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Fender to Distribute Taylor in Europe

Bee-dubya-ell 16 Jan 08 - 01:51 PM
Richard Bridge 16 Jan 08 - 04:54 PM
PoppaGator 16 Jan 08 - 05:27 PM
Bee-dubya-ell 16 Jan 08 - 07:15 PM
kendall 17 Jan 08 - 08:18 AM
Big Al Whittle 17 Jan 08 - 01:09 PM
GUEST,woodsie 17 Jan 08 - 03:30 PM
GUEST,Jeff 17 Jan 08 - 03:58 PM
woodsie 17 Jan 08 - 05:06 PM
Big Al Whittle 18 Jan 08 - 07:57 AM
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Subject: Fender to Distribute Taylor in Europe
From: Bee-dubya-ell
Date: 16 Jan 08 - 01:51 PM

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Taylor Guitars and Fender Musical Instruments Corporation today announced a strategic relationship between the two companies which will now work together to raise Taylor's brand awareness throughout Europe. Fender Europe's new Taylor Division will be the exclusive distributor for Taylor guitars in Europe, Africa, and most of the Middle East, and is expected to commence distribution operations on July 1, 2008.

"The world has become more and more flat, with cultural, currency and trade barriers becoming less and less. With the advent of the European Union, the adoption of a common currency and the free movement of goods across borders, a huge opportunity has been created to do more commerce at a higher level," said Kurt Listug, co-founder and CEO of Taylor Guitars. "Fender has proven the concept of an American guitar and amp company successfully exporting their business model to Europe, and achieving much higher sales and brand awareness as a result."

Listug said he approached Fender with the idea of distributing Taylor guitars in Europe, after learning how successful Fender had been with their overseas sales model. "Bill (Mendello) shared his experiences in creating Fender Europe with me a few years ago, and invited me to see their European operations first hand. I spent a week visiting their warehouse, sales offices, and even their Düsseldorf custom shop showroom. I was blown away by their incredible success in Europe, and the huge potential of their sales model for Taylor."

"We are extremely pleased to be working closely with Bob Taylor and Kurt Listug, two admired industry leaders who have built Taylor into a premier guitar brand," said Bill Mendello, Chairman and CEO of Fender Musical Instruments Corp. "By providing our expertise in sales, marketing, warehousing and logistics, we look forward to enhancing their success throughout the European market."

Taylor evaluated creating its own European distribution arm versus partnering with Fender. "We considered doing it ourselves, but distribution is expensive and requires specialized expertise. Having the opportunity to work with Fender, leveraging their resources and experience into much higher European sales for Taylor, is the best decision."


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Subject: RE: Fender to Distribute Taylor in Europe
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 16 Jan 08 - 04:54 PM

Very fitting (not in a good way)


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Subject: RE: Fender to Distribute Taylor in Europe
From: PoppaGator
Date: 16 Jan 08 - 05:27 PM

"(not in a good way)" ???????

Are we denegrating Fender? I hope not.

Fender pioneered the electric guitar, and (with Gibson) are one of the premier producers of top-quality electric guitars. And also, of course, the company has been tremendously successful as a sales organization.

Fender acoustic guitars are generally not very good, of course.

Taylor makes really excellent acoustic guitars.

Maybe, eventually, Fender will quit making second-rate acoustics and just concentrate on marketing Taylors along with their own Strats and Telecasters, etc. ~ as well as their fine bass guitars ~ not just in Europe and the "outside" world, but in the USA as well. That would be an OK outcome, no?


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Subject: RE: Fender to Distribute Taylor in Europe
From: Bee-dubya-ell
Date: 16 Jan 08 - 07:15 PM

I only posted the text of the article earlier. My failure to add any personal commentary should not be interpreted as criticism. I just didn't have time to post anything additional at the time. Now I do.

I think Fender is, overall, a good company. That they have been acquiring a lot of smaller companies within the last few years says more, I believe, about weaknesses in the way those companies had been being run than it does about Fender wanting to monopolize the guitar industry. As long as there's no decrease in quality, I'd rather see established names on the market and getting healthy sales as Fender products than see them go under entirely.

It is a bit of a mystery, though, that Fender is not marketing any quality American-made acoustics with Fender badges on them. They own the Guild, Tacoma, and Ovation guitar lines. They certainly could pump out a few that say "Fender" instead of "Guild" if they so desired. Maybe they've concluded that their emphasis on Asian-made acoustics has weakened serious musicians' perceptions about that side of their business to the point where they'd rather not beat their heads against a wall trying to re-educate us about some new "premium" Fender acoustic line. They're gonna make the same money whether the headstock says "Guild" or "Fender" anyway.

As for the Fender/Taylor agreement, I'll take it at face value. It certainly makes more sense for Taylor to sacrifice a bit of profit on their exported guitars and let them be handled by an existing sales force than to start their own distribution network from scratch. We see similar arrangements in other businesses all the time. It's not at all uncommon for a US "Big Three" auto dealer to also sell an imported line in smaller markets where a dealership selling just the imported line wouldn't be sustainable.


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Subject: RE: Fender to Distribute Taylor in Europe
From: kendall
Date: 17 Jan 08 - 08:18 AM

Welcome to the 21st century.


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Subject: RE: Fender to Distribute Taylor in Europe
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 17 Jan 08 - 01:09 PM

Taylor's new electric range are on the cover of Guitarist magazine this month - perhaps you can interchange the spare parts.


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Subject: RE: Fender to Distribute Taylor in Europe
From: GUEST,woodsie
Date: 17 Jan 08 - 03:30 PM

Isn't fender just a brand name that leo fender sold? Therefore the current lot had sod all to do with developing anything!


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Subject: RE: Fender to Distribute Taylor in Europe
From: GUEST,Jeff
Date: 17 Jan 08 - 03:58 PM

"Isn't Fender just a brand name...etc.   Yes, if you want a 'Fender' electric guitar or amp from after 1968 get a Music Man or a G&L. The 'L' in G&L stands for Leo...Fender's first name.


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Subject: RE: Fender to Distribute Taylor in Europe
From: woodsie
Date: 17 Jan 08 - 05:06 PM

Isn't the old fender factory now G & L?


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Subject: RE: Fender to Distribute Taylor in Europe
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 18 Jan 08 - 07:57 AM

It makes sense for both companies. The electric guitar must be a bit of a risk for Taylor, certainly an unknown quantity. They must be hoping to take with them a lot of their acoustic guitar playing customers. The Fender distribution network will probably get them to places they wouldn't otherwise go - shredder type shops and the like.

Fender must be hoping - a few Taylor customers will compare, and go for a telecaster and buy a twin reverb to go with it.


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