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Fender Stratocaster gives us 60 years 2014

Fender Guitar

The Stratocaster guitar has been entertaining us consistently for the last sixty years and its looks, styling and sound are still held in high regard by many. The Strat has been played by the likes of Jimi Hendrix, Bob Dylan, Buddy Guy, Keith Richards, Bruce Springsteen, Eric Clapton and David Gilmour, among many others.

The Fender Electric Instrument Manufacturing Company, was founded in Fullerton, California, by Clarence Leonidas “Leo” Fender in 1946. The Telecaster (1950) was the first mass-produced solid-body electric guitar, the Stratocaster (1954) is among the world’s most iconic electric guitars.

In early 1965, Leo sold his companies to the Columbia Broadcasting System, or CBS for $13 million. In 1985, the Fender Electric Instrument Manufacturing Company employees purchased the company from CBS and renamed it the “Fender Musical Instruments Corporation”.

Since the initial founding of the Fender Electric Instrument Manufacturing Company by Leo in 1946, the company has progressed. It has built a comprehensive portfolio of brands led by the iconic Fender brand and other renowned brands such as Squier, Jackson, Guild, Tacoma, Ovation and Latin Percussion, which are owned by Fender, and Gretsch, EVH (Eddie Van Halen) and Takamine, for which it is the licensee.

In 2011 Fender had the #1 market share by revenue in the US in electric, acoustic & bass guitars, and in guitar & bass amps. Sales were $700M, note that these were the amounts received by the organisation as the producer/wholesaler. The amount of sales as measured at the retail level would be significantly higher.

One retailer Guitar Center (which includes Musician’s Friend) provides 16% of Fender’s business. 53% of Fender’s sales are in the US, and 27% are in Europe. Fender gets 60% of its sales from fretted instruments, 12% from amps, 9% from percussion, and 19% from accessories.

Fender nearly go public

In early 2012 Fender were making plans to sell stock and become a public company listed on NASDAQ Fender, proposing to sell approximately $200 Million in stock to the public. However this course of action was withdrawn half way through the year based on the market conditions and a deflated economy.

In addition to its Scottsdale headquarters, Fender has manufacturing facilities in Corona, California (US) and Ensenada, Baja California (Mexico). It also has other interests (marketed as “Squier”) that are made in either Japan, China, Indonesia and Korea.

Link to the Fender Visitor Center
Fender Visitor Center