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Chapter 949: Failure
Translator: Atlas Studios Editor: Atlas Studios
200 taels of silver. Not to mention the others, even the empress felt that this was rather unimaginable.
The tractor weighed 650 kilograms. Its metal components alone already exceeded 550 kilograms, excluding the supporting rotary tiller.
Today, a 10 kilogram steel blade in Dayao costs roughly 15 taels of silver.
The metal used to make the blade was worth 10 taels of silver, which equated to one tael per kilogram of steel.
For 550 kilograms of steel and a rotary tiller, its cost would be a price of at least 600 taels.
This didn’t include other materials like rubber, which was expensive, the human and material resources consumed by the tractor, or the technology behind it.
Even if this uncommon product was sold for 2,500 taels, the merchants of the Yun Nation wouldn’t even think twice before buying it.
Although these people didn’t understand what R&D costs were, they still knew that the rarer something was, the greater its value would be.
However, Ren Baqian actually quoted a price of 200 taels. The crowd almost thought that he was referring to gold.
Ren Baqian spread his hands and said, “There’s no choice—you would not be able to afford it if it was expensive!”
“Give me 100 of these…!” Tong Zhenye quickly racked his brains. If he dismantled the tractors and sold the metal, he could earn a few hundred taels from each tractor.
Ren Baqian rolled his eyes. The old man’s craftiness was atypical for an aboriginal.
“You must be dreaming. Don’t even think about it.”
He was able to guess what the old man was thinking about even with his eyes closed.
Actually, the costs weren’t as high as everyone thought. The main objective of producing the first batch of tractors was to transport goods to and from the Yun Nation. Along with the improved transportation capacity and the reduced losses, the price of iron ore could fall even further. For the internal market, the price was expected to fall 50 percent after a short time.
Including manpower and material resources, these tractors would probably cost more than 200 taels of silver to manufacture.
10,000 tractors would cost more than 2 million taels of silver.
How long would it take to produce 10,000 tractors? Producing about 70 in a month at the start was already considered pretty decent. With the familiarity of the craftsmen and the application of various assembly lines, production in the first year was expected to be at 2,000 tractors.
Ren Baqian expected to double the production numbers in the second year and double again in the third year.
It would take three years to produce 14,000 tractors. How much change would 14,000 tractors bring to Dayao?
It would free up at least 140,000 people. How much benefit would these 140,000 people provide to Ren Baqian?
Simply put, 140,000 workers would be able to join the factories and churn out a large number of products from the production lines, including tractors.
By means of a greatly improved transportation capacity, sending these products to the Yun Nation could earn back huge profits.
Ordinary people could also boost their income through additional factory work and long-distance transportation, increasing their spending power.
Weren’t all the new items on Dayao’s market products of the royal family? For instance, spices, glasswares, and a series of other life-improving products that were about to be launched?
The tractors were sold at a loss, but everything else was high profit.
As a result, a large part of it would flow back into Ren Baqian’s pockets.
Over the long term, the lives of some people would improve, and a large number of skilled workers could be trained in the factories. By then, he would have earned back the losses through other aspects and made Dayao more prosperous.
As such, it was a win-win situation for everyone.
Of course, these words weren’t intended to be said to these people.
“It’s okay to buy a few for your own pleasure, but don’t let your ideas get past that. This is to support a portion of the commoners, not to let you exploit an advantage.” Ren Baqian smiled at everyone. “Her Majesty is willing to use this money to help the people of Dayao live a better life, but if you harbor evil designs for it, you are stealing the money that she planned to use to support the people… As for the consequences…”
It was unnecessary for him to explain the consequences. Everyone immediately understood what he meant.
Her Majesty took out the money from the royal treasury to subsidize the commoners, which was a charitable act. However, if these officials dared to harbor evil designs, she would chop their hands off!
Feng Hou, Ge Yihong, and a few others drove the tractor out of the ditch. Ren Baqian checked on it and found that its quality was as he expected. It was sturdy, resistant, and durable.
Although it fell into the ditch, only its exterior was damaged, and it could still continue to operate.
While Tong Zhenye and Qin Chuan fought over the driver’s seat of this steel beast, Zhuo Yan, the Minister of Justice, directly drove it away. Although he was driving crooked, he soon understood how to use this thing on the muddy grassland. He drove it to the east gate of Lan City with ease and rammed it straight into the wall.
When Ren Baqian and the others returned, they found that half of the tractor had already been reduced to scraps.
“I stepped on the brakes that you mentioned, but it didn’t have any effect. I then pulled the reins and the entire thing crumbled.” Zhuo Yan threw the steering wheel to Ren Baqian with a helpless look on his face.
Ren Baqian immediately knew that this fellow had definitely stepped on the accelerator instead of the brakes.
There was still a problem since the people of this era liked pulling on reins. Should he add a handbrake to the tractor?
He originally wanted to introduce the product to the commoners, but it got snatched away by the empress, who drove it into the ditch and caused a long delay. It was then turned into scrap after Zhuo Yan drove it into the city walls. This steel beast naturally didn’t cause the sensation that he had expected, but it still became the talk of the people in Lan City.
After all, a self-propelling steel beast was still pretty fascinating to them.
It was like how ordinary people in the past reacted to the wooden ox.
The officials in the imperial court were very interested in this new product. According to Ren Baqian, a round trip journey from Lan City to the Yun Nation would only take six days, and it would be much more convenient to plunder in the future.
In the days ahead, he subsequently wouldn’t have to be so busy.
The tractor’s production line was designed and built by the researchers. Some of the physicists and chemists had also begun to touch on the rules of this world through some of the equipment that Ren Baqian brought back.
The students who had just entered secondary school took turns to teach the newer students, which also saved Ren Baqian a lot of energy in the school.
The operations at the Department of Commerce went smoothly as well. A large number of new products were about to be released, including sugar, his favorite one.
This extremely cheap product in the modern world was even more profitable than salt in this world!
The most exciting thing for Ren Baqian was the situation of those sword masters.
In just one year and two months, these people, who were considered to have encyclopedic knowledge, had attained the level of a university graduate.
They absorbed this amount of knowledge as if they were sponges that never became saturated from soaking up water. Their learning abilities were horrifying, but made Ren Baqian extremely excited.
Most of the sword masters were sent directly to the laboratory to support the researchers.
It was estimated that in less than two years, there would be a group of local researchers in Dayao.
There were also a few sword masters who were sent back to the school to be teachers, and they became the first batch of highly-educated native teachers.
Next year’s school enrollment could be expected to increase several times!
After Ren Baqian was done with all of this, he finally had time to visit Xin Zhe and Lin Qiaole.
However, because of a minor accident, he wasn’t able to make it.
The first batch of adult magazines from Japan finally appeared on the shelves of Lan City’s bookstore, and this caused a huge sensation in just three days.
Plus, Ren Baqian got his leg broken…