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Fender Musical Instruments Corporation (FMIC), commonly referred to simply as Fender, is an American manufacturer of stringed instruments and amplifiers. They are particularly known for solid-body electric guitars and bass guitars, including the Fender Stratocaster also known as the strat, Fender Telecaster also known as the tele, Precision Bass, and Jazz bass. It is headquartered in Scottsdale, Arizona. The company, previously named the Fender Electric Instrument Manufacturing Company, was founded in Fullerton, California, by Clarence Leonidas "Leo" Fender in 1946. Leo Fender also designed one of the first commercially successful solid-body electric basses, the Precision Bass (P-Bass), which has become known in many music genres—including rock, jazz, country, Motown, and funk. Fender's Precision and Jazz Bass models are widely known for their designs and sound, and have been widely copied by other makers.The company is a privately held corporation, with the controlling majority of its stock owned by a group of its own company officers and managers. Larry Thomas is Chief Executive Officer and James Broenen is Chief Financial Officer. The company filed for an Initial public offering in March 2012. In addition to its Scottsdale headquarters, Fender has manufacturing facilities in Corona, California (US) and Ensenada, Baja California (Mexico).Fender offered the first mass-produced solid-body Spanish-style electric guitar, the Telecaster (originally named the 'Broadcaster'; 'Esquire' is a single pickup version) the first mass-produced electric bass, the Precision Bass (P-Bass); and the popular Stratocaster (Strat) guitar.While Fender was not the first to manufacture electric guitars, as other companies and luthiers had produced electric guitars since the late 1920s, none was as commercially successful as Fender's. Furthermore, while nearly all other electric guitars then were either hollow-body guitars or more specialized instruments such as Rickenbacker's solid-body Hawaiian guitars, Fender had created versatile solid-body electric guitars. These guitars were and still are popular for musicians in a variety of genres.Many bands still use Fender guitars today. Some notable Fender players, both past and present, include Jeff Beck, Ritchie Blackmore, Roy Buchanan, Eric Clapton, David Gilmour, Albert Collins, Steve Cropper, Kurt Cobain, Bob Dylan, Rory Gallagher, Buddy Guy, George Harrison, Jimi Hendrix, Mark Knopfler, Johnny Marr, Hank Marvin, John Mayer, Paul McCartney, Keith Richards, Kenny Wayne Shepherd, Bruce Springsteen, Pete Townshend, Stevie Ray Vaughan, Brian Wilson and many others.The company also makes and / or distributes acoustic guitars, electric basses, mandolins, banjos, and electric violins, as well as guitar amplifiers, bass amplifiers, and PA (public address) equipment. Other Fender brands include Squier (entry level/budget), Guild (acoustic and electric guitars and amplifiers), SWR (bass amplification), Passport Tacoma, Jackson, Charvel, Gretsch guitars and collaborated with Eddie Van Halen to make the EVH guitars and amplifiers.On February 11, 1994, the Fender manufacturing plant based in Ensenada, Mexico burned down. Fender President Bill Shultz decided to temporarily move production from the Mexico plant to the U.S. plant. These Fender guitars are fairly rare and can be identified by the unique serial number. On October 28, 2007, Fender announced its intention to buy Kaman Music Corporation (owners of Hamer Guitars, Ovation Guitars, Genz Benz amplifiers, Gibraltar Hardware, along with many others, and exclusive distributor for Sabian cymbals and Takamine Guitars). Other Fender instruments include the Mustang, Jazzmaster, Jaguar, Starcaster, Duo-Sonic, Toronado and Bronco guitars; basses such as the Jazz Bass, the 'Telecaster Bass' reissue of the original 1950s Precision Bass; a line of lap steels; three models of electric violin, and the Fender Rhodes electric piano.In 2011, Volkswagen partnered with Fender Corporation to manufacture premium sound systems for its vehicles in North America, under the direction of Panasonic. Volkswagen vehicles in North America that offer optional Fender Premium Sound are the Volkswagen Beetle, Volkswagen Jetta Sedan, Volkswagen Passat, and Volkswagen Tiguan.