Gibson is making news again, although not all for the negative reasons of the past. First of all, the company announced that it will be moving its Memphis manufacturing back to Nashville, and that the company will return to the upcoming NAMM show after a very obvious absence last year.
When the company announced that it had sold its Memphis manufacturing plant and showroom a few months ago during its massive financial turmoil, it promised that it would be moving to more cost-efficient quarters in the city. That’s not to be apparently, as the company has decided to merge this division into its Nashville manufacturing operations instead. The plant was responsible for manufacturing its hollow-body electrics like the ES-335.
The real shame of this is that it looks like around 65 people will lose their jobs, although some may be given the option to stay with the company if they move to Nashville. Gibson also has a plant in Bozeman, Montana where its acoustic guitars are manufactured.
The news isn’t all bad though, as the company announced that it would be present at the upcoming 2019 Winter NAMM show in Anaheim after a conspicuous lack of presence last year. Gibson is expected to introduce its new line for 2019 along with a few new signature models this time.
The Memphis factory was a beautiful building with a great location in downtown Memphis. It was sold in an attempt to raise money for an impending debt payment of $520 million, which ultimately was unsuccessful, and the company was ultimately taken over by its bond holders. Gibson eventually filed for bankruptcy, but is finally out from under the filing with a new management team.
Gibson is an icon American MI company and I think everyone in the industry wants it to not only survive but be competitive again in the marketplace. We should find out more of where that proposition stands next month at NAMM.