In the five years preceding 1956, Tektronix Inc.'s sales in Europe increased more than 10 times and caused management to focus attention on this market sector. This sales increase reflected the rapid recovery and growth rate of Europe and the United Kingdom following World War II. In view of this, and because of the policy to provide the best and fastest service possible to its customers, the decision was made in early 1958 to establish an overseas manufacturing and assembly operation.
There were other advantages to be gained by such a move. The proximity of a manufacturing facility to the Common Market and European Free Trade area, and producing the same scopes as Beaverton, would enable shipping instruments and parts to our customers faster, provide much needed customer training, and save customers time and money.
For the first operation of this type management wanted to ensure minimum communications problems. Since the four individuals who started the company were not bilingual, location in an English-speaking area would simplify their jobs considerably.
The only two English speaking areas are the British Isles (England, Scotland, Wales and Ireland) and the Channel Islands. Guernsey, in the Channel Islands, had the best overall combination of benefits including sufficient numbers of potential employees, year-round air service, favorable corporate tax structure, and immediate availability of a building for the company to begin operations.
The Guernsey manufacturing plant closed in 1990 and all manufacturing was moved to the Heerenveen plant in Holland resulting in a layoff of around 220 employees. There is a 1961 video "Tektronix on the Isle of Guernsey" on the Video Gallery page and a story by Dave Spink "Tek Guernsey" on the Employee's Stories page. Tektopics was a newsletter for the employees of Guernsey similar to Tek Week in Beaverton. We have an extensive but incomplete collection of issues located on the Tektopics page.
Under construction - if you have information to share on Guernsey please contact the museum.