We should see a cheaper new Fanatec range to launch in 2021, revealed in the latest earnings report from Endor AG, the parent company of Fanatec.
The financial statement starts with positive numbers from 2020, with consolidated group sales of 90 million euroes according to preliminary figures, and predictions of the three digit million range in 2021. And that’s attributed partly to the growth of sim racing during the Covid-19 pandemic, but the sim hardware market was already increasing even without the boom during global lockdowns.
That’s good news for Fanatec and Endor. But the big surprise is that a range of lower-priced Fanatec wheels and products is planned for this year.
The reason is the launch of the PlayStation 5, and the expected launch of Gran Turismo 7, which is predicted to be in Q3 or Q4 in the Endor report.
Obviously Fanatec has produced officially licensed wheels and bases before, including the CSL Elite Racing Wheel pictured above, which was officially licensed for the PS4, and they’re well aware of the popularity of the Gran Turismo series, referencing the 5.5 million copies of GT5 sold in the first month of release.
Before the disruption to the GT Sport World Tour in 2020, it was noticed that the Tokyo event actually used Fanatec CSL Elite wheels for the sim rigs, rather than Thrustmaster. And in the past, the official Gran Turismo product licence was also held by Logitech.
At which point, the report quotes Andras Semsey, CFO of Endor AG:
“By placing new products in the lower price range of the Fanatec portfolio, we will be able to significantly expand our market share worldwide. In line with our top-down brand strategy, we are also consciously accepting slightly lower gross profit margins for this expansion. However, due to the overall strong growth, profits will continue to rise.”
This could have a big impact on sim racing hardware, as the entry-level sim wheel and pedal market has long been dominated by Logitech and Thrustmaster. And the latter company has held the official Gran Turismo licence for some time, with the T300RS GT edition, T500 and T-GT.
There’s no further information available yet, but with the CSL Elite currently priced at €499.95, we’ll have to wait and see whether ‘lower price’ means targetting the £369.99 T300RS, or something sub £300 to compete with the Logitech G923 and the Thrustmaster T150/TMX range.
Either way, it’s exciting news as more competition between sim hardware manufacturers should mean more incentive for better products and pricing from all the companies involved. And it’s likely any new products will also be PC compatible, although Xbox Series X and J sim racers might be left disappointed.
You can keep up with the latest Sim Racing Wheels and Pedals, here, including new releases, deals and more, incoluding the latest Fanetec products, which include the more affordable new CSL Universal Hub and the revived CSL Steering Wheel McLaren GT3 V2.