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‘‘Rio Ammunition represents top quality cartridges at a competitive price.’’
‘‘Rio Ammunition represents top quality cartridges at a competitive price.’’ ‘‘Rio Ammunition represents top quality cartridges at a competitive price.’’

2015.06.08


Press room - Interviews - ‘‘Rio Ammunition represents top quality cartridges at a competitive price.’’

Íñigo Rodríguez has been Rio Ammunition’s general director since 2004 and has carried out the U.S expansion process since. Now Íñigo talks to us about Rio’s consolidation process in this market and the recent inauguration of the new production plant in Marshall, Texas.


How has RIO Ammunition evolved from having a relatively low-key presence on the American market, to now being one of the main players?
We did something revolutionary by introducing a new brand within an ultra-saturated market. We went from moving a few truckloads of cartridges in 2002 to becoming a reference product nationwide. Now we compete directly in the top league. We did this thanks to our perseverance, and to MAXAM Outdoors commitment to thrive within this unique market. A market which is tremendously competitive, with customers used to deal with products offered at very competitive prices. This investment has ultimately had very rewarding results, with our success based on both international support, from the MAXAM Group, and a particularly determined staff on the ground. Our consolidation will reach a new level in 2015 with the start of production –not only of shotshells, but also of components– at our new, high-tech factory in Marshall, Texas, a site which will allow us to supply our customers with our renowned products much more quickly and efficiently

What do U.S. hunters and shooters seek when they buy cartridges?
I think hunters and sports shooters alike seek quality. They want something that does what it is supposed to, whether that consists in taking down an animal they’re hunting or breaking a target while at the range. They want products that are reliable, trustworthy, and efficient.

Why do American consumers favor RIO Ammunition’s products?
RIO Ammunition cartridges are different from the historic, standard products traditionally offered on the U.S. market. Previously, consumers purchased almost exclusively based on price, in many cases regardless of the quality. Over the past decade American shooters have realized that they can get excellent quality product from RIO without having to dig deep within their pockets. They can now buy cartridges that stand out for their single base clean burning powder, reliability, consistent high-quality… All of it at the right price. Moreover, I think we stand out because we serve our clients in good and bad times with the same enthusiasm, and in contrast to other manufacturers, we’ve always provided direct access to our clients, attending to the needs of everyone who buys our products, from major distributors to day to day consumers.
 
What are the challenges of the U.S. market?
Within such a highly developed market, our challenges are consolidating the distribution channels that we already have, as well as enlarging them in order to allow our products to reach greater numbers of hunters and shooters. We’re also seeking to reach out by continuing to innovate and develop premium products in addition to our standard products, expanding our presence in the non-lead market with our RIO Bismuth and BlueSteelTM loads. Our challenge is to continue enlarging our market while still keeping true to our commitment to quality.
 
What does RIO represent?
RIO represents American, made-in-the-USA quality. A world leader brand, made in Texas. That´s the essence of RIO it represents our values, and that of the market at large.
 
What does the new plant in Marshall, Texas, mean for RIO?
Our plant in Texas represents a definitive step forward for RIO’s history in America. Having all our key processes integrated in the new site allows us to improve our connection with the American consumer and serve our clients better all across the United States. The plant itself is a symbol of the degree of commitment to the American market.

 
Over the past ten years, what have RIO’s greatest moments been?
Almost all of our greatest moments have come at the same time with the launch of new products, perfectly engineered to match the tastes of American hunters and shooters. Each new cartridge we release reflects a great job successfully carried out by our sales and marketing team. A great product, and a public that appreciates using it… There’s just no better feeling.
 
Can you mention some specific examples?
The launch of RIO Elite, the first ever product we designed fully from scratch, really stands out in my mind. It wasn’t based on any previous model, it was really a pioneer project, fully designed with only the American market in mind. Another highlight was the launch of RIO Bismuth, a product into which we’ve really put a lot of effort and care. The challenge here was to create a lead alternative at an affordable price. I think we did a great job, offering hunters a great product that is available in a variety of payloads and gauges.
 
What’s next for RIO?
RIO is about the U.S., and U.S. growth. We have land reserved for expansion because we are convinced that RIO is steadily expanding. We do not plan to stop here. We are already part of the major U.S. distribution chains, and we’re determined to continue augmenting our presence with the marketing of new cartridges and components for home reloading (shot, primers, primed hulls, powder…).Given our commitment to quality and competitive prices, our support for our distributors and our determination to continue playing a role in the lives of local hunters and shooters, I am convinced that RIO’s position in the U.S. market will not only remain strong, but become more pronounced in the coming years.


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