- Taylor Guitars was founded by Bob Taylor and Kurt Listug in 1974.
- They are one of the largest guitar manufacturers in the US, producing over 700 guitars a day.
- We visited their factory in El Cajon, CA to see how it’s done.
The following is a transcript of the video:
Caroline Aghajanian: Taylor Guitars was founded by Bob Taylor and Kurt Listug in 1974. That’s fairly new considering some of its competitors, like Gibson or Martin Guitars.
Today, big music names like Taylor Swift, Jason Mraz, and Zac Brown strum to the tune of a Taylor guitar.
Hi, I’m Caroline, and today we’re taking you inside the Taylor Guitars factory, where they combine craftsmanship and automation to produce hundreds of guitars a day.
The company has two factories. One in El Cajon, California, and the other in Tecate, Mexico. In 2017, they made over $102 million in revenue.
Chris Wellons: Currently, we’re producing over 720 guitars a day between both of our factories. We’re slated to build over 160,000 guitars this year alone.
Caroline: Taylor guitars range between $350 to more than $9,000. So, why such a high price tag? Well, a big factor is the type of wood and materials used. They currently have over 35 species of wood in house to choose from. Their factory in El Cajon makes their guitars out of all solid wood instead of laminate construction. Some models require advanced woodworking techniques or greater decorated detail work, which can also increase the price. If the guitar is well maintained, the sound will continue to improve as the guitar’s wood ages, making it sound richer and more resonant.
The factory runs 24 hours a day, five days a week. They have over 900 employees building guitars with the help of some robotics.
Chris: We blend robotics and automation with lots of handwork. I think automation is great, first and foremost. It’s very important to continue to advance the factory and move it forward. The one thing we pride ourselves on is we’ve never replaced an employee with any automation. We’ve always deployed those employees into other areas or into the same department, which has allowed us to increase our production capacities.