In Depth Discussion About the Inada Sogno Massage Chair
I had a 45 minute skype video chat with Cliff Levin, President of Inada USA, yesterday where I interviewed him about the state of affairs at Inada and where we also discussed, to some great length, the Inada Sogno Dreamwave massage chair.
Cliff is a very easy to talk to guy and was very open about everything that I asked of him. Here are a few things I learned yesterday that I found interesting:
1. Some of the cosmetic components of the Inada Sogno and Yume massage chairs were manufactured in China. He alluded to stitching, upholstery material, and other non-mechanical parts that were produced in China but assembled with the Japanese-made mechanical components in Japan. Because of the very high cost of production in Japan, Inada outsources these simpler, non-technical tasks to save money.
2. When I referenced the zero-gravity, or lack thereof, in the Inada Sogno and asked if there were plans to add that feature, or any other features for that matter, to this very popular chair, Cliff basically said if it ain't broken, don't fix it. So, I suspect that the Inada Sogno Dreamwave massage chair that we have all come to know and love will remain the same for the entire length of it's life cycle.
3. Inada has no plans to introduce a massage chair that they think will trump the Sogno. I am frequently asked if Inada is going to come out with either a new edition of the Sogno or if there is another chair in the works that will be even better than the Sogno. The answer to both questions is no. So, what you see in the Sogno is what you get...and what you will get for years to come. And, don't expect anything better than or as iconic as the Sogno.
4. As I had suspected, Inada is the only major name brand massage chair manufacturer that still produces their chairs in Japan. All others have migrated to China.
5. I was glad to know that Inada USA was just as nervous and uncertain about the economic effects of the huge February 1, 2012 price increase. Inada didn't express concern at the time, that I could sense, but in retrospect, now that sales have been huge, Cliff admitted that they were quite concerned at Inada about the effects of the price increase on their business. Of course, as I've mentioned on this blog many times before, the price increase was the direct result of the weak US Dollar and the strong Japanese Yen.
I am currently editing the interview. Since it is rather long, I am working on breaking it down to 3 segments. I am not all that great at video editing, so I hope I can get this done for you in a reasonable amount of time. I will post the videos on our www.youtube.com/massagechairrelief channel for your perusal.
Dr. Alan Weidner