Ibanez moving out of Japan - Jemsite
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post #1 of 126 (permalink) Old 08-28-2017, 06:19 PM Thread Starter
 
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Ibanez moving out of Japan

I was watching "Know Your Gear" on Youtube today and Phillip was saying that the factories in Japan are being converted to Lexus dashboard manufacturing. He stated that all guitars will be made in Indonesia.

Does anyone know when this will be happening? I have my eyes on a Prestige model but I was going to wait on buying it. Do I need to jump on it ASAP?
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post #2 of 126 (permalink) Old 08-28-2017, 09:48 PM
 
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Re: Ibanez moving out of Japan

This would be insanity for the brand. Surely this can't be true.
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post #3 of 126 (permalink) Old 08-28-2017, 10:22 PM
 
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Re: Ibanez moving out of Japan

I saw that too, I mean... for the factory business itself it makes sense no?

I bet that most of the guitars Ibanez have sold come from the cheap to mid range which in the Indonesian factory is a lot cheaper to make than in Japan. That might not be the people here in the forum or Rich's customers but, not everyone is lucky enough to get the MIJ models. And if you think about it.. the JEM 777 LNG supposedly is limited to only 450 models worldwide. They are still available in various stores. 450 guitars is not a lot, if Ibanez sold a lot of high end guitars you would think they would be over by now. I am sure they have sold more than 450 Premium guitars in the same time frame. Rich, if I recall correctly, also have noted that the quality control of the high end guitars seems to be similar to the Premiums lately, with him having to check almost the same thing on both lines. Which could point out to the Fuji factory putting their resources into the Lexus dashboard manufacturing.

I think that business wise it makes sense. I don't know where Phillip got the info from but I can see how that can become a reality.
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post #4 of 126 (permalink) Old 08-28-2017, 10:27 PM
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Re: Ibanez moving out of Japan

If it's on the internet it must be true.

Fujigen already makes interior wood for Lexus and Toyota.
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post #5 of 126 (permalink) Old 08-28-2017, 10:40 PM
 
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Re: Ibanez moving out of Japan

Yeah I knew about the wooden interiors as well but I don't think they would ever stop manufacturing in Japan.
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post #6 of 126 (permalink) Old 08-28-2017, 11:35 PM
 
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Re: Ibanez moving out of Japan

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Originally Posted by Stealthtastic View Post
Yeah I knew about the wooden interiors as well but I don't think they would ever stop manufacturing in Japan.
The odds of an individual being creative enough to come up with this story for no particular reason vs. Ibanez thinking this is a great business decision are, unfortunately, not in the individual's favor, unless they work for The Onion. That is what worries me a little.
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post #7 of 126 (permalink) Old 08-29-2017, 06:45 AM Thread Starter
 
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Re: Ibanez moving out of Japan

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If it's on the internet it must be true.

Fujigen already makes interior wood for Lexus and Toyota.
Why would he make that up?

What he said was the Japanese Luthiers are teaching the Indonesian workers/factory how to produce better instruments. That one day there will be no difference between Premium and Prestige. Is he really making all of that up?
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post #8 of 126 (permalink) Old 08-29-2017, 10:15 AM
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Re: Ibanez moving out of Japan

Why would anybody believe some random Youytuber has any clue what happens in a Japanese boardroom.

Quote:
Originally Posted by flight1311 View Post

What he said was the Japanese Luthiers are teaching the Indonesian workers/factory how to produce better instruments. That one day there will be no difference between Premium and Prestige. Is he really making all of that up?
So did he say they were moving production to Indo, or did he say someday Premiums will equal Prestige? Sounds more like that new math where 2+2=3.

Japanese luthiers have always been in Indo training, and IMO the only guy that can actually make a decent Premium, is the Japanese trainer.
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post #9 of 126 (permalink) Old 08-29-2017, 10:55 AM Thread Starter
 
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Re: Ibanez moving out of Japan

He said that production would be fully moved to Indo and that the Japanese factory would become full time Lexus production (because it is way more profitable).
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post #10 of 126 (permalink) Old 08-29-2017, 11:08 AM
 
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Re: Ibanez moving out of Japan

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rich View Post
Why would anybody believe some random Youytuber has any clue what happens in a Japanese boardroom.
Phil isn't exactly a random YouTuber--he owned the music store near me here in Chandler, AZ for many, many years and definitely has enough industry ties to have a ligitimate scoop on a few things.

That said, Rich, I'd trust your Ibanez knowledge over Phil's any day, so if you're not worried, neither am I.
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post #11 of 126 (permalink) Old 08-29-2017, 11:12 AM
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Re: Ibanez moving out of Japan

I'll be dead, and possibly dust before Premium = Prestige.
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post #12 of 126 (permalink) Old 08-29-2017, 11:27 AM
 
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Re: Ibanez moving out of Japan

Okay, I just watched the video and it sounded like pure speculation to me.

I would link to the video here, but the forums do some wonky things with YouTube links. Just search YouTube for "Live QA #33 Gear is not for the Audience" and go to 2:48 in the video if you're interested.
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post #13 of 126 (permalink) Old 08-29-2017, 11:44 AM
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Re: Ibanez moving out of Japan

If that's what the OP is referring to then there's a gross misrepresentation of what was actually said.

And, what was actually said is gibberish.
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post #14 of 126 (permalink) Old 08-29-2017, 12:47 PM
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Re: Ibanez moving out of Japan

We all know Premium is the is long-term play for Ibanez+Fuji. I doubt Ibanez wants to make RG655 in Japan for the last few years. But we all know Indo will simply NOT allow sales of high end guitars or pricey Signature axes. Hence the catch-22.

If Fujigen 100% abandoned guitar manufacture (unlikely to me) the luthiers would go somewhere. This doesn't mean there won't be MIJ Ibanez guitars of course. There are other makers/builders. Ibanez could source the semi-hollows to prior builders, Sigs to Sugi (or find a USA builder) and sell more domestic (japan only) guitars.

A few simple things would make Indo better and Fuji moot at the $1000-$1500 price point...

Better, drier wood
PLEK
Independent Contracted luthiers supervising entire runs in batches
Edge trem & Gotoh hardware
etc.

Ibanez wants to move pricing up on all MIJ axes... short term they could simply cut back on Fuji/Prestige MIJ and add more high-end (Sugi?) MIJ. Sales data would easily determine this. There exists a spreadsheet with break-even and projected costs/profit. At some point Prestige might just not be worth the commitment.

Judging by comments in the last few years here it seems fewer and fewer would really care, so why would Ibanez be expected to?
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post #15 of 126 (permalink) Old 08-29-2017, 01:00 PM
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Re: Ibanez moving out of Japan

Premiums may be a long term play, because they have to be. It'll be long time before they have the consistency to produce good instruments, for all the reasons you mentioned and many more. But I see Premium as a mid range play only, and it's never intended to be anything more.

Of course they want to build 655's in Japan, they will raise the pricing over time but the fx exchange is pretty much back to normal. No way Sugi takes over signature production because there is no way average Joe pays $5000 for a regular signature model. Not in this decade [although it is coming to an end]

But bottom line is all I saw was some random youtuber [i don't care what he owned] talking out his arse.
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