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Mountain Buggy production moving to China

It’s hardly a surprise, but a big disappointment nonetheless. According to an article from a New Zealand media outlet, phil&teds has made the decision to move Mountain Buggy production from New Zealand to China. But I’ve never met a Chinese-made stroller that comes close to the solid, sturdy feel of the Mountain Buggy.

When our friends from phil&teds visited a few weeks ago, they were alluding to this, saying that many of the components of the strollers were already being made in China. Why should it make a difference if they make the other half of the stroller there as well? It will make a difference if the Chinese factory can’t precisely replicate the frame, a perfectly balanced structure that gives the Mountain Buggy its strength and lightning-quick steering. Until now, those frames were hand-assembled in New Zealand by skilled workers. This move should bring the astronomically high price points for the Mountain Buggy line back down to Earth, but what’s the trade-off?

I’m an optimist. So I’ll hope that the new Mountain Buggy strollers will look and feel the same, cost less, and the quality won’t suffer. But secretly I’m not sure if that’s true. I’ll be very curious to see if phil&teds will have samples of the Chinese production line at the ABC Show next month, or if they’ll be showing the New Zealand made models.

Meanwhile, if you want to own a piece of New Zealand history, we still have some in stock and on sale. Get one before it’s a collector’s item.

4 comments

  1. Mountain Buggy is currently the best stroller for the job of strolling 0 – 5 year olds with ease. I heard about the China move recently – and couldn’t believe it, but it seems China is getting all kinds of manufacturing these days, and with Phil & Teds buying them, I’m not completely surprised. I do plan to buy a MB Swift before the move to guarantee I have a quality New Zealand made stroller. Thanks for sharing.

  2. We’re not in the market for a stroller, so this is not exactly relevant to us (though, we own a Mountain Buggy purchased from you a little over four years ago).

    I hate to think this way, but I always wonder about “Made in China” after we learned about so many toys being painted with lead paint. I’m sure that there’s no reason to have lead in a stroller. Also, I think having a stroller made in NZ gave it a sort of cache–separated it from the rest. For instance, NZ (from photos–haven’t been there!) has a rugged landscape. The Mountain Buggy, thus, seems like the stroller for sand dunes, mountains, rocks, and all sorts of adventures.

    Made in China doesn’t specifically bother me with regards to the stroller (if the quality remains the same); so many things are. It’s more that the stroller will become just like everything else.

  3. i love my swift, it steers beautifully and feels so sturdy and well-balanced. although ‘made in china’ doesn’t automatically equal bad quality, i’m very happy that i already bought mine. here’s hoping the quality remains more or less the same.

  4. I can’t help but think this will diminish the product. We have owned one for almost four years-it was the most valuable item we recieved as a group gift from relatives. The sturdiness,, the steering, well made components. I even raced a four miler with my son with it.

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