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Forum > Sewing Machines > Bernina... is this true? :( ( Moderated by Sharon1952, EleanorSews)

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Bernina... is this true? :(
sew cool sew creative

sew cool sew creative
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Date: 6/11/11 0:57 AM

I just recently went to my bernina/janome dealer to get some quilting supplies and fabric. When I bought my machine from them they started selling Bernina sm, when I saw I asked them about them (this was before I got my Janome 6600). She said I'm better off with the Janome as I get more value for the money.

Anyway while she was cutting fabric I asked about the Berninas and she said they're not as sturdy, especially for the price it costs. So the coversation went on the manufacturers and where they where made. The Berninas they had were one Activa 215 (Model name vary between couuntries) and the Aurora 440QE. She saod they were made in Asia (I already knew that because of PR) and then when I asked about the high end TOL machines like the Artista and the 8 series she said they're also made in Asia because Bernina could not afford to make any more machines in Switzerland. This is the second Bernina dealer that said that. I was shock because I always wanted a European made machine, not just the European brand but I want it made in Europe as well. This is where the Bernina 820 comes in.

Anyhoo this knock the thought of having a Bernina machine made in Switzerland, It just died, so this makes me think it's not worth having a European brand machine especially the high end ones if it's not made in Switzerland or where ever in Europe.

Saying this I want to know if this really true because I've been to two Bernina dealers and they said the same thing.
Please clarify. Thanks



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Date: 6/11/11 1:29 AM

I know that the 3 Series (or previous Activas) are made in Thailand. I've heard that the Aurora models have started to be made in Thailand now also. I think that every other model above the Auroras are still made in Switzerland.

I can say this though, I used to have an Activa that was made in Thailand and it seemed to be just as good quality as their machines made in Switzerland.
-- Edited on 6/11/11 1:29 AM --

sew cool sew creative

sew cool sew creative
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Date: 6/11/11 1:43 AM

thanks for your input it made feel a little better
I never owned a Bernina but I did test drive the Bernina 440QE and it was lovely except for the price, the price was ugly.

IDcam
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Date: 6/11/11 3:46 AM

Did the two Bernina dealers you talked to not have any Bernina machines on their floor? Also, as far as I know, all the models above the Aurora line are still made in Switzerland. They will say Made in Switzerland right below the Bernina logo on the front of the machine. I recently emailed Bernina USA asking if they have any plans to start assembling the Artista line in Thailand and the email response was no. HTH!

-- Edited on 6/11/11 3:52 AM --

sew cool sew creative

sew cool sew creative
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In reply to IDcam


Date: 6/11/11 5:01 AM

This made me feel better. The first dealer I went got this information from their training.
The first dealer has the 3 series, one Activa model, and Aurora 440QE and the new 8 series. The second dealer I went to only has the Activa and the Aurora 440QE but are managed by the same company.

Quote:
I recently emailed Bernina USA asking if they have any plans to start assembling the Artista line in Thailand and the email response was no.


I can hear angels singing around that 820 right when reading this...
Hopes are coming back.
If Bernina USA are not planning to move the Artista line to Thailand than Bernina Australia would still have machines made in Switzerland. Ooo it's nice to kow nothing is really changing even though I've been scared from dealer saying "they're machines are not made in Switzerland any more".
iSewQuiltArt
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Date: 6/11/11 6:38 AM

I have heard of no plans to shift the higher end machines to Thailand. They used to make the Auroras in Switzerland and now do make them in Thailand. I drilled my dealership and mechanic about this when I heard a rumor of this happening some years ago, and what it means, and they said there is absolutely no difference in quality of parts or of manufacture and that you would not be able to tell by looking at or sewing on the machine. There is no substitution of cheaper parts - they are all Bernina parts, but the labour costs are less expensive in Thailand than in Switzerland who have one of the highest costs of living and labour costs in the world. If they made the 3 series and Activa in Switzerland they would cost alot more than they do. I asked my mechanic about it and he said internally the Aurora machines are identical to those made in Switzerland, and are made under strict quality control standards with full Bernina control of the Thai factory. The factory workers are not left to muddle along, untrained or left to reduce costs once the company supervisor turns their back, by substituting generic parts or substandard parts, because they're very closely monitored to maintain Bernina's standards of manufacture and I hear take great pride in the standard of work they produce. The factory is definately owned and controlled by Bernina, not an outsourced third party. This information came to the dealership from the head office in Australia.

They make the Activa, 3 series and Aurora machines in Thailand. I have an Aurora made in Switzerland and a 3 series 380 made in Thailand and both stitch identically beautiful satin stitches, straight stitches, buttonholes, and decorative stitches.
I really think you don't have to worry at all that the quality is any less just because the factory in which the machine is made is not in Switzerland because the control of it by Bernina is so tight. I also am sure that if you could have the option to choose, and wanted to have your machine made in Switzerland, you would just have to pay significantly more than they were once priced at to get it, as many things have become more expensive to manufacture, even costs of metals have increased- but labour costs is one way a company can retain a competitive advantage in a challenging business environment.

I would suggest that perhaps the dealership information was not accurate or that they were not actually as knowledgeable as they might like to appear, particuarly as they aren't supporting the whole line of machines -as dedicated dealerships do. I would argue absolutely that their suggestion that they are not as sturdy and are overpriced for the quality is factually incorrect.
I've seen many Janomes go puff within less than a decade old and some that make it to 20 years barely holding it together that students have owned, for mechanicals and see regularly Berninas that are mechanical still kicking along when they were made in the 1950's and 1960's- sewing beautifully with no problems. Occasionally you see the rarer early model Berninas still in working condition, but they're desirable and collectible so you don't see them very often. Long lived Swiss warhorses, really. The evidence for the dealership's statement that they are not sturdy simply is not there. I run my Auroras on a deadline for crazy 8 and 9 hours a day of sewing at full speed, stopping to change the bobbin, brush it out and oil, for weeks on end when working on a quilting project and I don't have any problems at all with my Aurora. The engines are sturdy and built to last.

You can also check the back of the machine for the Artist and 8 series machines, where the serial number is, and you will see if they are made in Switzerland it will be in the Stekborn factory. Both the Auroras I have were made when they were produced in Switzerland and have it on the serial number plate at the back and also have Made in Switzerland written on the front under the branding on the right hand side.
On the Thai made machines it says "Made for Bernina"
-- Edited on 6/12/11 2:33 AM --

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dresscode

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Date: 6/11/11 12:20 PM

You ate paying for Swiss engineering. Where the parts come together is really a separate matter.

One would hope that Bernina people are in place at the factory.

Having said all that... I just bought a Swiss-made 1230 from the 90's on EBay. I wish they had haver stopped making the 1230's. I still sew on my 1530 but have always wanted the last great sewing machine they made....before embroidery took over their marketing department.

So, I'm good for a while. (also bought a 1080 from the nineties for a travel machine)

Guess the 90's were the heyday of sewing machines?

Bert62
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In reply to dresscode


Date: 6/11/11 12:47 PM

Grab all the late 80's, early 90's machines you can find! It's true, as far as computerized machines go. Fortunately, there are still so many from prior to that time frame that are worth seeking out. Anyway, Bernina may still make a machine in Switzerland. I don't know. However, every other company has left its home base for the cheaper labor. So, it wouldn't surprise me a bit if Bernina does the same thing for all machines. It is the way of business. That doesn't mean they can't make a good machine in Thailand. As far as quality is concerned; I've only consistently heard bad things about China. Asia is big and varied. As Americans, we used to criticize stuff "made in Japan." Now, in hindsight that was the apex of quality (especially for Kenmores). Bert

Doris W. in TN
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In reply to sew cool sew creative


Date: 6/11/11 3:44 PM

Quote: sew cool sew creative
..... I asked about the Berninas and she said they're not as sturdy, especially for the price it costs.

Seriously? That dealer would lose their Bernina franchise if they heard about that in Aurora, IL. It just is not true. (I own both Bernina and Janome.)

I also question the dealer telling you that the 8-Series and other TOL models are made in Asia.


What is true, is that you'll get more bang for the buck with a Janome. Your dealer is correct about that.
SouthernStitch
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Date: 6/11/11 4:05 PM

Berninas 600 series on up are still made in Switzerland. They are discontinuing the 400 series and will be replacing those with a 500 series, probably made in Thailand.
My machine was purchased in Nov 2010 and says made in Switzerland.

As far as the not sturdy comment, wow. My Bernina is the sturdiest modern machine I've even owned, period. Even the plastic housing is an obviously higher quality than my BL serger, which is also new.

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