Where Are Fender Guitars Made?

Fender guitars are popular among expert musicians because of their unique 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 Fender factories located around the world.

Although Fender was originally founded in the United States, today the company has factories all over the world, including in Mexico, Japan, Korea, Indonesia, and China. Each of these factories produces its own line of Fender guitars, with slightly different features and construction methods.

In this blog post, we’ll dig deeper into every important detail of Fender guitars that you should know.

where are fender guitars made

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 and due to its success they had expanded over time until today, it’s still going strong.

USA

In 1985, the Fullerton factory was closed, and 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.

In addition to the standard production line, the Corona factory is also home to the Fender Custom Shop – which is 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.

Check out our Fender vs Gibson comparison here!

MEXICO

In 1987, Fender decided to open a second factory in Ensenada, Mexico. The Mexican factory is a perfect example of how modern technology can produce high-quality guitars 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 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.

JAPAN

Fender Japan, Ltd. was started in 1982 with two Japanese wholesalers: Kanda Shokai and Yamano Gakki. On 1 April 2015, Fender Musical Instruments Corporation (FMIC) took full ownership of Fender Japan. They then began operating it as Fender Music Corporation (Japan).

FujiGen Gakki

The Fender company signed an OEM contract with FujiGen Gakki in 1982. This allowed Fender to produce their instruments using the high-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!

Tökai Gakki

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 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.

KOREA

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 under an original equipment manufacturer contract with Fender.

squier telecaster

INDONESIA

Also in Indonesia, Samick and Cort have been manufacturing Fender’s original equipment.

Samick

In 1993, Samick began to produce Fender acoustic guitars and 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 than an equivalent quality Korean model.

Cort

The Cort story begins in 1995 when they opened a guitar manufacturing facility in Surabaya, Indonesia. From there, they began making guitars for Fender and have continued to produce many other models over the years.

CHINA

Yako

In 1994, Yako Musical Instruments was the first company that started out as Fender’s first factory to produce under contract for their other line of guitars. The company has its headquarters located in Taiwan, and several factories as well.

AXL

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 Guitar Models Made by Fender in America and Mexico

The USA models that are most popular are:

  • American Professional II
  • Ultra
  • Ultra-Luxe
  • Original
  • American Performer

The American Performer which comes in different variations such as 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 variations.

These models are all excellent examples of what Fender guitar craftsmanship is all about and are the Benchmark in the industry.

Quality of Fender Guitars When Made in Different Countries

It’s generally accepted that guitars made in America are of higher quality than those from other countries. This is because of several reasons which include the skill of American workers, better materials, and more 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.

Conclusion

Fender guitars are made in a variety of locations around the world. While the company is most closely associated with the USA, 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 that make musicians sound their best.

Moreover, we have listed some popular models made by Fender in America and Mexico to give you a better idea of what’s out there.

So if you’re looking for a great Fender guitar, you can be confident that you’ll be getting a high-quality instrument no matter where it’s made.

FAQs

How good are Mexican Fenders?

The Mexican-made Fenders are just as good as their American-made 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 and those 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.

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Don East

My name is Don East, I'm the editor for Killer Rig. I've been playing guitar for over 20 years and have designed and manufactured products like guitar amps, effects pedals, and more. Over the years I have played in many bands and have a deep love for quality gear. I am an electrical engineer and have a passion for music gear, and now want to share what I know with the community!