MERIDIAN, Miss– After heavy media confusion over the last several days, News Mississippi speaks with a Peavey Electronics spokesperson about where the confusion started, and what the future is for Peavey in Mississippi.
Conflicting media reports show that Peavey Electronics, the Mississippi-based audio equipment and guitar manufacturer, is shutting its doors in Meridian, or at the very least, ending its manufacturing.
“Actually, it’s quite the opposite, which makes this whole thing ridiculous,” says Fred Poole, General Manager of Product Development and North American Sales for Peavey.
Media reports ranged from Peavey closing completely, to ceasing manufacturing, to full redaction of the original reports. Poole says it all stems from one initial press release.
“We had hired an auction house to get rid of some of this large, older equipment,” Poole says, “the local media took that as we’re closing.”
Initial reports have since been redacted. Poole says that the old equipment was being moved out in order to make room for new manufacturing equipment that was recently purchased from Germany. The new equipment will be used for a new product that Peavey will soon start manufacturing in the Meridian plant. The new product, a carbon fiber acoustic guitar, was bought from a Louisiana based company, then those manufacturing the guitar were moved to the Meridian plant.
“We moved about 30 people,” says Poole, “but with the new equipment, we hope to double or triple the output. That will require more people.”
Poole says he isn’t sure yet just how many people they will need, as the equipment has not yet arrived as the manufacturing plant. The layoffs that took place last year were from a product that is no longer being made in the Meridian plant. Poole says that’s because those particular people were trained specifically for that product and the equipment it required.
The new product is a carbon-fiber guitar that will be manufactured at the Meridian Peavey plant. This guitar, Poole says, can withstand moisture and humidity and still perform in tune.
“You can use it as a boat paddle one day, then it will be in tune for the show Friday or Saturday night,” says Poole. He says big names are already using the guitar.
“Florida-Georgia Line is using our guitars, Brantley Gilbert is using our guitars,” says Poole.
As far as job security goes, all of the guitars are pre-sold, and there’s at least a 90 day wait on the one you’ll have to order.
“It’s a great problem to have,” says Poole, “we’ll have to figure out how to make more, which increases our footprint in manufacturing, which creates more jobs for the community.”
Another problem with the media confusion, says Poole, is that many Mississippians are unaware of what Peavey does.
“And quite frankly, our company does a poor job of telling them sometimes.”
Here’s the full exclusive interview with Fred Poole of Peavey Electronics: