Gibson has announced the expansion of its acoustic guitar plant in Bozeman, Montana, doubling the capacity of its Machine Shop and Acoustic Factory – a move the Nashville-based guitar giant says is necessary to meet surging demand.
The past couple of years have been hard to read for the music gear industry. Lockdowns famously saw demand for guitars spike as people took up an instrument to pass the time of day, then came the crunch as supply chain shocks hit the industry, and inflation complicated the outlook for manufacturers.
But, when you’re hot, you’re hot, and James ‘JC’ Curleigh, president CEO of Gibson Brands, says the figures are looking good for the brand’s acoustic range, hence the expansion.
“Gibson acoustic guitars have earned their iconic status over many generations and across many genres of music,” said Curleigh. “This iconic status has turned into exceptional demand over the past few years. We recognized that we had an opportunity and an obligation to find a way to make more guitars by expanding the legendary Gibson Acoustic Craftory right here in Bozeman, Montana. We are proud of the expansion and excited for the future.”
Last month, Gibson added the G-Bird to its Generation Acoustics, augmenting a square-shouldered dreadnought with the series’ shoulder-mounted Player Port. Made in Bozeman, the Generation Series offered a stripped down and modernised look for the brand.
The Player Port served as a monitor for guitarists to better hear themselves when playing live or in a band mix, and with prices ranging from £899/$999 to £1,699 / $1,999, they offered US-made Gibson acoustics at a more competitive price point.
Gibson’s Bozeman facility was built in 1988, after the brand bought out the Flatiron Mandolin company the year previous, and it credits the “stable and dry climate” of Montana – average annual rainfall just 16.23” – as advantageous for acoustic guitar building.
That no doubt must help – but spare a thought for George Lowden, who manages to do just fine in Downpatrick, Northern Ireland, where there is an average of 33.9” of annual rainfall.
Head over to Gibson for more information on its acoustic guitar lineup.