Many people want to know where Fender Guitars are made. The answer may surprise you.
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Fender Musical Instruments Corporation is an American manufacturer of stringed instruments and amplifiers. Fender produces acoustic guitars, electric basses, bass amplifiers and public address equipment. They are the largest manufacturer of guitars in the world, with their headquarters located in Scottsdale, Arizona.
The company was founded in Fullerton, California, by Clarence Leonidas Fender in 1946. The company is a privately held corporation with Leo Fender’s widow, Phyllis Fender, as the largest single stockholder.
Where are Fender guitars actually made? This is a question that we get asked a lot at Music Central. The answer isn’t as clear cut as you might think. With such a long and illustrious history, Fender has had guitars made in several different countries over the years – USA, Mexico, Japan, Korea and China to name a few. In this article we’ll take a look at where each model is currently being made and try to give you a better understanding of what that means for quality and value.
The Early Days: Leo Fender and Fullerton, California
Leo Fender founded the Fender Electric Instrument Manufacturing Company in Fullerton, California, in 1946. He started selling his electric guitars in Southern California music stores and built a loyal following among jazz, country, and blues players.
In 1950, Leo hiredsudo Clarence Leo F. Leo as a salesman and gave him a stake in the company.Soon after, Leo moved the company to a larger factory space on Spruce Street in Fullerton. The new location put Fender closer to its southern California customer base and allowed for future expansion.
By 1954, the Fender Telecaster was the best-selling solid body electric guitar in the world. The Stratocaster was introduced in 1954 and quickly became Leo’s signature guitar. In 1955, Fender released the Gibson es-335 style semi-hollow body guitar which added another layer to their sound.. In 1957, they introduced the world’s first commercially successful mass-produced solid-body electric bass guitar, the Precision Bass.
Leo continued to tinker with design and in 1965 he introduced the Mustang, a shorter-scale student model guitar that quickly became a favorite among younger players. A few years later he came out with the Musicmaster and Duo-Sonic, even shorter-scale student models designed for easy playability.
The CBS Years
In 1965, Leo Fender sold the company to CBS. At this time, most of Fender’s production was moved away from California to various plants around the country, such as in Pennsylvania, Connecticut, and New Jersey. It was also during the CBS years that Fender started producing lower-quality guitars under various brand names such as Squier and Musicmaster. These instruments were mostly produced in Asia.
In 1985, CBS decided to sell off Fender, and a group of investors bought the company. The new owners quickly moved production back to California and set about restoring the quality of Fender’s instruments.
Nowadays, most of Fender’s guitars are made at its massive factory in Corona, California. However, some models are still made overseas in countries such as Mexico and Japan.
The Move to Corona, California
In 1985, Fender moved its production facilities from Fullerton to Corona. The new, 110,000 square foot factory could accommodate the increased demand for its products. The Fullerton facility continued to be used for administrative purposes until 1991 when it was sold to another guitar manufacturer, Ernie Ball.
The move to Corona allowed Fender to increase both its production capacity and its workforce. By the mid-1990s, the company was employing over 1,000 people at its Corona facility. Fender also opened a critical second production facility in Ensenada, Mexico in 1991. The Mexican factory allowed Fender to further increase its production capacity and offer a more affordable product to budget-conscious consumers.
Today, over three quarters of Fenders guitars are produced at the companys two Mexican factories in Ensenada and Juarez. A small number of higher-end models are still produced at the Corona facility. In addition to manufacturing facilities, Fender also operates several warehouses in the United States and Mexico where finished products are stored prior to distribution.
Today: Fender’s Global Footprint
musical instruments field. In the early days, Fender guitars were made in Fullerton, California, but as the company grew, it needed to expand its production facilities to keep up with demand. Today, Fender guitars are made in several countries around the world, giving the company a truly global footprint.
The United States is home to two of Fender’s guitar manufacturing plants: one in Corona, California (just outside Los Angeles), and one in Ensenada, Mexico. The Corona factory is responsible for making many of Fender’s most iconic electric guitars, including the Stratocaster and Telecaster models. The Ensenada factory produces lower-priced instruments that are designed to appeal to beginning guitarists and budget-minded players.
Fender also has factories in Japan and Indonesia. The Japanese facility focuses on producing high-end instruments that are intended for professional musicians and serious amateurs. These guitars are made to exacting standards and often feature premium materials like solid wood tops and custom electronics. The Indonesian factory produces lower-priced beginner instruments as well as some models for the Japanese market.
While most Fender electric guitars are made overseas, the company does still produce a small number of acoustics in its California factory. These handmade instruments are some of the most sought-after guitars on the market today and command premium prices.
In conclusion, Fender guitars are made all over the world in a variety of different countries. While the United States is still the primary country of manufacture, there are now factories in Mexico, Japan, China, and even India. So no matter where you are in the world, there is a good chance that a Fender guitar was made near you.