On conference call the CEO said new capacity that would come on line (next year at this pace) would be dedicated to new product introductions. Each store I visit has a backorder for 20-50 10/22s and/ or Mini 14s. Their 1-2 Mil unit backorder is for products people have already identified and want to buy. With this knowledge why dont they dedicate more production to these categories, to satisfy demand that is right in front of them?
There is huge demand for alot of their product lines, SR series of handguns, LCS series of conceal weapons, their 22/45 pistols. I'm looking right now at a Mark III Hunter, damn sexy in Stainless steel. It's Ruger's fault for making such great guns. The only answer to this problem is to build more production facilities which they are doing, but that is going to take a year to impact productiion.
Demand should be about the same for new products, if not more than the current products. So if they move new product lines to a drop-in facility as Fifer mentioned, then it obviously frees up capacity for the older models on current production lines, while dedicating faster output to new models for which the demand should be even higher. Eventually he said he would like to scale up the production to run several production lines in the new facility to full capacity: 300,000 sq. ft./700 employees. Nothing you can really fault in that strategy.
In the past, the have done a tremendous job increasing capacity on the existing footprint but its only now that they are out of space more or less to continue growing output as they have been. Right now the 2 mil unit backlog is just 2 quarters at their current rate.