Leica has not stopped making film cameras

This post on rangefinderforum (quoting the Japanese magazine Asahi Camera, June 20th issue) indicated that Leica has stopped producing film M cameras back in 2009:

“On 30th May, Leica Camera’s CEO said in his lecture at the Japan Camera Industry Institute that Leica has already stopped making film bodies. He also revealed the fact that they had already stopped making them in 2009”

I was not sure if the above text just got lost in translation, so I contacted Christian Erhardt (Vice President of Marketing Photographic Division,  Leica Camera USA) and this is the answer he gave me:

“Your questions comes timely, in fact just earlier this week I was in our factory where I saw the production of Leica’s M product lines. While we do not have a constant production of certain lenses and cameras, we have the ability to produce batches of those products. For example: Certain exotic lenses & cameras are produced in batches to be able to produce an economically feasible number of products.

In this case the M analog production line is just next to Leica’s M9 production line to which we have shifted our focus to better manage the backlog and reduce the wait for our customers.

As you might be well aware from the past, we have always stated that as long as it makes sense for Leica Camera AG to produce M analog cameras we will do so. At this time we are reaching our targeted numbers for M analog cameras and do well with the offering of Leica M a la Carte cameras. Just recently Leica Camera AG offered a special Leica M7 Hermes Camera. This camera was quickly sold out and is a sought after collectors camera.

At this time I have no indication that the Leica M analog cameras will be taken out of Leica’s product offering.”

FYI: only 5% of Leica’s sales are generated from film cameras.

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