The Truth Behind Tama's Move to China

madidus

Senior Member
I am really disappointed that some of the sentiment in this thread appears to be fuelled by 'negativity'. Comments like "So true though the people in China look at it as 'nothing more' than a job" and "I have no interest in being another "Pig iron Bob" and handing over capital to what looks to be a future enemy" really are beyond belief.

The fact is that to remain competitive in the global market place, companies have to make effective business decisions. The quality of a product is not determined by the geographical location of the manufacturing site or the ethnic make up of staff, but by the QUALITY MANAGEMENT PROCESSES that are put in place. Sure, there's plenty of second rate products coming out of China and India (and the USA and Australia for that matter), but that's because they are manufacturing these products for a client who is not prepared to pay for first rate QM processes.

The cycling industry is a good example: to increase their share of the market, some of the top name European bike brands are getting Chinese made carbon frames for their mid-priced models. The top of the line models are still made in Italy or wherever, but more and more of the competitively priced models are being made in China. They pay the manufacturers for first rate QM processes and as a result get a first rate product.

As far as environmental and political (ie. communist party) concerns go, the best way to address these issues is for the Chinese people to become part the global capitalistic market, both as manufacturers and as consumers. As Chinese citizens become more affluent and better educated, they will expect better safety and environmental standards and more freedom. I absolutely agree that a dictatorial communist government is a bad thing, but empowering Chinese citizens has to be better way to change such governments than anything else that's been tried in the past 60 years.

So as far as I can tell, Tama is looking to ensure its continued financial viability while taking responsibility for the quality of its products. And I don't believe for a minute that the Chinese staff at the Guangzhou factory do not take pride in their work.

For the record, I do not play a Tama kit and I am extremely unlikely to ever be in a position to be looking for sponsorships (I missed that boat 20 years ago). But if Artstar happens to read this, I wouldn't say no to a Straclassic Bubinga Elite with a Red Sparkle finish ;-p
 

harryconway

Platinum Member
Tama says they will keep the Japanese facility open. For now. I wonder what the plan will be 10 years from now. Guess we'll just have to wait and see.​
Build a plant in China. It's a no brainer. GM has plants in China. John Deere is building another plant there, to the tune of some 50 million dollars.​
"The new factory will produce four-wheel-drive loaders and excavators and will be located in the Tianjin Economic-Technological Development Area (TEDA). The facility will be Deere's sixth manufacturing location in China, two of which are joint ventures."​
Come on...building drums is like basket-weaving, compared to auto and heavy equipment manufacturing.​
“The largest project under construction, by far, is the Three Gorges Dam, which, when fully completed in 2009, will include 26 separate 700-MW generators, for a total of 18.2 GW.”​
All one has to do is look at that project, to get an idea of what China's capable of. Making drums, is kinda like making paper umbrella's for cocktail glasses, when you compare it to the engineering of a 26 generator hydro-electric plant.​
 

Big Foot

Silver Member
Some things I think many of us can except is that we have to buy from china. But when it comes to things we have a passion for "made in china " just doesn't cut it. My ipod and the like ok what ever "made in China" my drums NO my bike No (I'm an old school roadie - not the music kind). (all you new or new again to biking don't count and don't get it)
This is the irksome thing - there is just no passion for, or passion built-in to, something made in China. It's just stuff that the Chinese make and enjoy the employment in making it. Passionless production.
The best musical instruments are made by musicians - a luthier can play that guitar he's fixing or making. And I bet all the cymbal makers at Ziljian, can play the drums...
 

Artstar

Platinum Member
And I don't believe for a minute that the Chinese staff at the Guangzhou factory do not take pride in their work.

I totally agree.

But if Artstar happens to read this, I wouldn't say no to a Straclassic Bubinga Elite with a Red Sparkle finish ;-p

Well.. You can have your pick of any Starclassic Maple or Bubinga MADE IN JAPAN. They are available whenever you want them !
 

Funky Crêpe

Silver Member
I won't name any names, mainly because im too tired to read over the thread again, but Americans shouldn't be saying how bad china is when the us government has had very big flaws and still does today.....if only bill hicks was alive today! The majority of governments could be doing better....but then of course china is down the bottom! :)

But i couldnt care where my shells come from as long as they sound good. I doubt the money going into the asian economy from drum parts will allow them to take over the world!
 

Big Foot

Silver Member
Quote from Funky Crepe -But i couldnt care where my shells come from as long as they sound good. I doubt the money going into the asian economy from drum parts will allow them to take over the world![/QUOTE]

true - good to keep some perspective on things
 

Les Ismore

Platinum Member
The quality of a product is not determined by the geographical location of the manufacturing site or the ethnic make up of staff, but by the QUALITY MANAGEMENT PROCESSES that are put in place.

If we were all robots that might be true.

Take a look at the pics below, ISO14001 regulations regarding environmental controls hard at work.

No one on this forum is dumb enough to believe breathing and working in that quality of air (not even air, its a rarified gas) is not going to effect product quality, there's simply no way around it, management (believe it or not) is also exposed. This pollution impregnates not only the workers lungs/brains, it also impregnates the drums. Products from China literally stink. By who's standards are the Chinese workers showing up to work happy?



I don't believe for a minute that the Chinese staff at the Guangzhou factory do not take pride in their work.

Please... they could care less if they're making drums, or toilet paper, its just another job in a place where any job is welcome. TAMA is going to have a hard time convincing people otherwise and that's exactly why they moved there in the first place- cheap, abundant labor, not b/c the workers were skilled and take pride in knowing what they're building.
 

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madidus

Senior Member
I tried to avoid the word in my previous post, but this thread has degenerated into an anti-Chinese rant that, quite frankly, is racist. Some of the assumptions in the above posts are simply incredible. I will not engage further in this load of ignorant, red-neck bollocks.
 

harryconway

Platinum Member
Los Angeles smog.......................................
 

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Andy

Administrator
Staff member
Before this turns into an ugly nationalistic & misguided petty political soapbox, just judge the end product on it's merits, & factor in origin if it's of importance to you. If you want local, then buy locally made & sourced product. It really is that simple.
 

Bernhard

Founder Drummerworld
Staff member
I think Terry Bissettes points are clear and logic. I fully understand.

For us Europeans there is another point:

Made in USA, made in Japan, made in Taiwan, made in China: this all means low or very low quality.

The really quality labels are: MADE IN SWITZERLAND and also MADE IN GERMANY.

Bernhard
 

bobdadruma

Platinum Member
Interesting point of view Bernhard.
We still must remember that almost everything that we buy has components from all around the world.
Almost all products are sold all around the world.
Your cars components were probably made in 5 countries.
Your Mac was made in China.
 

Funky Crêpe

Silver Member
I think Terry Bissettes points are clear and logic. I fully understand.

For us Europeans there is another point:

Made in USA, made in Japan, made in Taiwan, made in China: this all means low or very low quality.

The really quality labels are: MADE IN SWITZERLAND and also MADE IN GERMANY.

Bernhard

And i can't remember the last thing ( apart from chocolate) that came from swizerland, or even germany
 

Andy@MIT

Senior Member
Take a look at the pics below, ISO14001 regulations regarding environmental controls hard at work.

No one on this forum is dumb enough to believe breathing and working in that quality of air (not even air, its a rarified gas) is not going to effect product quality, there's simply no way around it, management (believe it or not) is also exposed. This pollution impregnates not only the workers lungs/brains, it also impregnates the drums. Products from China literally stink. By who's standards are the Chinese workers showing up to work happy?

Posting pictures of the effects of air and water pollution is a pretty stupid way to make your point. It is pretty easy to find similar pictures of places in the US during the 20th century and first-hand descriptions of similar situations in 18th-19th century England and the 19th century in the US. China is not alone in their current disregard for health and the environment.
 

zambizzi

Platinum Member
Posting pictures of the effects of air and water pollution is a pretty stupid way to make your point. It is pretty easy to find similar pictures of places in the US during the 20th century and first-hand descriptions of similar situations in 18th-19th century England and the 19th century in the US. China is not alone in their current disregard for health and the environment.

It's the kind of anti-market sensationalism that Les is known for. Soviet Russia was the worst known environmental abuser on the planet, prior to the collapse. When private property rights are null and void, and the state owns everything, no one owns anything. It becomes normal to destroy property without any regard to future utility, because there is no accountability. When you see these enviro-alarmist pictures of bare forests in the American northwest, with stumps littering the tattered landscape - keep in mind that these are typically government-grabbed lands that have granted permits to companies to come in and chop away...not the private property of the companies who are utilizing the resources. There is no incentive to preserve, only abuse. The US gov't remains the largest polluter in the US today, by far.

Any folks from Houston, here? I've read that the smog there is even worse than LA...saw some crazy pictures, a few years back.
 

JDC

Member
Any folks from Houston, here? I've read that the smog there is even worse than LA...saw some crazy pictures, a few years back.
I believe this is accurate. I recently completed a master's in urban/environmental policy and this topic came up a few times in class discussions.

Sorry to get off topic. I enjoy when economic and environmental issues come into the discussion in a forum that is ostensibly about music(al instruments).

So who here had plans to buy a new Tama but has changed their plans because of the move to China? Anyone?

Anyone still planning to buy a Tama, regardless of the move?
 

Les Ismore

Platinum Member
It is pretty easy to find similar pictures of places in the US during the 20th century and first-hand descriptions of similar situations in 18th-19th century England and the 19th century in the US. China is not alone in their current disregard for health and the environment.

It may be easy, but its also just as easy to find the quality of the product made then was just as low. Early-mid 20th century drums made in the USA offer some good examples, overall the quality wasn't that great. All the way through the 60's (high pollution rates) we can find many (more than today) examples of shoddy workmanship within the drum industry. Stress of the times, pollution etc. played a part, currently big factors in China today. Factor in workers just showing up to a job and under QC scrutiny, product will bear the effects.

I personally do not care to own drums made under such conditions, as I consider myself sensitive enough to be aware of the effects on humanity, the planet and my art.
 
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