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MANUFACTURING SUCCESS: ONE CUSTOMER AT A TIME
By OCL Staff
Photo by Addison Fitzgerald
1704 LAKESIDE AVENUE, SUITE 1 • 904-824-3443 • BIKESCREEN dot COM
How do you carry forward the legacy of your father, who is known internationally as a “go-to guy” for a client base that includes motorcycle racing teams, collectors, and custom builders? If you’re Zach Foster, the 29-year-old president and second-generation owner of Gustafsson Plastics, you do it one happy customer at a time.
Motorcycle enthusiasts recognize that having the right fairing screen (also called a windscreen or windshield) can improve their riding experience.
This year, the company is celebrating its 50th anniversary.
It was founded in 1968, in Sweden, by then eighteen-year-old Leif Gustafsson.
While working with friends to assemble a motorcycle that had arrived partially assembled, the question was asked,“What happens if we crack the windscreen?” Leif replied, “I’ll make a new one.”
Despite his age and inexperience, Leif was inspired. He raised funds from family, built specialized manufacturing equipment from scratch, and started producing crystal-clear screens that were, in most cases, superior to the original factory parts.
Gustafsson screens are known world-wide for offering enhanced visibility and incredible longevity. Their screens do not discolor or cloud up as a result of time or UV ray exposure.
Before retiring, Leif worked purposefully to transfer his manufacturing expertise to his son, who grew up in the shop. Leif proudly admits that his son is now taking the company to new heights.
Sales are steadily increasing through bikescreen.com, and Zach is now marketing their clear-view windshields to boat owners. He’s also brought new technology, such as a 3-D printer, into the shop to help make even better products.
Due to his father’s penchant for “saving everything,” Zach inherited the world’s largest collection of fairing screen patterns and molds. Leif still comes into the shop and likes to say, “Every screen has a story.”
At a time when many manufacturers are focused on scaling up, Gustafsson continues to manufacture their custom screens one at a time — for both vintage and modern motorcycles. While some might cut corners or sacrifice quality, Gustafsson uses premium materials and time-tested processes.
“We create customers for life,” states Zach. “People love our products. Whenever they damage a screen that we’ve made or when they buy a new bike, they’ll call us.”
When asked about the racing teams that helped make Gustafsson screens world-famous, Zach shares, “The Vesco Racing Team just broke a world land speed record of 463 miles per hour at Speed Week, outfitted with a Gustafsson windshield we designed last summer.”
In the market for a new windscreen? Want to learn more about Gustaffson’s quality products? Please call 904- 824-3443 or visit the aforementioned website, visit the Gustaffson Plastics website.