Alex in China

When I was in Chengdu recently, I had a fun time with Alex Wang, CEO and founder of Martinez guitars, and persuaded him to do an interview just before I left for Hong Kong.
Here is a little bit about Martinez guitars, which are sold worldwide. In between drinking competitions  I was astonished to discover that Martinez sold 70,000 guitars last year!
The new era of classic guitar producers were initiated when a talented China luthier, Mr. Alex Wang (the founder of Martinez brand) who learnt from the American luthier, Mr. Kenny Hill who trained & influenced many aspect of Martinez team for best practices based on the USA hand-made classic guitar making. The third influential person in this joint venture is a German luthier, Mr. Wolfgang Jellinghaus who fill in the role as the tone woods sourcing for the best of Martinez guitar sound.
In summary, the tradition of hand-made best practices from USA, the internationally trained China skills to assemble guitars in a modern guitar factory out of China and the sourcing capability for best tone woods out of Germany are the example of a globally integrated classic guitar brand, that is the Martinez Guitars ! This is another proof that the buzz word of “globally integrated company” were no longer dominated by the high-tech industry, it is happening in the classic guitar industry. The result is a new era classic guitar which inherited the “the hand-made guitar making” quality out of the modern guitars factory facility at the affordable price points. The consumers who buy these guitars will benefit the outcome of ‘globally integrated company’ concept.

Intrigued? I was, and will be visiting the factory very soon.

3 thoughts on “Alex in China

  1. Pingback: Interview with Kenny Hill | Gerald's Guitar Grab Bag

  2. 70,000 guitars in 2014? to where and to who? Are you kidding man? Do you believe this figure? I don’t.
    for the producing side, 200 guitars per day. Who and what scale of factory could have this capacity?
    for the sales side, 200 per day. There are main dealer is in UK. even there are 100 shops selling their guitars in UK (half of the total amount). Will they sell guitar everyday? in UK?

    Is there something wrong?

    • I admit I am also sceptical, but I think the figure was actually 50,000 – apologies if I got it wrong. They are not the only makers either.
      Bear in mind that there are around 10,000,000 guitarists in China, and many are now able to afford more quality instruments.
      Both Altamira and Martinez sell other sorts of guitars – steel string, electric, bass, nineteenth century copies, half size etc and they have factories with 200 workers or more(and expanding). At that rate, each worker would make the equivalent of 250 guitars a year, or around 20-30 each month.That’s one a day.
      However, they really do work hard there!
      Martinez and Altamira have dealers in the whole of Europe and some of the USA and loads in China and the Far East, so it all adds up.
      There are also different brand names – the Chinese makers seem pretty pervasive, especially Martinez! There are also other makers whom I haven’t met yet!
      That’s what i find staggering about China – it’s a game of numbers – the conservatoire in Guangzhou has a capacity for 30,000, and Beijing and Chengdu are hitting 40,000 or more…Gulp! What do they all do after graduating?

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