You are the marketing guy. If he is a good friend, help him out by sitting down and walking him through some market research. The 1911 marlet today ranges from the Umarex Regal 100, made in Turkey, that sells for around $400, all the way up to the fancy Cabot 1911s that run $5000 and up. And pretty much all the price points in between are covered, with the heaviest coverage (as a marketing guy might expect) in the price range most people are willing to spend -- call it $500 to $1500. Within that range you can find everything from a plethora of Philippine brands to Taurus (Brazil), Springfield Armory (also Brazil), Colt (naturally), Auto-Ordnance, Para USA, the aforementioned Wilson Combat, Les Baer, Ed Brown and Nighthawk Custom. And if you jump to the next price level ($1500 to $2500) you still have Wilson, Baer, Brown and Nighthawk, plus now you get into the "name" custom makers as well.
And then you go over $2500 and there's Guncrafter Industries, Cabot Guns, and still more custom gunsmiths.
Frankly, he'd probably do better trying to build Hi-Powers. Lots less competition, and the shooting world could use an affordable Hi-Power now that the Charles Daly/FEG guns are gone and Argentina sends almost zero FM Hi-Powers to the U.S.