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1.1 Definition and scope of study

The guitar is a musical instrument with plucked strings, a fretted neck, and a flat, indented body.

Spain is one of the best known countries in Europe for its' strong roots in various musical traditions, such as for exampe Flamenco, centred around folk music, and string (guitar) and percussion instruments. Moreover, the country is also associated with the classical guitar which is a famous symbol of Spanish music.

The Spanish guitar market, although dominated by some leading manufacturers such as Fender or Gibson, is characterised by a multitude of players and a high degree of competition.

The financial difficulties of certain historical players in the guitar market point to difficult years ahead, as the examples of Gibson and La Casa Manuel Rodriguez, the second oldest luthier's company in the world, illustrate.

The guitar market in Spain is partly driven by growth opportunites, with an ever-increasing weight of online musical instrument sales sites. The boom in sales between individuals on specific online platforms is penalizing the development of traditional distribution networks, such as physical points of sales (stores).

1.2 A saturated world market

A sharp decline in sales of electronic guitars
The global electric guitar market was estimated to be worth approximately US$* billion in ****. [***]
Less acoustic guitar recoil
Worldwide, the acoustic guitar market overtook the electric guitar market in ****. [***] According to Music Trades in the United States, the guitar market continues to grow, ...

1.3 A slightly declining Spanish market

Source: ****
There was a decline in turnover over the period with an average decline of *.**% per year.
Finally, the market for electric guitars has declined sharply in recent years. According to a report published in **** by the major brands (***), sales of their guitars have fallen by ** to **% in just one year. ...

1.4 International trade

Source: ****
Source: ****
The coverage rate (***).
French imports corresponding to code - ******: Musical instruments; spring, played other than with a bow (***) come mainly from China and Germany, while Spanish products are exported to France, Germany and the United States.

Source: ****

Source: ****


2.1 Demand for second-hand instruments

The second-hand market is experiencing strong growth, particularly on Internet forums, due to the long life-span of guitars. [***]
Older electric guitars have an abundant market value and liquidity, since vintage is regarded as highly valuable and several guitarists who have been through different models come to try older guitars. [***]
The rise ...

2.2 Competition from electronic music and the declining image of rock stars

The image of DJs has progressed, replacing the instrumentalists
The appearance of DJs in the **st century has changed mentalities; such artists have gained in popularity, in bars, discos, but also festivals. Domestic stars such as Fonsi Nieto -ex motorbike driver- or Kiko Rivera have the ability to draw huge crowds, ...

2.3 Demand trends: feminization and new practices

According to a study by guitar maker Fender, there are more and more women guitarists in the industry.
The study found that in the U.S. and the U.K., **% of new guitarists are women. The same is true for women learning to play the guitar. This is explained through ...


3.1 An increasing number of local manufacturers

Source: ****
There is an upward trend in the number of companies working in the manufacture of musical instruments in Spain despite a statistical lag effect observed between **** and ****. The number of companies increased by **.**% over the period studied, from *** in **** to *** in ****, which implies that the market has become more fragmented, ...

3.2 Lower overall margins in the segment

Source: ****
After a recovery in margins following the crisis of ****-****, it seems that the sector is suffering from a decline in margins which are close to *% in ****-****, which illustrates the difficulties of the sector.

3.3 The world's leading guitar brands

By extracting sales compiled by Reverb, an online marketplace for new, used and vintage music equipment that operates worldwide, we can see the main brands for the different business segments, depicted below.

Source: ****

Source: ****

Source: ****

3.4 Focus: Spanish brands

Guitarras Manuel Rodríguez
Guitarras Manuel Rodríguez is a Spanish family business specializing in the manufacturing of guitars. Resolutely export-oriented, the company builds and sells nearly **** guitars per year with a commitment to producing quality guitars. **% of the production is sold on foreign markets and South Korea has proved to ...

3.5 Rise in online sales and difficulties for local players

As a result of the crisis in the sector, the number of Internet sales has risen sharply. The arrival of e-commerce has mainly affected small traditional instrument shops, which have to compete with the large multinationals in the sector.
It is very difficult for small structures to fight against selling on ...


4.1 Presentation of the different products

The guitar is a plucked stringed instrument with usually * strings.
There are different types of guitars :
Nylon string classical guitars are used for example in Flamenco culture, and are adapted for beginners. They allow a realtively quick learning process. This segment of guitars is particularly famous in Spain. The acoustic guitar ...

4.2 Examples of prices and products

Guitar prices
Source: ****
Course prices
There are several formats for guitar lessons:
Private lessons given by individuals; Private or group lessons in a guitar school; Courses given online
Among these learning channels there are several trends, the progression of courses given by individuals who come into contact through online platforms such ...

4.3 Technological advances make learning easier

Some guitar manufacturers are looking to move to a service model that can offset the decline in sales and the success of used guitars.
In ****, Fender launched a subscription service that displays chords for millions of songs, the latest effort in the electric guitar maker's digital revenue strategy. Titled Fender Songs, ...


5.1 World Customs Nomenclature and Harmonized System

The Harmonized System is an international nomenclature for the classification of products. It allows participating countries to classify goods traded on a common basis for customs purposes. At the international level, the Harmonized System (***) for the classification of goods is a six-digit code system. United Nations Statute] [***]
The HS includes about ...


6.1 Segmentation

  • Union Musical
  • Guitarras Manuel Rodríguez
  • Alberto Martin Ramos
  • José Ramirez

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