Fender decided to suspend the manufacturing of instruments under the popular Hamer guitar brand, indefinitely.
It is now confirmed that Hamer Guitars will just fulfill the last of its existing custom orders, before finally packing up.
Although not as popular as its parent company Fender, Hamer Guitars has a worldwide following and is used by a diverse list of big name artists including Judas Priest, No Doubt, Dire Straits, The Police and many others. Even with its historical significance, credited as one of the pioneers of “boutique” guitar brands, the company’s sales is said to have been “declining for a long period of time”.
With Fender’s failed IPO last year, and their long term debt of more than $200m, they have decided to focus their resources on the brands that are still in demand. It is said that the job losses are unlikely because Hamer is serviced by a small team in the same Connecticut factory that makes Guild and Fender Custom acoustics. The main concern however is, what about the other brands under Fender, what will they close down next?
Fender issued the following statement: “Fender Musical Instruments Corp/KMCMusicorp is suspending production of Hamer instruments to focus our efforts on other brands within the company’s portfolio, and to continue to address musicians’ needs by designing and building the highest quality, most sought-after instruments in the world.
At this time there are no immediate plans to manufacturer Hamer instruments. However, should the market dictate the need for Hamer instruments, it will be considered. We will continue to service all consumer and dealer inquiries for warranty service and support for the Hamer product line. Customer Service will have full access to the list of finished goods, assemblies and parts to address customer requirements. We will support the Hamer brand, its products and related trademarks.”
Founded by Paul Hamer, John Montgomery and Jol Dantzig, Hamer guitars started out small, but was soon bought by US distribution giant Kaman in 1988. Fender then acquired Kaman in 2007 for $117 million dollars, making them the parent company of Hamer and other popular brands like Takamine, Ovation and amplifier maker Genz Benz.