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Fender guitars are popular among expert musicians. This is because of their excellent sound and look. They’re known for their quality, craftsmanship, and tone.
But where are Fender guitars made? There are many people who don’t know about the various factories located around the world.
Fender was originally founded in the United States. Today, the company uses factories all over the world. This includes Mexico, Japan, Korea, Indonesia, and China.
Each of these factories produces its own line of Fender guitars. All with slightly different features and construction methods.
In this Killer Rig article, we’ll dig into every important detail of Fender guitars. The ones that you should know, and even some that don’t matter!
Where are Fender Guitars Made?
We have some great details about the factories Fender uses in different countries. But before we get started, here is a table to denote this information. This will give you a quick understanding:
|Ensenada Factory (Fender)
|FujiGen and Tökai Gakki
|Cort and Samick
|Yako Musical Instruments and AXL
|Samick and Cor-Tek
Fender Factories and Production Locations
Since 1945, Fender has been manufacturing high-quality guitars in the United States. The Fullerton factory in California was one of their first locations for production. Due to its success, they had expanded over time until today, it’s still going strong.
In 1985, the Fullerton factory was closed. The Fender company was occupied by a new owner, who decided to move the production to another area. The new factory was settled in Corona, in Riverside County, California.
The Corona factory is considered one of the most advanced guitar production facilities in the world. It’s responsible for some of the most popular guitars in America.
Besides the standard production line, the Corona factory is also home to the Custom Shop. It’s renowned for its high-quality, handmade guitars.
The Corona factory is a place of massive production! With over 700 employees working around the clock to keep up with demand.
Some of the guitar models made here include:
- Fender American Performer
- American Professional II
- American Ultra
- Vintage II
Check out our Fender vs Gibson comparison here!
In 1987, Fender decided to open a second factory in Ensenada, Mexico. This factory is a perfect example of how technology can produce high-quality guitars. And at a low cost.
This factory is built on more than 60,000 square meters of land and has eight buildings. In this factory, they not only make guitars but also amplifiers and strings.
In 1989, the Mexican factory started building electric guitars. But with the same level of detail and quality as the American-made models. Guitars made by Fender are still inspected weekly to ensure quality control.
Fender guitars made in the Mexico factory include:
- Player Series
- Player Plus Series
- Vintera Series
These are still amazing guitars! But are half the price as their American counterparts. Most players can’t tell the difference when compared to the USA made guitars.
Fender Japan, Ltd. was started in 1982 with two Japanese wholesalers: Kanda Shokai and Yamano Gakki.
On 1 April 2015, Fender Musical Instruments Corporation took full ownership. This consisted of the operations of Fender Japan. They then began operating it as Fender Music Corporation.
The Fender company signed an OEM contract with FujiGen Gakki in 1982. This allowed them to produce their instruments! But by using the quality craftsmanship of this Japanese manufacturer.
In 1983, Fujigen’s output for Fender guitars exceeded 14 thousand per month. Both companies worked together until 1997 when the contract came to an end.
Find out where Epiphone guitars are made here!
After the contract with FujiGen Gakki came to an end, Fender once again began looking for a new manufacturing partner in Japan.
In 1997, Fender partnered with the company Tökai and Dyna Gakki. With these new relationships, Fender was able to produce a higher-quality instrument. But with better attention to detail.
Do you know that the Tokai Replica Series of Fender was once made in Japan, but is now discontinued? This was before Tokai entered into an agreement with Fender in 1982.
In Korea, the Fender Squier brand has been around since 1988. The company produces guitars for this lower-cost line in Korea.
Korean companies such as Cort and Samick have been making these guitars for a long time. But under an original equipment manufacturer contract with Fender.
Also in Indonesia, Samick and Cort have been manufacturing Fender’s original equipment.
In 1993, Samick began to produce Fender acoustic guitars. In 1994, they produced their first electric models.
The land area of the Samick manufacturing plant in Indonesia is nearly 50 hectares. The price of an Indonesian guitar is significantly cheaper. Especially when compared to an equivalent quality Korean model.
The Cort story begins in 1995. They opened a guitar manufacturing facility in Surabaya, Indonesia. From there, they began making guitars for Fender. They have continued to produce many other models over the years, even for other brands.
In 1994, Yako Musical Instruments was the company that started out as Fender’s first factory. The aim was to produce under contract for their other line of guitars. The company has its headquarters located in Taiwan, and several factories as well.
AXL Instrumental company owns multiple factories all over China. In 2009, the company started making guitars for Fender in its 200,000-square-foot factory.
Popular Fender Guitars in America and Mexico
The USA models that are most popular are:
- American Professional II
- American Performer
The American Performer comes in different variations. These include the Telecaster, Stratocaster, Mustang, and Jazzmaster.
Some of the most popular guitar models from Mexico are The Player, Player Plus, and Vintera. While the Noventa Series comes with Telecaster, Stratocaster, Jaguar, Mustang, Jazzmaster, and Meteora.
These models are all excellent examples of what Fender guitar craftsmanship is all about and are the Benchmark in the industry.
Quality of Guitars Made in Different Countries
It’s generally accepted that guitars made in America are of higher quality. Mainly when compared to those from other countries.
This is because of several reasons. These include the skill of American workers, better materials, and stringent quality control.
But it doesn’t mean that a Fender guitar made in another country can’t be just as good as American-made models.
For instance, If you find a Fender guitar made in Mexico, by an authorized company. Then it should be of high quality because they take pride in their artistry no matter the country of origin.
Fender guitars are made in a variety of locations around the world. The company is most closely associated with the USA. But they also have manufacturing facilities in Mexico, Japan, Korea, China, and Indonesia.
The factories and production locations may have changed over the years. But one thing remains unchanged, Fender’s commitment to crafting high-quality instruments! It makes musicians sound their best.
We have listed some popular models made by Fender in America and Mexico to give you a better idea of what’s out there. If you’re looking for a great Fender guitar, you can be confident that you’ll be getting a quality instrument! No matter where it’s made.
How good are Mexican Fenders?
The Mexican-made Fenders are just as good as their American models. But you may find that they don’t have that extra sparkle to make them feel like an authentic American Strat.
Are Fenders worth it?
Implanted with the finest quality wood by master craftsmen! Fenders are often considered some of the best instruments for professional musicians! Those players who are looking for top-notch sound.
What is the cheapest Fender Stratocaster?
The cheapest and most affordable Fender Stratocaster would be the American Performer Stratocaster. It’s priced at around $1200 and includes all the essential parts that make up the guitar.