Cort Guitars and Digitech/DOD Parent Company Cor-Tek Marks 50th Anniversary
SEOUL, South Korea — Cor-Tek Corporation, the parent company of Cort Guitars and Digitech/DOD, kicks off the year 2023 with its 50th anniversary celebration. For the past five decades, Cor-Tek has produced and shipped over 20 million musical instruments and played a significant role in helping the guitar become the most popular instrument in the world. Cor-Tek remains a family company at its core, inspired by the contributions of its employees, artists, and international partners and poised to embrace a bright future of innovation.
Like many success stories, Cor-Tek’s journey began as a response to a setback. Founder and Chairman of Cort and Cor-Tek Corp., Young H. Park, was born into the music manufacturing business, but a 1972 recession forced the closure of his father’s SooDo Piano Company. In 1973, at the young age of 26, Park quickly pivoted to launch a guitar manufacturing business in partnership with Jack Westheimer, an industry bellwether who had been SooDo Piano’s predominant buyer. The new venture, known as “Yoo-Ah Company”, began building guitars under the Cort trademark.
What started as a small-volume production in the early 1980s has steadily blossomed into a large-scale manufacturing operation throughout multiple countries. The 1990s ushered in artist collaborations to design and develop innovative instruments. Throughout the decades, Cor-Tek’s operation has weathered major economic and social upheavals, including most recently the COVID-19 pandemic. The company has successfully balanced the wide-scale success of its OEM business with the marketing of Cort guitars, enabling both sides of the business to flourish.
Cor-Tek’s meteoric rise is reflective of the company’s continued ability to fill a gap in the market and provide a needed solution — affordable, playable guitars that not only look good but sound great. Today, the company has proudly expanded into premium guitars, while not losing sight of its early success in the entry-level and midrange categories.
Reflecting on Cor-Tek’s past accomplishments and future plans, Young H. Park commented, “I’m fortunate to be surrounded by my son, Jun Park, and other younger-generation employees who are guiding Cor-Tek into the future. There are many employees who have been with us for more than 20 years. I’m proud of our work culture and creative environment, where employees can grow in their roles and contribute to Cor-Tek’s success.”
Built from the ground up, Cor-Tek plans to remain a family business that’s committed to long-term, sustainable growth. The company will continue to manufacture high-quality instruments for players of all experience levels, from entry-level beginners to seasoned professionals.
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