Gibson says goodbye to Memphis
Beale Street Blues
We wrote some time ago that Gibson was selling its iconic Beale Street factory in Memphis. For many years, the company had built its hollow-bodied guitars here. Gibson later stated it was staying in Memphis and moving to a more modern facility. Now it turns out that the guitar maker is reneging on that commitment and leaving one of USA’s most famous musical cities behind.
Beale Street Blues
The factory had been making all Gibson’s semi-hollow and hollow bodied guitars. But as Gibson entered financial troubles last year, the decision was made to sell it off. Gibson was adamant it would stay in Memphis and made an announcement stating that it would keep a production facility open in the city.
But according to a new statement quoted on Commercial Appeal, Gibson is moving production of all these guitars to Nashville:
After thorough evaluation and amid the previously disclosed April 2019 expiration of our Memphis lease, we have determined that integrating the company’s Memphis operations with our Gibson USA and Gibson Custom facilities in Nashville, where Gibson is headquartered, is the right next step for our business.
Gibson also has a factory in Bozeman, Montana which makes acoustic guitars. But all its electric guitars will now be built in Nashville.
One would imagine that JC Curleigh, the company’s new CEO, has made this final decision as part of an asset restructuring effort. It kind of makes sense, yet I feel sorry for all the people that had jobs in Memphis with Gibson, as this will have a big effect on them and their families.
We understand Gibson has around 65 staff currently based in Memphis and that some of them have been offered the opportunity to relocate to the main Gibson Nashville factory. Ideally, this move will eventually help get Gibson back in the black, which is ultimately what everyone in the industry wants.
Here at gearnews.com we wish them all the best and hope they have a smooth transition.
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- James Curleigh new Gibson CEO: Gibson
Another one of Henry’s bright ideas that didn’t work out. And as I understand it, Henry promised Memphis some pie-in-the-sky employment figures to get breaks from the city that he never delivered on either.
Isn’t it ironic that the best instruments Gibson made were not done so in Nashville. Probably Henry’s dark cloud. So when Bozman closes just turn our the lights…the music’s over…turn out the lights…
Gibson wouldn’t be in the red if they made them like they used to. So many company’s do this. Start using crappy components to make an extra buck, when all they really have to do is follow their own success. I own a 1951 ES350, I would not spend my money on a Gibson now. I hate to say it, but their $1600 models aren’t worth $500 and their $7000 models are way overpriced. All a person is getting from them now is “Gibson” stamped on a mediocre guitar.
Before I get hate, yes, as a woodworker, and someone who has studied luthiery, I know what it takes to make a guitar. This article says they have 68 employees. They could be selling those guitars at half the cost, and still be making a profit. It pains me to say this, being that Gibson was a pioneer in quality instruments at one time, but their sales are sagging because they’re turning out crap. They need to reconsider their management, and who’s making the decisions before they become irreparably un-salvageable.
Are you idiot or just ignoring things?
What a load of rubbish!!
Gibson guitars are still of fine quality!!! ..Sure some are better than others and it pays to select accordingly but for a mass produced guitar they are excellent and beat inferior copies hands down.
Makes a lot of sense. Never needed two factories. This will make better use of facilites, staff, and common production stations.
The Nashville Gibby’s pale in comparison to the Memphis 2016 series. The Memphis are holding their value because they’re some of the only newer Gibson’s out there, besides Custom Shop offerings, that are of genuine Gibson quality.