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Fender vs California


Rocky McDougall

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We have discussed the severe price increases in Fender products. To many, it seemed unreasonable and poor business for the increase. With the announcement of Toyota closing the Tacoma assembly plant and moving it to San Antonio, it makes me question the ability of any manufacturer to survive in California. Many citizens and businesses are fleeing California because of the extreme cost of living and doing business there. Since I live in San Antonio, I am happy to have Toyota coming here. We see many, many people and businesses coming to Texas because it is a business friendly state. My question, can Fender survive in California? I know their corporate offices are in Scottsdale AZ, that may help, but I doubt it. With the business climate rapidly deteriorating in the US, We may soon experience that no Fenders are made in this country. I hope that does not happen.

Rocky

 

"Democracy is two wolves and a lamb, voting on what to eat for lunch. Liberty is a well-armed lamb, contesting the vote."

Benjamin Franklin

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I think that Fender would relocate outside of CA before it stopped producing its US made equipment line.

Sadly, I think that wil occur long before the CA legislature pulls its head out regarding businesses and taxes.

 

 

"Call me what instrument you will, though you can fret me, yet you cannot play upon me.'-Hamlet

 

Guitar solos last 30 seconds, the bass line lasts for the whole song.

 

 

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Between the gangs taking over the cities and driving out a large number of businesses who didn't want to deal with replacing employees who'd been shot dead in the streets, and the high cost of doing businesses there due to unbelievable taxes, California is an almost sure bet go from the wealthiest state in the union to a very large slum in nothing flat.

 

Fender already has production facilities set up in Mexico, China, etc. Why would they spend more to set up new ones, especially if everyone wants them to lower their prices, and staying in CA will just increase their costs?

Always remember that you�re unique. Just like everyone else.

 

 

 

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Fender already has production facilities set up in Mexico, China, etc. Why would they spend more to set up new ones, especially if everyone wants them to lower their prices, and staying in CA will just increase their costs?

Because people whine but they still pay.

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I remember reading that California is very strict on VOC emissions (volatile organic compounds often found in finishing products). Fender apparently skirts a lot of these laws already with their non-US facilities. I'm sure the pressure on them is fairly high. I know their American Standard finishes were suffering recently, according to some forumites.

 

 

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Joshua - Can you find me a link to CA's VOC Emissions regs? I'm very interested in this. The lab I work in does routine testing for VOCs (primarily in ground water sources/wastestreams) at a State level (with the State level overriding national EPA levels, as long as they are more stringent).

 

I'm not doubting your remembrance of what you've read, or that MCL levels are more strict in CA than elsewhere (though that would not surprise me), but I'm curious as to what those levels are, and whether they are airborne or waterborne.

 

No need to take this thread OT - you can PM me with particulars if you like.

Jim

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Maybe they can move to Tennessee. Lots of other companies are, with the notable exception of GM, which is pulling out. Nissan is here, Volkswagen is coming to Chattanooga, and Harely - Davidson is considering Murfreesboro. Three of the largest healthcare organizations in the US are here. So is Gibson. There is a county southwest of here that has a 25% unemployment rate. I bet they would love to have Fender.

Do not be deceived by, nor take lightly, this particular bit of musicianship one simply describes as "bass". - Lowell George

 

"The music moves me, it just moves me ugly." William H. Macy in "Wild Hogs"

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Environmental impact is a big deal in California. And one thing I had heard about instrument finishes was that the older nitro-cellulose finishes had more of a negative impact environmentally, which prompted a change in Fender's paint process.

 

Now will things get so restrictive in California that Fender may get driven out? That's hard to believe. California has a soft spot in it's heart for the entertainment business, and staying at the center of that universe. So would California legislators give the same kind of consideration to Fender that they do to the movie studios? That remains to be seen. The movie studios have still farmed a lot of work out to Australia, Vancouver and Toronto. But will Fender move? We'll see.

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Joshua - Can you find me a link to CA's VOC Emissions regs? I'm very interested in this.

 

Wish I could, but no, I don't remember any links to my source. Sorry. I'm sure a Google search could lead you somewhere.

 

Environmental impact is a big deal in California. And one thing I had heard about instrument finishes was that the older nitro-cellulose finishes had more of a negative impact environmentally, which prompted a change in Fender's paint process.

 

You know how people always say nitro-finished instruments "improve with age"? This is exactly the reason. They slowly let off VOCs and the finish gets thinner. A lot of people say this improves the sound.

 

Nitro finishes aren't the only finishes that do this. Lots of CV finishes do this as well, although recent innovations in CV finishes by Taylor and Rickenbacker (both relatively eco-conscious companies far into their history from what I have read) that use UV light as a curing catalyst have an incredibly low VOC level, so they start out thin and stay thin, and are better for the environment. Apparently rapid temperature shifts don't affect it either. Fender may be going in a similar direction with their finish at this time... I recall they were boasting that the undercoat got thinner last year.

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With the current atmosphere in our Federal government towards going green, the whole US seems destined to go the way of California. Mexico has been good for Fender because of it's low environmental restrictions and wages. The quality of the foreign made Fenders in the last 2-3 years rivals US made instruments. I can't see Fender spending it's dollars to move to any other state because the things that have ruined California are soon coming to all states.

Rocky

"Democracy is two wolves and a lamb, voting on what to eat for lunch. Liberty is a well-armed lamb, contesting the vote."

Benjamin Franklin

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Fender can move it's manufacturing out of state and just keep a small office in CA. That way they can still use the address and still keep the "Made in USA" label.

 

Isn't that what the Highway One series is doing? Make all the parts in Mexico and then assemble the instrument in the U.S. so they can say Maiden USA. (that's my girl).

 

I could be wrong about that.

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Sure why not. It seems that any production manufacturing of any scale is being done elsewhere leaving only boutique items to be manufactured in the US.

 

For instance, Eden amps are doing the same as a big portion of their line is now being assembled in China. They say it's because of rising costs and the quality of assemblers has been trailing off. So sure, why not Fender.

 

I wouldn't doubt there are some environmental roadblocks That Fender may or may not find worth overcoming. I doubt that would be that big of a reason. It would be the bottom line. If they could make more proffit off the Japaneese and MIM basses and people seem to prefer them or feel there's no difference in them and their High priced brothers then why throw good money after bad, to coin a cliche'.

 

If the exodus does occur, maybe they may keep a shop open for Custom shop instruments.

Lydian mode? The only mode I know has the words "pie ala" in front of it.

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Unfortunately I don't think ecology is that important to Major corporations unless they can use it as a PR tool. Only the bottom line. Foreign governments for that matter don't care either. They are more interrested in their own piece of the pie regardless of their environment or their people.

Lydian mode? The only mode I know has the words "pie ala" in front of it.

http://www.myspace.com/theeldoradosband

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Environmental impact is a big deal in California. And one thing I had heard about instrument finishes was that the older nitro-cellulose finishes had more of a negative impact environmentally, which prompted a change in Fender's paint process.

Several years ago the Sherwin-Williams paint company announced in a corporate rag that they were now supplying the lacquers for the Fender Company's finishes. Reading this I found out that they are using SW Cab Acrylic lacquers for their finishes. They heat them as part of the process.

Being an acrylic modified product it stands to reason that these cab lacquers are lower in VOC's than nitro lacquers. They are still a solvent based product but have a fair amount of acrylic resins. I have no way of checking the VOC's against nitro lacquers because we no longer sell the nitros.

I have had a bass finished with this product (not heated of course) and it looks and sounds good, and when applied properly sprays on quite thin.

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Maybe the quality and high price of the MIM "Roadworn Series" is a look into the future. When Fender can convience it's customers that something MIM can be very high quality, why would they continue to build in the US. Maybe Corona will just be custom shop builds, that are very, very expensive.

Rocky

"Democracy is two wolves and a lamb, voting on what to eat for lunch. Liberty is a well-armed lamb, contesting the vote."

Benjamin Franklin

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