Plans for an Eminence facility in China began on November 21st 2005 in an effort to better serve Eminence customers that were manufacturing in Asia. By June of 2006, production commenced at a temporary location near the construction site of the permanent factory. In March of 2007, Eminence moved production to the new facility and finished the final decorating touches for the 160,000 sq. ft factory in late May.
The factory is capable of housing up to 400 employees in the new, air-conditioned dormitories. Employees also enjoy clean, well maintained, climate controlled production and warehouse areas. According to Danny Meadows, OEM Sales representative and 24 year Eminence employee, “We want to take the best possible care of all our employees. When they are comfortable and happy, they can concentrate on our proven manufacturing techniques and on building really great quality products. We also know that we have to protect our components and finished goods from the incredible humidity that is so common and potentially destructive in China.”
Why would a 41-year-old American company take the risk of starting such an endeavor in China? Eminence President Rob Gault states, “To keep growing in the speaker industry we had to either create a presence where the demand was or resign ourselves to shrinking.” Gault’s comments probably come as no surprise to anyone familiar with the pro sound or music products industries. In 2005 alone, foreign-invested manufacturers involved in the musical instrument industry in China grew to account for almost 60% of total sales for such products originating there. The Customs General Administration of China reports that export values reached $923M, an increase of almost 16% from 2004.
Eminence has often been referred to as the “brand behind the brand”. From it’s factory in Eminence, Ky, the company produces loudspeakers for brands such as Gibson, Fender, Epiphone, Peavey, Kustom, Yamaha, Yorkville, Gallien, SWR, and the list goes on. According to Sales Manager, Gary Morrison, “We were determined to replicate the production equipment and processes exactly as they are here in KY. This ensures that our customers can expect the same quality and performance from our China facility as they do from Kentucky.”
“The new facility in Dongguan is not an effort to replace the Kentucky factory.” Gault continues, “Eminence USA remains very healthy and very competitive both in the USA and in our export markets. Our Eminence branded product line has become popular in over 100 different markets, and we will continue to concentrate on that production here in the USA to meet our distributors needs. On the other hand, Eminence Dongguan will logistically address the needs of our OEM customers manufacturing in Asia. Additionally, we will be serving many of those customers with turn-key products; something that Eminence has never been able to offer before, and with a level of quality and on-time delivery that you just can’t find anywhere else in China.”
“The Eminence staff in Dongguan did an incredible job both in preparing for and hosting the grand opening event,” says Chris Rose, Marketing Manager for Eminence. “We had over 150 guests ranging from local government officials, international and local vendors, and of course customers from all over the world. We were flattered that so many people attended and traveled so far to get there. It is a testament to the quality of the Eminence family.”
Entertainment for the event included a long roster of local Dongguan talent including musicians, vocalists, acrobats, clowns, and dancers. Featured entertainers for the evening were Dave Widow, Gary Mallaber, and Gerald Johnson from California based Dave Widow and the Line Up who brought down the house.