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Bozeman production question


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For those who have visited the Gibson facility in Montana, I'm wondering how many guitars Bozeman ships daily. I only ask out of idle curiosity, having toured both Martin and Ovation factories. I know that Taylor puts out a lot, and the Asian factories reportedly ship am emormous number of guitars.


Not knowing any better, I'm thinking Gibson is smaller production if for no other reason than I just don't see a lot of Gibbies hanging on store wall compared to other big names. Morerover, an awful lot of shops carry Taylor and Martins, but there ain't a Gibson for miles.


I also wonder how Gibson's production today compares with the Kalamazoo days. Back then, of course, it was basically Martin, Guild, and, in the sixties, I guess Ovation, but there were fewer players then, so I think Gibson's market share was a lot bigger.


I know this has nothing to do with Gibson as an instrument, or with music, but Gibson (without sounding maudlin I hope) is something of an American institution, as is Martin, and worth looking at as a business study. It is interesting that Gibson, Martin, and Harley-Davidson have risen to the challenge, as it were, and rediscovered what it is that makes them special.

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Just to put that 65 in perspective, Martin and Taylor build around 300 guitars a day. (The Bozeman number may increase. While plant's running pretty much at capacity, there has been some thought of adding a second shift.)


I don't have Kalamazoo acoustic production figures, but I can give you some idea of total fretted instrument (acoustic guitar, electric guitar, banjo, mandolin, etc.) production. Kalamazoo was turning out around 80 instruments per day in 1950, and around 120 instruments per day in 1960. There was an enormous boom in the 60s, and production increased to around 360 instruments per day by 1965. Production dropped -- more slowly than it rose but pretty sharply and steadily -- after 1965.


-- Bob R

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