them that. They want semi-flex, so with the half moon Pilot mod, they give them semi-flex.
Toyota pays it's top 26 managers a total of 26 million..........they do have job security and plan to take over the world car market, (no Bonus!!! ) which they are doing by making a better product. It may not be as modern as an Audi, but it works.....my Toyota is only 22 years old...Once Volvo made such a good car. Once the mean age of a Volvo on the road in Sweden was 25 years.
I will swap in my Toyota at 25 for a new one, when my wife retires....that will last us till we end up in old folks prison.
My MX-5...has some silly name that sounds like the Moth that ate Tokyo, elsewhere than in Europe, ..... well, as long as I can get out of it....I'll keep it, and it's only 18 years old. Quality at a very good price. IMO it looks like a Jag that got caught in the rain and shrank. It too is a company that looks ahead, and don't pay bonus money.
Different culture.........how ever right after the War, the Japanese were forced to adapt the US 1930's manufacturing ideas, and kept it. Way back then....bonus was paid only for increasing market share. What a silly idea.
Edited by Bo Bo Olson, 10 July 2018 - 09:04.