Guitars have been around since at least the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries with the original shape thought to have appeared in Spain. Throughout the last 100 years, the popularity of guitars has increased dramatically, fuelled by the birth of the electrical music era. But, as is the case for most guitars companies, the manufacturing has moved from the USA overseas. Now, only limited guitar manufacturing exists in the USA.
For the most part, manufacturing in Mexico has many benefits for companies. Lower labor costs, a great workforce of skilled workers, and open trade agreements are just some of the reasons why companies may choose to move their manufacturing to Mexico. With the production of many popular guitar brands moved overseas, here let’s talk about some of the best guitar brands that are Made in Mexico.
Brands of Guitars Made in Mexico
I looked into the different brands of guitars that manufacture some or all of their product line in Mexico. Here’s what I found.
Taylor Guitars is one of the largest acoustic guitars manufacturers in the United States. Founded in 1974 by Bob Taylor and Kurt Listug, the passion that they shared for guitars and guitar making still lives on through Taylor Guitars today. Mostly known for producing acoustic and semi-hollow electric guitars.
Today, Taylor Guitars is headquartered in El Cajon, California, and has two factories located in El Cajon, California, USA, and Tecate, Baja California, Mexico. Both of these factories are exclusively making Taylor Guitars and employ over 1,200 employees that work for Taylor Guitars.
In fact, there is only around 40 miles distance between the two factories. Splitting their manufacturing between the two locations, the 200-series or lower guitars are made in Mexico and the 300 range and above are made in the USA. That is to say that the cheaper guitars are generally made in Mexico and the more expensive premium guitars are made in the USA.
However, with building guitars exclusively in the USA and Mexico, and all within very close proximity, Taylor maintains a very high standard with all of their guitars.
Established in 1833 by Christian Frederick Martin, Martin Guitars is an American guitar manufacturer, most known for their acoustic guitar range.
For a brief period of time, Martin experimented with electric guitars, however, since they were not nearly as popular as their acoustic guitars, they have since stopped producing electric models. Now, Martin focuses on producing high-quality acoustic guitars, ukuleles, and mandolins.
Similar to Taylor Guitars, Martin Guitars has two factories. Their main factory and location of their headquarters is in Nazareth, Pennsylvania in the United States and the other is located in Navojoa, Sonora, Mexico.
The manufacturing plant in Mexico was opened in 1989 where they mainly produced electrical components and guitar strings. The quality of work coming out of the factory was fantastic and Martin assigned manufacturing of their new “Backpacker” model guitar to the Mexico factory. The success of this guitar led the Mexican factory to take on more manufacturing for Martin and now produces a large portion of their guitars and all of Martin’s strings.
Fender Guitars has been manufacturing guitars since 1946. From their headquarters in Los Angeles, California, this large company is making guitars around the world for beginner to professional musicians.
Most known for their solid-body electric and bass guitars, Fender is one of the most iconic guitar manufacturers. Their iconic Stratocaster, Telecasters, and Precision & Jazz bass guitar designs have changed the way we make music over nearly 75 years.
With a large company like Fender that has been around for a long time, you would expect that they have moved some of their manufacturing overseas. In fact, Fender is currently manufacturing guitars in the USA, Mexico, China, Japan, South Korea, and Indonesia.
Fender have a factory in Mexico located in Ensenada, Baja California, just 200 miles from their US-based factory in Corona. In 1994, this factory was hit by a bad fire that burnt the factory down. Within 100 days of the fire, Fender were able to build a new factory, double the size and get back to work.
President Bill Shultz stated: “Fender’s ability to so quickly rebound from this disaster is a strong testimony to our quality workforce in Mexico, for without their help, assistance, and understanding, this accomplishment would not have been possible”. As such, if you are purchasing a Fender guitar that is made in Mexico, you will be getting a high-quality instrument.
Guitars Produced in Mexico: Conclusion
Taylor, Martin, and Fender Guitars are all world-renowned guitar companies that produce the highest standard of instruments and their products made in Mexico are no different. These guitar companies are able to take advantage of the lower costs of materials, as well as lower labor costs in Mexico to be able to manufacture more guitars at a lower cost for consumers.
So, if you’re looking for your next guitar, it is safe to say that a guitar from any of these brands will still provide you with an excellent quality product, Made in Mexico.