Our friends at circusrc.com have asked Philippe Neidhart a few questions about the RC market and Team Orion Racing.

Some racers know Philippe Neidhart, some will discover him today. Philippe is one of the Pioneer of the RC industry, he started business in the 80’s when Electric RC was booming, at that Time Team Orion has been created. Team Orion is one of the first company selling competition RC batteries based on the quality, by matching each individual NiMH cells, quickly it became the batteries to have worldwide and in 1994 Team Orion won his first IFMAR World Championship this was the start of a long story…

Following this success, Oscar Jansen the European motor Guru joined Neidhart and guess what Team Orion modified motors became World Champion. Some Years later Adrien Bertin, the World Champion and Nitro Engine Guru started the Team Orion engine project and again Team Orion became World Champion. The goals have been set, develop innovative products, demonstrate they are able to win the most prestigious races and produce them to improve the racing experience of all the RC fans around the World. This was and still is Philippe View of this business.

Based in Geneva Switzerland Neidhart is a group of several companies with popular brands under the hood like HB Racing, Team Orion, Peak Racing, nVision, Performa Racing, HMX Technology, those brands have been used to win about 20 IFMAR World Championships, in all categories, many EFRA European Championships, ROAR US Nationals and JMRCA Nationals. Recently we had lot of questions on Circus RC News concerning the direction of the different brands of Neidhart and in Particular Team Orion. We decided to ask directly Philippe Neidhart the man who started all this.

Now let’s ask Philippe about todays business:

 

Circus RC: Philippe, we do this interview since we realized you are one of the key RC business owner in activity but not many people knows you well.

Philippe Neidhart: Yes Right, I travelled a lot in the 80’s 90’s to develop business, but since I had around me some of the best product developer’s in the Worlds (Oscar and Adrien) I wanted to make sure they are on the front and at the end they know the products the best and are the key people to help and support our customers.

Circus RC: You have been in this business since more than 30 Years, what do you think of all the changes in this industry that we have seen recently?

Philippe Neidhart: Since some years the business has drastically changed, when I started we had no internet and all the products where sold by the traditional style system, Factory/Distributor/Hobby Shop/ Racer but since some Years we saw that online purchasing became a new standard, at same time the traditional distribution system was more interested by RTR high volume sales and if became difficult to find the racing products in the shops.

Circus RC: So what does it changed for you ? Your companies ?

Philippe Neidhart: We had to adapt constantly our way of doing business, now it is important to be very close to the consumer, to be able to communicate with them on social media, through our websites etc, in the past, the expert was the sales guy at the shop, since people buy online in many case, they need to have the good information’s before to make the good choice, not at the shop. Today we try to create a community of the fan of our products and to be with them for the best experience and fun with RC cars.

Circus RC: Did you made some drastic changes to be able to do this ?

Philippe Neidhart: Yes, recently I created a new brand called Performa Racing, this has been made exactly for the new business style. It is a brand which is pure racing orientated, I personally participate to the social media activities, we only have extreme products, made in small quantities but with only one goal : make our customer winning, the distribution is modern with direct sales, or sales through our partners in each country. It is online orientated.

 

Circus RC: We had lot of question concerning Team Orion future since you did Performa Racing, can you tell us something?

Philippe Neidhart: Team Orion is stronger than ever, in fact Performa belong to Team Orion and like said is a pure racing brand. Team Orion has a very wide range and much more product categories, it goes from your first NiMH stick pack to the HMX World Champion controller. We are actually adapting Team Orion to the new business model to be able to closer to the customer, Team Orion has been sold by distributors since the beginning but lot of competition products are not sold by regular shops anymore but more by racing shops or online racing retailers.

Circus RC: Ok but what does it means for the Racers ?

 

Philippe Neidhart: We are just starting our new project Team Orion Racing, which will consist to have competition items, sold using modern distribution system, we will apply the Performa success on Team Orion Racing. Team Orion brand will still be sold like always through distributors, with products required by the local hobby shops for the entry level RC fans. We have lots of products in the pipe line.

Circus RC: Who is going to do develop it for you ?

Philippe Neidhart: Recently we had the pleasure to welcome back Atsushi Hara at Neidhart, he will work as a product developer for HB Racing, but also for Team Orion, and develop our Asian network. Oscar Jansen, Adrien Bertin, Lorenz Schmid and Adriano Inserra are all in the Team Orion development team as well.

Circus RC: How do you see future ?

Philippe Neidhart: Future belong to dedicated people who adapt themselves constantly to new challenges, I don’t have a crystal ball but I like challenges, new technology and learning new things, I try to have this concept in the Neidhart group so I hope it will be great. We have a lot of inquires of dedicated racing shops willing to work with us so it looks good.

Circus RC: Outside RC what do you like ?

Philippe Neidhart: I love my family and our animals, it is a life experience as well. I am very interested in health, nutrition and sport, I am active in fight sport I do training specially Boxing and MMA, it is great to be strong in your mind in order to reach goals like in RC business or RC Racing, Last I am acting as a manager for two Professional MMA Athlete ! This is how I spend my free time.

Circus RC: Philippe, Thanks you and we wish you a lot of success for the future and the new Team Orion Racing brand.

 

Philippe Neidhart: Thank you and continue the good job at Circus RC.