A popular choice amongst us all
As a brand of pens, Pilot tries to be all things to all men. Just look at their product range for evidence; everything from cheap and cheerful less than $1.50 numbers to executive models that would grace the desk of any high flying business tycoon.
It's perhaps this sheer diversity that has helped make Pilot pens a popular choice with a wide cross-section of society, whether it be business people, high school students or pretty much anyone who needs to commit something to paper. Thanks to this covering all bases approach, Pilot has become a pervasive part of the everday landscape for so many of us.
At about $120, the Pilot Carbonesque Rhodium Vanishing Point Fountain Pen or Pilot Blue Rhodium Vanishing Point Fountain Pen are classy pens any professional would be proud of. At the other end of the scale, Pilot's G2 Retractable Gel Ink Rolling Ballpoint Pens retail for about a hundredth of the cost of their Vanishing Point pen.
Founded in 1918, Pilot is now a household name and credit for that achievement must in large part go to President and CEO Ron Shaw. When he joined the then relatively obscure Pilot Pen Corporation of America in 1975 sales languished at $1 million per annum. Shaw ensured sales rose steadily and in 1986 was named president.
Six years later, he was elected to the Board of Directors of the parent company, Pilot Corporation, thus becoming one of only six Americans who have ever served on the board of a publicly held Japanese company. In 1993 there was further promotion when Shaw was named CEO of Pilot Pen Corporation of America, a move that placed Shaw among the small group of Americans to serve as CEO of a Japanese company based in the United States.
Today, Pilot pen sales have hit $200 million. Not bad for the son of a Philadelphia candy store owner who started out life in showbusiness as a pianist and comedian.
Of course, there's more to Pilot than Ron Shaw, the pens speak for themselves. To such an extent, in fact, that Pilot Corporation of America is among the leading pen manufacturers in the United States today, with sales growing year on year.
Due to their state-of-the-art manufacturing facilities in the United States and Japan which operate to strict quality control standards, all Pilot products are among the top selling brands in their market segments. In order to ensure their continuing success, in addition to the American subsidiary, the parent company has subsidiaries in the United Kingdom, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Italy, Malaysia, Singapore, Taiwan, Brazil and Russia, looks like the trusty Pilot pen will be around for a very long time yet.