Other Guitars

Gibson Lays Off Custom Shop

1

As Gibson inches closer to bankruptcy.

3

Seems like the worst place to start.

Somehow Fender was brought back from near-death experience of 1983-84, but they didn't go wild on other brands and of course had the amp line to help.

4

That's it, Henry, blame everyone else but yourself. Sounds familiar.

Dupa juda.

5

Didn't Henry blame the brick and mortar shops for not having places to sit and only allowing seasoned musicians access to his high end models?

6

As you say, DCBirdMan, the custom shop is the last place to cut costs. It gives Gibson high-end credibility. If Juszkiewicz hadn't sunk untold millions into his pet project - the self-tuning Dark Fire Robot Guitar - Gibson probably wouldn't be in the financial spot it's in today by all accounts. Henry's Black Hole!

8

Like it or not - “The ‘purists’ have a very loud voice on the online forums" - THIS is true. I don't doubt that without this forum's input that FMIC wouldn't have made the improvements they did. Gibson forums, on the other hand, are a whole other animal.

I don't doubt that Gibson has made some major mis-steps (everyone points to the self tuning guitar?) and without some major course correction they're in serious trouble. I did like the new V re-design (of course, I'm a weirdo).

9

Gibson's Henry is a lot like the original Henry Ford. Always right, and never mind what the customers really want or are saying.

When sales of the Model T were taking a dive, it was because customers were stupid, not the fact that other auto makers were producing cars that customers liked more.

His son finally convinced him that Ford needed an updated car. After a lot of resistance, the Model A came out. Shortly there after, the recession hit, and Model A sales tanked, and Ford was in big financial trouble.

Again, Henry blamed the customers, and his son's higher priced Model A for the slump. Never mind the Recession that was turning into the Big Depression.

Granted guitar sales are different than car sales, but the two Henrys' have a shared hard headed mentality that "they are right" on everything.

They also both took it out on their workforce to get things back on track.

Big difference in Henrys is that the one with Ford for a last name had some smart family in the business, and some wealth left to get things going again.

Gibson's Henry is alone, naked, and basically flat broke, but his attitude isn't changing at all.

10

I assume that laying off some employees was to give the impression to potential lenders, that he is actively trying to control Gibson's expenses.

That action won't actually save much money, compared to the debt he needs to refinance.

11

I assume that laying off some employees was to give the impression to potential lenders, that he is actively trying to control Gibson's expenses.

That action won't actually save much money, compared to the debt he needs to refinance.

– geoguy

Exactly. It's a gesture. Whether it makes a difference remains to be seen.

12

Gibson's Henry is a lot like the original Henry Ford. Always right, and never mind what the customers really want or are saying.

When sales of the Model T were taking a dive, it was because customers were stupid, not the fact that other auto makers were producing cars that customers liked more.

His son finally convinced him that Ford needed an updated car. After a lot of resistance, the Model A came out. Shortly there after, the recession hit, and Model A sales tanked, and Ford was in big financial trouble.

Again, Henry blamed the customers, and his son's higher priced Model A for the slump. Never mind the Recession that was turning into the Big Depression.

Granted guitar sales are different than car sales, but the two Henrys' have a shared hard headed mentality that "they are right" on everything.

They also both took it out on their workforce to get things back on track.

Big difference in Henrys is that the one with Ford for a last name had some smart family in the business, and some wealth left to get things going again.

Gibson's Henry is alone, naked, and basically flat broke, but his attitude isn't changing at all.

– J(ust an old Cowboy)D

Schwinn behaved similarly prior to the bankruptcy that saw the Schwinn family lose control of the company. And now they’re cheap junk from China at Walmart. Depending on who buys the name at the bankruptcy auction, Gibson could be the new First Act.

13

Exactly. It's a gesture. Whether it makes a difference remains to be seen.

– Afire

"Down-sizing" has been a popular fad with today's business "leaders" for about 20 years. These are the guys who get all their guidance and direction from Wall Street (rather than their customers).

Getting rid of employees reduces costs (temporarily) which tends to make earning per share look better (short term).

14

It is to be hoped that whoever takes over Gibson is as dedicated to making guitars as money.

Paul/FF909

15

It is to be hoped that whoever takes over Gibson is as dedicated to making guitars as money.

Paul/FF909

– Frequent Flyer 909

My gut hopes Tokai will buy the brand.

16

They own Epiphone. What if they sell off Epiphone to raise money to stay afloat and then run Gibson more efficiently and effectively???

17

I think the Epiphone division is more profitable than the Gibson division, so they aren't likely to sell off that portion.

18

From all the stories and info available of late regarding Gibson as a business, it's become clear that it isn't able to continue operations in its current form - all areas of guitar production. Their aorta has been bleeding money and simply can't continue. They have an every growing debt which eventually will lead to suppliers not willing to risk extending credit and with no materials they'll be forced to declare bankruptcy. For Gibson to continue to exist, I see them being bought by a company that knows the guitar business who will make a wholesale purge of the current management and instill a healthy philosophy in those that remain, the rank and file who aren't the decision makers who have been sent packing.

I feel the route to a future Gibson Guitar Co. existing and competing is a return, at least in the beginning to a policy of simplicity. A future iteration of Gibson needs to distance itself from the pathetic management decisions that lead to their demise. This is driven by the wise old adage, "just because you can do it, doesn't make it a good idea." Look no further than the disastrous experiment with Robo-tuners. The major take from this very poor decision, is that guitar players these days, as opposed to many decades ago, refuse to accept 'what's good for them'. They won't be dictated the attitude akin to parents saying: "Eat your vegetables." Yesterday's buyers - pre-internet - didn't have access to worldwide markets and unlimited communication with sellers and suppliers so we had to, for the most part, accept the products presented to us. Today, the cultural shift is 180 degrees and has run out of sight from the force-feeding of products policy seen in the past.

While I'm not a fan of non-wood fingerboards and bridge/bases I understand the reasons for going in that direction, given the CITES harangue, but it can't in any way be considered in the same conversation as Robo-tuners as far as inflicting a corporation's ideas on it's customers.

A [future] return to production under all new management should also take into consideration the price point, which current management has ignored as well. Baby steps are needed to attract old customers and new ones.

If they're going to have a Custom Shop, it had better be on [quality] par with Gretsch or don't bother. Moving forward, everything they do and say had better be first class or the new version of the company will go the way of the old.


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