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JuanCarlosVejar

New Management

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Sorry to be the guy that sends out some bad news but.... I believe things will change drastically. The new management will try to trim down the expenses and when they look at Montana they will find that all the processes except for the actual building are duplicated in Nashville. There is a battle for turf between the two places and things like marketing and sales are big issues as well as the actual day to day details like Human Resources and the like.

 

Many years ago John Thomas sent all of his detailed measurements and x-rays of old Gibson's to Gibson. All of these specs were sent to China and not Montana. John will confirm this. Epiphone has a huge factory in China and they are perfectly capable of build exact copies of all of J.Ts research. China has no problem with buying all the wood they want from anywhere. The Federal government will not interfere with their day to day activities. If an iconic brand like Levis can go to China then the next logical step would be for Gibson to go offshore as well.

 

The new management will be ready to cut costs and Montana could be history. I certainly hope this will not happen as I am a true Gibson Montana champion but at some point we will have to face reality. Henry couldn't do this and he paid the price. Henry promoted the magic of a place in the mountains with a legendary almost mythical figure who made guitars one at a time. Well the Ren Ferguson era is over and the Henry era is over and the new Gibson will not be so kind.

 

Lets try to focus this discussion on guitars and not so much on wearing apparel. By the way when Levi left the country I went to Wrangler. I have way to many Gibson Montana guitars and won't be buying anything from China so.... I hope to hell I am wrong.

 

I would let the new guys start first, before making assumptions on their behalf.

Henry J. was not successful anymore and made a few wrong decisions (Onkyo, Philips and a few others). According to your post they already sent stuff under his management to China to reduce cost. Gibson Montana is not doing bad at all, why would you change something that works. Building acoustics in Nashville was not working back than, that's why they bought Flatiron and started Gibson Montana. The Gibson guitar business was not the problem for Gibson and their financial situation at the end.

I give the new management the benefit of the doubt.

Edited by J45fan

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I totally get pride in your own nation

 

But does politics really come into you guys choice of instrument?

 

History comes into it, not nationalism, at least from my perspective. Think of Martin, building guitars for the last 185 years, and Gibson for the last 120 years. Whenever I see an ancient tintype of some cowboy on the American frontier with a guitar, I get out a magnifying glass to try to figure out what it is.

 

I've played a Martin guitar that was built at the time of the American Civil War, and Gibsons from the Roaring 20's and the Great Depression.

 

That's the type of thing we don't want to lose by seeing a company like Gibson move production offshore.

 

Building great guitars, both acoustic and electric, is an American tradition that many of us would like to preserve.

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Some different viewpoints on AGF:

 

 

 

https://www.acoustic...ad.php?t=525894

 

 

 

BluesKing777.

 

Interesting, thanks BK7.

 

 

Some observations - Don't continue reading if you are easily offended.

In my opinion, the concept of 'Lifestyle Branding' is a non-starter for the guitar industry. The new owners are confusing brand loyalty with 'Lifestyle' choices. A 'LIfestyle' marketing strategy might work for clothes, coffee, and theme parks. I guess even laptops, and cellphones you have to replace every 3 years - where you can expand the concept of 'brand loyalty' to take in consumers who want a 'watch' with an apple logo on it as well. (Hello - it's a mini-computer worn on the wrist! You already have a smart phone that tells the time!)

I can't believe the guitar playing consumer will be spending $4K for a NEW Gibson because they want to enhance or underscore a 'lifestyle' statement. Harley-Davidson? I don't know about motorcycles - but I don't see the most dedicated biker buying a New HD every other year to add to his collection (IE, not selling his Old Ones and diluting the market for New Ones). Yes they have an extensive clothing line in their stores - but will that take a hit if they move their production offshore and start selling 'rice burners' ? So - new senior management can claim they're converting 'brand loyalty' to 'Lifestyle" but, if it doesn't INCREASE sales of NEW Guitars - it's not an effective strategy. Rolex can inundate us with ads to convince us that if you buy one - you are cool, but it is piece of expensive jewelry that tells time - that you can SHOW OFF wherever you go. Cant do that with a guitar. If I see someone with a Harley-Davidson t-sirt, I don't assume they have a bike anymore than if I see someone with an LA Lakers t-shirt, I assume they're an actual Laker. I assume they're a fan. I have a "Ford" t-shirt and a Ford. Everyone has to have a car. Not everyone has to have a guitar. People only hold on to New Cars for 6 years. New guitars - I'm guessing a lot longer. People do not want to spend $4 on a guitar if they can't play. So, branding with a "Ford" t-shirt is not 'Lifestyle' either.

Are accessories as a legitimate "Product Line" ? f I decide to buy a Gibson strap, I'm not doing it because I'm declaring a 'Lifestyle' for myself. Strings, straps, pickups, end pins, parts.... I don't think that because you can buy a strap and a pick with a "G" logo - you will be motivated to buy a New Gibson later on. Regardless, if they think it is wise to convert an iconic brand to a 'lifestyle brand' like a pair of jeans that will wear out after 2 years - they'll be expanding the brand to millennials, but closing it off to professionals. Dangerous shift in direction because it smacks of short term thinking.

As far as the possibility of moving production offshore... All my electronic gear is made in China. But I have different expectations, a different more personal relationship with my guitars. They're instruments, not 'devices'. I would not buy a dog ''Made in China". Nor a Wedding Ring. I don't buy food 'made in China'. If Gibson decides to 'Go Global' like Levis did - quite simply, I won't buy any. Call it 'Nationalism', but at some point - if EVERY product produced in the world is made in China - guess what? I prefer a little more 'balance' in the global economy. That's why I buy Guinness !

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Same things have happened here - worldwide really - all the manufacturing has gone to Asia, no cars made here at all.

 

 

You mean the Subaru Outback, that Paul Hogan was in the add for, isn't made in Australia? I feel like they lied to me.

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Gulp...I guess my new acoustic sounding pickup-to-be-invented-still ain't coming. Doesn't matter - I have invented one myself - put my phone in the soundhole and tape it up with gaffa tape. Beam the sound to my computer by WiFi.....All we need is a 'phone mount for soundholes'... [mellow]

 

Same things have happened here - worldwide really - all the manufacturing has gone to Asia, no cars made here at all.

 

But the "Made In China' label is fairly unlikely, most things are made in Indonesia now, help desks and online stuff in Manilla, Phillipines and all owned by all kinds of nationalities.... you will have to get them past your new wall.

 

The local guitar makers, Maton and Cole Clark, have purposedly improved their quality and stress the ‘hand built’ component to compete with cheap imports.... they are still running, selling bucketloads because you can get 4 budget Matons, for example, for the price of a Gibson Bird here. They are hanging on by the skin of their teeth though, I better go buy another Maton....hmm, that matt black one or the Custom Shop ....?

 

BluesKing777.

 

Here is my prototype (copyright 2018 DJR):

gNeumA2.png

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https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lifestyle_brand

__________________

 

"An organisation achieves a lifestyle brand by focusing on evoking an emotional connection with its customers, creating a desire for a consumer to be affiliated with a particular group or brand. Furthermore, the consumer will believe that their identity will be reinforced if they publicly associate themselves with a particular lifestyle brand, such as expression by using a brand on social media."

Edited by Boyd

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Here is my prototype (copyright 2018 DJR):

gNeumA2.png

 

Oouhh. . . a hybrid !

 

I'm looking through you, iPhone. (nice photo, D.).

 

 

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lifestyle_brand

__________________

 

"An organisation achieves a lifestyle brand by focusing on evoking an emotional connection with its customers, creating a desire for a consumer to be affiliated with a particular group or brand. Furthermore, the consumer will believe that their identity will be reinforced if they publicly associate themselves with a particular lifestyle brand, such as expression by using a brand on social media."

 

guilty as charged.

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Here is my prototype (copyright 2018 DJR):

gNeumA2.png

 

 

Mr Cooky better get to work! It is an inch too long on either end.

 

What about an ....ha....iPhone mini with soundhole attchment clips?

 

 

 

BluesKing777.

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Here is James Curleigh speaking at the National Retail Federation. He speaks of making the

Levis brand into a 'lifesyle' brand.....I wonder if he will make Gibson into a lifestyle brand?

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Here is James Curleigh speaking at the National Retail Federation. He speaks of making the

Levis brand into a 'lifesyle' brand.....I wonder if he will make Gibson into a lifestyle brand?

 

Very Interesting. Good insight into the direction he will take Gibson.

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I, for one (my opinion, only), don’t really see a lifestyle marketing approach to Gibson as anything negative. Taylor, already, to a large extent has marketed its brand as a lifestyle brand as has Martin, and the whole guitar industry for that matter...filled with rock n’roll, bluegrass, folk, tree huggers, long haired classical, Beatle moptops, Stones badboys, wide brimmed hat blues players, and Gene Autry singing cowboy images. Henry fed the Gibson lifestyle brand (just look at the celeb players who play Gibsons as well as Epiphones), but where he went too far was with failed electronic industry purchases and debt instead of further building on and strengthening the guitar lifestyle image he already built, rather he tried to widen its scope.

 

Hopefully, KKR, buying on guitar foundation will build on and strengthen that guitar image already in place of Les Pauls, Flying Vs, and Montana acoustics, plus, the well made Masterbuilts and economy versions of Gibsons produced by its overseas arm Epiphone. And, build on its large volume mass market oriented overseas made Epis and its low volume hand made oriented USA made Gibsons...both which seem to have remained well funded through the BK 11 reorganization unlike the unrelated non-guitar segments of Gibson.

 

I looked at KKR’s present investment holdings and there were some holdings still in its portfolio dating back to at least 2007 although there were many more from as recent as 2013-2018. Leading me to believe some company investments they stick with while the others may be shorter term turnaround-like investments. Focusing on the longer term ones still in their investment portfolio, my hope is Gibson will be one of those...time and their management choices will, of course, let us know over time.

 

Personally, they’d be crazy to move any Gibson processes overseas as it would not only dilute Gibson guitars’ well established reputable image, but, also dilute their successful Epiphone brand, when they can only gain by separately strengthening both separate lifestyle guitar brands.

 

Just my thoughts.

 

QM aka Jazzmam Jeff

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Many years ago John Thomas sent all of his detailed measurements and x-rays of old Gibson's to Gibson. All of these specs were sent to China and not Montana. John will confirm this.

It is, indeed, true. Gibson management then sent me a photo of the Chinese workforce holding printouts of my X-rays. I'll find and share the photo. Beyond bizarre.

 

Gibson eventually produced 50 copies of the guitars I x-rayed and lent them, without crediting me. At one point, the Montana folks told me that they didn't know where my guitars -- WWII-era Banners -- were. Some months later, they found and returned them.

 

I wish the new management team the best. Onward and upward, I hope!

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It is, indeed, true. Gibson management then sent me a photo of the Chinese workforce holding printouts of my X-rays. I'll find and share the photo. Beyond bizarre.

 

Gibson eventually produced 50 copies of the guitars I x-rayed and lent them, without crediting me. At one point, the Montana folks told me that they didn't know where my guitars -- WWII-era Banners -- were. Some months later, they found and returned them.

 

I wish the new management team the best. Onward and upward, I hope!

 

 

 

Hi JT!

 

Keeping busy?

 

First job for the new boy is to front The Panel to explain this extraordinary episode and either way, JT is owed for services and guitar hire (and a Grammy and possible Nobel Prize for the K-Girls book and recording!).

 

And after that, if he is smart, the new guy will put JTs guitars into production for us Trodds......put me down for a K-Girls commerorative LG1 and a SJ.

 

 

 

BluesKing777.

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Hi JT!

 

Keeping busy?

 

First job for the new boy is to front The Panel to explain this extraordinary episode and either way, JT is owed for services and guitar hire (and a Grammy and possible Nobel Prize for the K-Girls book and recording!).

 

And after that, if he is smart, the new guy will put JTs guitars into production for us Trodds......put me down for a K-Girls commerorative LG1 and a SJ.

 

 

 

BluesKing777.

Thanks for the kind words.

 

Nah, not owed a thing. I tried to help out. I'm fine with Gibson management reversing course and deciding not to credit me (I'm OK, too, that it took 10 months to get get my very dry, frets popping, guitars back, because they suffered no permanent damage (other than needing frets hammered back down and dressed).

 

I only hope that the new management can get the company I love back to the quality control it hasn't exhibited since the early 1950s. Fingers crossed!

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Hi JT!

 

And after that, if he is smart, the new guy will put JTs guitars into production for us Trodds......put me down for a K-Girls commerorative LG1 and a SJ.

 

BluesKing777.

 

 

And me for both a J-45 and an SJ. Maybe two: one traditional, and one of the rare rosewood models, like the one Tom B has.

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Several times I’ve read stuff here that comes across borderline racism.

I’m really not getting how the Chinese are to blame for everything

 

If the stuff wasn’t sent there then they would have no part in it

The fault is with whoever commissioned them to do it. Why would they not take on the task when asked ??

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Oh, nothing resembling theft involved! That photo was taken in Gibson's manufacturing facility in China. I sent the X-rays to Montana along with 4 WWII era, Kalamazoo Gal-made Banner guitars. Shortly thereafter, Gibson stopped talking to me about the Gals project, and the x-rays ended up at Gibson's facility on the other side of the planet. I've no idea why Gibson sent the images there and printed them out, or whether Gibson used them in producing guitars in that facility.

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Oh, nothing resembling theft involved! That photo was taken in Gibson's manufacturing facility in China. I sent the X-rays to Montana along with 4 WWII era, Kalamazoo Gal-made Banner guitars. Shortly thereafter, Gibson stopped talking to me about the Gals project, and the x-rays ended up at Gibson's facility on the other side of the planet. I've no idea why Gibson sent the images there and printed them out, or whether Gibson used them in producing guitars in that facility.

 

 

Wasn’t aimed at you JT

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I recall first reading about KKR and similar organisations in Fortune - I think it would have been late nineties. If so they've been around a while...but my take would be that such businesses have zero interest in their 'legacy', this will be about how to extract the most money from the investment in the shortest possible time and nothing will be off the table. One thing's for sure, it won't be 'business as usual' cos that wasn't paying out, they have the deep pockets and thick skin required to perform whatever surgery they think will extract the best price/profit from whomever they on-sell to. In the best case scenario for fans that might be a lean organisation with awesome quality, highly respected instruments. There are many scenarios obviously. Should be interesting to watch!

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