If I inherited $1 million under condition that I have to invest it in US profit shares of medium format digital market and keep it there untouched for ten years my diversification would be as follow:
Hasselblad - 70%
Phase One - 18%
Leaf - 12%
Take your picks.
For Rollei or Sinar to be successful in US they would have completely change their marketing strategies and to start to understand the role of positive advertisement desperately needed to push their excellent products. I do not see it happening any time soon. We do not buy Cereal X because it is good, we buy it because Hanna Montana eats it.
While I have obvious Rollei sympathies (owner of 6003 for 15 years, and 4 Schneider lenses for it) I must agree with the above. The basic issue is that proud European engineering and manufacturing companies are often "product" driven - that is, they produce what they think is needed. They make what they believe is a great product, and it often is just that. They assume the market will respond positively.
This is in contract to "demand" driven companies, which listens to the market, finds their spot, and respond, and changes quickly if there isn't the market response.
This extends to how they respond to marketing - the product driven companies have histrically a rather relaxed notion to marketing, believing in the end, quality will out. The demand driven companies market as if their business depends on it (which it does).
Given deep enough pockets, the product driven companies can exist just fine for a while, but recent history has them either going bust after 10-20 years of this approach (in today's market), or changing their tune (re: Mercedes).
Demand driven companies (and their responsiveness to marketing needs) are all the rage these days. In fact, one might esay a company can't survive without this attention to marketing.
Companies like Apple are an interesting cross between the two - mostly product driven, but with a savvy way of marketing it. Leica and Sinar are of the old guard, and are slowly catching up - Leica moreso. Sinar is, well, not quite there.
I say that as a follower of the brand, as an interested party wanting their best success. But they still struggle, don't quite get how to get American market penetration,a nd are just not a factor in the US. Maybe in Europe moreso, but here, its alonely day until one sees their products. I hope fervently this changes... for them and for all their supporters and friends. I just don't know how they plan on staying in the game without more aggressive marketing.
A poor exchange rate doesn't help this to be sure, esp. when coupled with high European labor costs. So I don't know the answer, but gee, I'd really like a $15-20k bundle of camera and back. Really.