In 1985, in a campaign initiated by then CBS Musical Instruments division president William Schultz (1926-2006), the Fender Electric Instrument Manufacturing Company employees purchased the company from CBS and renamed it the Fender Musical Instruments Corporation. Behind the Fender name, the Fender Musical Instruments Corporation has retained Fender’s older models along with newer designs and concepts.

Fender manufactures its highest quality, most expensive guitars at its Corona factory in California and manufactures a variety of other mid-to-high quality guitars at its Ensenada factory in Baja California, Mexico. Fender also contracts Asian guitar builders to manufacture Fender guitars and the economy priced entry-level Squier guitars. Older vintage and U.S.A. built Fender guitars are generally the most favoured, but pre-1990 Fender Japan guitars are now highly regarded as well. Fender guitars built in Ensenada, Mexico now fulfill the primary export role formerly held by Japanese made Fenders. Squier was a string manufacturer subsequently acquired by Fender. Squier guitars have been manufactured in Japan, Korea, India, Indonesia and China. In early 2003, Fender Musical Instruments Corporation made a deal with Gretsch and began manufacturing and distributing new Gretsch guitars. Fender also owns: Jackson, Charvel, Olympia, Orpheum, Tacoma Guitars (based in Seattle, WA), Squier and Brand X amps.

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