JR Americas have posted news regarding JR Propo as brand on their Facebook-page.
JR Americas Facebook post
The complete post from JR Propo: (From their post here)
Notice of Discontinuation of JR Production April 5, 2018
Dear loyal JR Customer:
We regret to inform you that all production of JR Propo branded and engineered product has ended.
Like many other RC manufacturers of late, JR Propo Japan experienced significant financial issues starting in 2017. In an effort to sustain the brand, JR made the decision to license JR Propo products to be manufactured by Konishi Mokei Company of Japan.
While JR Japan’s intent was for this move to separate the JR brand from their financial issues so the brand could continue and thrive, due to a combination of legal actions as well as recent decisions in brand direction made by the new manufacture, JR Propo branded products will no longer be manufactured using the JR Propo name, or to the previous stringent JR design specifications.
Although Konishi Mokei has offered for JR Americas to carry their re-branded, re-engineered products, our experience working with Konishi Mokei since obtaining JR production rights has been less than satisfactory, nor is it one that we are comfortable in perpetuating.
During our time of business with Konishi Mokei, several instances occurred that have unfortunately caused our company to have a loss of confidence with regards to their business ethics, methods, and practices.
In addition, due to manufacturing and component supplier changes, specifications and material changes on newly produced products have caused many of these products in some cases to vary significantly from the original JR designs, also creating a cause for concern.
The “made in Japan” level of quality that most JR users have come to expect is simply no more now that production has been moved outside of Japan on key items.
Although many products continue to look like JR manufactured products with new labeling, we have concerns about the changes in components and design, combined with a lack of professional, long term testing.
We feel the products currently being developed and manufactured by Konishi Mokei will likely not meet the previous level of performance and quality as required by both JR, and their customers.
Please know that our company and staff are still committed to the support of our JR customers, and we have inventory on many key JR branded, JR manufactured products. We will continue to offer these products through the JR Americas website as stock allows.
Moving forward, we are pleased to announce that we will soon be announcing several additional new product brands. We believe these new product offerings will offer comparable substitutes for many currently unavailable JR products. We believe these products will be well accepted by our current and future customers.
Servicing of JR products will also continue business as usual, and we believe we can continue to keep our loyal JR customers “feeling the difference” for many years to come.
We thank you for your many years of commitment and loyalty to the JR brand, and we will continue to service and support JR as well as other exciting brands of products moving forward.
What does this mean?
As JR Americas have stated, JR as a RC-product does not have any positive future. How and where Konishi Mokei will market their product will be seen but I think it’s safe to say that JR as we have known it is now dead. As JR Americas stated they are taking care of customers regarding service etc, so that side is covered at least in US.
RC-hobby especially the plane and heli-side of it is suffering at the moment. It is becoming more and more a hobby for older men, junior-activity in many areas globally is non-existent if not totally dead. (I’m sure there’s exceptions locally) I’m very happy to see some bigger exceptions, the whole FPV-scene is one area where growth have been huge in recent years and especially the fact that it’s done by generally young people. Who knows what they will be flying when they get older?
Losing one of the major brands in RC-world is not a good trend. Let’s hope there will not be any more of news of this sort.