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Old 07-19-2011, 02:46 AM   #1
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Are all bestop supertops now made in China?

I hate to say it but good luck with the new bestop supertops! They are made in china and are much cheaper than the previous ones. I have a supertop that is 7 years old and in decent shape but the windows were bad and the top just started to look worn so I purchased a set of skins (top with all windows tinted) I have had to get this replaced in 5 weeks! It fits much looser than my old top, flaps around in the wind, feels thinner and tore in 5 weeks.My old top was made in the USA. Right from day one when I installed the new top it was on the highest adjustment hole this just shows the fitment issue, top flapped on the roll bar, windows flapped on the side bars.I have ran nothing but supertops from my 85 CJ7 to my 91 YJ and never had this issue before. This is my third and by far the worst . I picked up the replacement Saturday and will let you guys know if its any better (doubtful as right on the box it says Made In China) funny thing is I asked the guy at four wheel drive hardware and he said the cheaper bestop products like pavement ends were made in china then I showed him on the box where the supertop skin said made in china. He also said the US plant closed and now they only have shops in mexico and china. I assume there shop in mexico only makes jeep oem tops, is this correct? I hope there customer service stays up to par now that the tops went down hill.

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Old 07-19-2011, 06:53 PM   #2
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I would try contacting Geoff@bestop for the best answer as he is a rep for the company. I am curious on this topic also.

Jeff

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Old 07-19-2011, 09:34 PM   #3
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Virtually all our tops are made in Toluca Mexico. We own that factory, so it's our employees, our QC, our management etc. We make tops for other vehicles there as well.

Some of our tops have been made in China, but that number is declining. It has to do with making the Toluca plant bigger/adding capacity.
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Old 07-20-2011, 08:56 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Geoff@Bestop View Post
Virtually all our tops are made in Toluca Mexico. We own that factory, so it's our employees, our QC, our management etc. We make tops for other vehicles there as well.

Some of our tops have been made in China, but that number is declining. It has to do with making the Toluca plant bigger/adding capacity.
Isn't that wonderful. Why would a company want to produce products in the U.S. and employ U.S. workers to manufacture those products. Maybe a bit off topic but maybe we are at the point if a company doesn't have at least one production facility in the U.S., maybe we don't buy that product.
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Old 07-20-2011, 09:24 AM   #5
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Blame the government not the company.. when Uncle Sam isn't doing much to keep jobs here like give businesses incentives to stay in the US its harder for said businesses to make a profit.. you have to face it that we are moving towards a one world economy.. buy american or buy whatever.. chances are good that somewhere along the manufacture of any product you buy another country had a hand in making it..

My 92 yj was made in canada but that doesn't bother me any.
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Old 07-20-2011, 11:38 AM   #6
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Geoff@Bestop thanks for the reply in my thread and answering some questions. Any idea on when we will see more of the made in mexico tops around? I asked when I was at four wheel drive hardware in Ohio, and was told they looked in the back and all they had were the made in china tops.
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Old 07-20-2011, 12:00 PM   #7
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Government is only partly to blame.......Greed is the number 2 cause. The American worker wants the "dream" so he expects to make $100k plus without an education or skill set. Then wonders where all the jobs went.....The unions were useful once upon a time but now they've forced industry to go offshore to produce where they can pay a realistic wage.
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Old 07-20-2011, 12:26 PM   #8
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How about you experiment with making your own top, and start learning how to make it quickly, but reliably? You'd have an advantage over companies that have a complete management structure and a faraway factory location that makes it uncompetitive against a group of 5-10 people making the same amount of money per hour. That HAS to be a fraction of what the CEO of Bestop makes a year.

That is what it's going to take to bring business and manufacturing back to the US. Cut unneeded organization structures like middle managers and DON'T put yourself in the position of employees having to organize against you to get fair working conditions and salaries.

The key is, we need to have human-scale, sustainable manufacturing, so that while people aren't waiting years to get a product, you minimize the effects of market saturation, a fatal flaw of the business model (because you end up having to create a new product and give the customers an incentive to dump or add to what they already have in order to perpetuate the market-share gain/growth based model of business, which is unsustainable over the long run).

By keeping it human-scale, being able to adapt the level of manufacturing to the market needs becomes much easier and in fact necessary. I'm talking about the ability to turn on a dime from a primarily-manufacturing entity to that of a warranty-servicing entity when market saturation is reached and the products are aging, needing service (replacing aged windows and stitching damaged areas), and then being able to redirect employees back on the assembly line when large orders start to come in to replace finally-unrepairable products. That way, you have minimized the effects of market saturation on employment levels. You have employees who are trained to work on the assembly line AND make repairs.

I could go into much more detail in how to make something like this work, but you need to consider this idea and realize you have a golden opportunity. See, the Internet Reformation allows you the opportunity to turn the tables on the politicians who create the business-hostile environments, the businesses that outsource everything including your bodies, and the foreigners that end up producing way too much and blowing up like communist countries do, AND you are able to reach millions of potential customers very quickly.

The Internet Reformation allows you the opportunity to change how America is today to a better one, one that serves the individual better than any current business model ever can. I have to warn you, though, that such products may be more expensive to buy and take longer to make, BUT, you must consider something I learned about communist economies during the Cold War, in which Americans live under today; that communist economies are very good at something - blowing up by misallocating capital formation, natural resources, and human talent/energy. Cold-War USSR was an example of that, and China is a perfect example of that. Look at the many empty cities that were and are being built today there, just for the sake of building, not because they need them. Money, resources, and human energy wasted for capacity that is currently unused, never mind that the empties are starting to crumble through lack of maintenance. This is one thing that centrally-planned economies can never understand, because of the long-time-frame "planned" nature of central planning. They can't account for what the market needs and is willing to bear for the services and products needed by individuals that make up the marketplace. This is something the US Gov't does NOT understand as well.

The fact is, we should not have to worry about the "one-world gov't," as it becomes more apparent that there is no way to even service a portion of the principle of the public debt, never mind the unfunded obligations. Pretty soon, the gov't will be so preoccupied with staying alive as a statist organization that it will be unable to track down and prosecute business violations for operating under the table and remaking America from the ground up. The One-World Gov't you speak of is British Imperialism. Again. I'm tired of those people.

You got your work cut out for you. Get after it. If you start up a business that needs trade skills, I would be willing to consider coming to work for you if you'll provide the training and a decent living wage salary at some point in time. I am getting ready to make myself mobile, living-wise in about 13 months. I plan to move out, put things into storage, and get into a trailer so I can go where I want.

File my user ID NOW in the event you have a need for my hands and my mind.

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Old 07-20-2011, 12:43 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Geoff@Bestop View Post
Virtually all our tops are made in Toluca Mexico. We own that factory, so it's our employees, our QC, our management etc. We make tops for other vehicles there as well.

Some of our tops have been made in China, but that number is declining. It has to do with making the Toluca plant bigger/adding capacity.

Geoff, my previous post was a warning to your organization that people seeing this opportunity are going to find a way to undercut you and push you out of the way if manufacturing is not returned to the US. You need to read that post, because we're going to make it happen. It's only a matter of time before Obama or a future president has to sign a document similar to one that Gorbachev signed in 1991, which could pave the way for states' independence. You're going to have issues with communicating with your factories and making them uphold the treaty deals in the absence of a federal government capable of enforcing these agreements. Whatever your home state is, you're going to have to work through them to determine the status and nature of relationships with your factories or any other business parts you might have in another sovereign state. Do not leave yourself vulnerable like this.
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Old 07-20-2011, 12:53 PM   #10
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Very ironic that this topic was brought up.i had just purchased a safari top for my tj and first night I was putting it on, the driver Velcro strap ripped clean off and I noticed the passenger side is about to rip clean off as well. Geoff gave me contact information for Bestop.

But it made my wife ask "babe, I know you are excited, but where are you buying this stuff from?"
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Old 07-20-2011, 12:54 PM   #11
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^^You realize nearly everything we own either has parts made in China, WAS made in China, or has China involved somehow, right?
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Old 07-20-2011, 01:00 PM   #12
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Yeah but was expecting just a bit more out of the quality. I mean Velcro straps ripping off on first use, C'mon man
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Old 07-20-2011, 11:43 PM   #13
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A few quick points before I run from this thread:

1. There's no advantage to me personally in getting involved in geo-political economic conversations. Just lots of room to make things worse.

2. Make a distinction, please, between a guy who works for a company, and likes to
post here, trying to help, and an official company spokesperson. You can tell the official ones because they normally write long statements that say nothing.

Cheers!
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Old 07-20-2011, 11:46 PM   #14
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Geoff@Bestop thanks for the reply in my thread and answering some questions. Any idea on when we will see more of the made in mexico tops around? I asked when I was at four wheel drive hardware in Ohio, and was told they looked in the back and all they had were the made in china tops.
No. Sorry. All OE, and all NX tops are made there. Not positive what the plans are for other products right now, just the overall goal. And also, not something I think we'd announce or release.
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Old 07-21-2011, 12:13 PM   #15
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I just saw this, and you might want to look into it. I'm going to read this more carefully when I have time this evening.

Part I: America
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Old 07-26-2011, 10:50 AM   #16
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Check out Softopper... Made in USA...

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Old 07-26-2011, 10:53 AM   #17
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Old 07-26-2011, 02:32 PM   #18
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Thanks for the Softopper link. They even make a soft top for the Scout II! Here's the thing to consider, Geoff. I compared prices between the two of you. Very close, within $10-20. Negligible difference. Now, if we were talking Softopper being $800 and you being $500 with the same quality, then we'd have something to talk about.

I need to remind you that I'm not comfortable with the idea that you have a communist country using capitalism (as abused there) to further their goals making these things for you. As long as I have an American offering with the same price and quality, I'm going American.

Here's what you didn't anticipate - China is experiencing a lot of the same things during America's industrialization period on a fiat currency system - inflation! The cost of manufacturing has gone up over there as people get a taste of the American way of life and clamor for more money to make that happen. Guess what? The input prices go up. I'm really surprised to see the prices of the tops being very similar NOW. I thought it might happen in a year or two.

Geoff, I don't mean to come across as fighting you. I'm sorry if it does. What I want for you to understand is that it's time to bring the work and the skills back home. PLEASE read this article and forward to the company's owners. You MUST understand what's happening.

Part I: America

It appears futures parts of this article will be coming out at a later time.
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Old 07-26-2011, 03:00 PM   #19
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The American worker cannot compete with labor from China and India. While we might put out a better made product, we cannot match the shear out put. We have unions that set wages high for the workers and the company raises prices, those countries have millions of workers willing to work for nothing. Walmart is one of China's largest trading partners. Hell, I remember seeing walmart commercials when I was younger saying they were proud to sell American! Now go there and try to find something made here!
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Old 07-26-2011, 03:03 PM   #20
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The American worker cannot compete with labor from China and India. While we might put out a better made product, we cannot match the shear out put. We have unions that set wages high for the workers and the company raises prices, those countries have millions of workers willing to work for nothing. Walmart is one of China's largest trading partners. Hell, I remember seeing walmart commercials when I was younger saying they were proud to sell American! Now go there and try to find something made here!

READ THE ARTICLE! You're going to find out something else.
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Old 07-26-2011, 03:21 PM   #21
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They can write all they want about it. It won't change a thing. The gripe about China devaluing their currency is a old one. They have been doing that for years.

You can write all about how unfair China is on trade, it won't change what they do. The government will never impose tariffs.

What I am getting from this article is that only way we can beat China is to become socialist.
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Old 07-26-2011, 03:39 PM   #22
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They can write all they want about it. It won't change a thing. The gripe about China devaluing their currency is a old one. They have been doing that for years.

You can write all about how unfair China is on trade, it won't change what they do. The government will never impose tariffs.

What I am getting from this article is that only way we can beat China is to become socialist.

What are you talking about? We are ALREADY socialist! There are other things in China that's working against them. It's just a matter of time.

By the way, please answer the comment regarding Softopper and Bestop - why is there only a price difference of about $10-20 between them? Let me explain something here...

There is a The North Face Tent, the Minibus 3, going for about $380. I remember when stuff started moving overseas - the prices didn't drop. Explain THAT.
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Old 07-26-2011, 03:54 PM   #23
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You are living in a fantasy land if you think we are socialist. There are people in power that want us to be socialist, but as of now we are not. I have friends in Europe and they laugh at us when people say we aer becoming socialist. If we were we would be paying 25% of our paycheck to taxes and would sure as hell not be able drive and build Jeeps since gas would be $10 a gal.

Can Softopper match the out put Bestop can? What type of warranty do they both have? What type of support?

Explain what? A company that has to answer to stockholders with a profit? The goal of a business is to make money.

Do you really think the government would be able to run private industry? This is the same government that encourages trading with China! I have heard China is going to implode before and you know what? I WON"T BELIEVE IT UNTIL I SEE IT!!
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Old 07-26-2011, 04:09 PM   #24
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You are living in a fantasy land if you think we are socialist.
Do your due diligence, BDK. I have done underground financial research for over 6 years. I'll say though that I don't want this country going socialist, but it's already happening in stages. What do you think social security is? What do you think the gov't telling you what you can or can't do in your 401K plan is? Federal firearm laws? That said, not getting into it further here. I'm sorry folks. The topic of geopolitics and how it affects business is simply too big a topic to get into here. I realize this thread is about soft tops for Jeeps.

Does anyone want to comment on the quality differences between these two brands in a thread somewhere? MAYBE some day, I'll have a Jeep and want to buy a soft top. I would be willing to wait a bit of time in order to receive a locally-made product. Besides, we seem to be headed there already. It looks like macroeconomic forces are going to force us to make changes to our lifestyles and what we have to do to get it when our currency loses its reserve currency status. That is what would lead us to $10 gas.
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Old 07-26-2011, 09:00 PM   #25
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I bought a replacement besttop for my jeep about 2 years ago. I has wrinckles in the rear side windows and isnt as tight as the old one. Not impressed!
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Old 07-26-2011, 09:42 PM   #26
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Seems like bestop is letting the ball drop here. Anybody know if a quality top other than bestop. I'm thinking about getting one that is a fold back style that is like the original equipment.
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Old 07-17-2012, 10:14 AM   #27
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Check out the Softtopper:
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Old 07-17-2012, 10:28 AM   #28
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ive been waiting on a bestop replacement piece for a warranty issue. lets just say its been a few months with no end in sight. if anyone wants a barely used trektop nx for a 2 door with a slightly bowed sunrider bar(no real effect on function just looks) id let it go cheap. and send you the replacement when it shows up.
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Old 07-17-2012, 10:50 AM   #29
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I love my softopper no major problems. I am using bestop super top upper doors though. I highly recommend it even though its made to use full doors and I'm using half doors and they r not water tight they work great for winter (that is untilled I get full doors or upper hard doors(softopper told me upper hard doors will work fine with their top)

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Old 06-21-2014, 01:09 PM   #30
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Thank you for opening my eyes. I wanted a soft top for this summer and the name Bestop was on my mind until a friend told me it was a Made in China product. Hearing about the loss of quality has knocked a Bestop soft top down to the "not happening" range. Quality and fit are going to rule over price. I see no reason to take off a perfectly functioning hardtop to be replaced with wrinkles, windflap, and water issues. On the political side, I'm extremely proud to own a small business that not only buys American but buys local.

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