The Squier brand was not always producing cheap budget line guitars. In fact the company actually started before the idea of the electric guitar had ever been conceived.
Squier was originally a Violin company during early 1890's. Victor Squier brought over by his immigrant father learnt how to repair and fix Voilin's with great craftsmanship and slowly began piecing a name together for himself. Squier soon became famous for their mass string production and were one of the few bulk suppliers in the United States making them cheaper for students to purchase. They still retained enough quality and workmanship to gain popularity in Europe as well though. Soon with the rise of electric guitar on the horizon Squier began to manufacture strings for electric guitars. Soon Squier was supplying strings directly to Fender. Leo Fender quickly bought out Squier in '65 right before Fender entered the dreaded CBS era.
Fender's fame soon began to rise rapidly. Amazing new players were turning to their instruments and spreading an image across the minds of young musicians' everywhere. At this time a Fender was the guitar to have. Unfortunately Fenders were extremely expensive and hard to come by in some places as well. The combination of these two things breed something new. The starter guitar.
Kids could now pick up instruments that attempted to resemble Leo Fenders startling inventions and try to imitate what they saw their heroes doing. These instruments were often crafted poorly however often being from overseas and did not quite hit the same bar that Fender did. People wished for that Fender look and sound but still wanted to be able to clothe themselves. This led to Squier.
Fender originally produced a Stratocaster and Precision bass model in Japan during 82 titling them Fender Japan models. Soon even cheaper guitars were being produced in Japan called Squiers. These guitars had the appearance of a real Stratocaster and were even equipped with American made pickups. These became known as the JV series Squiers.( JV for Japanese Vintage) These were made fairly well and are still known for their workmanship and quality. These instruments were however only being shipped to Europe and Japan.
With sales being considerable well Fender decided to attack the American purchased copy guitar front. Soon Squier models were being shipped to North America and began to gain popularity there as well.
Soon came all kinds of new Squiers including some unique designs like the '51 . Which was a guitar based loosely upon the aesthetics of P-Bass and Stratocaster. These designs even spawned a release of Fender guitars based upon them truly reversing role as a starter company.
For a brief period Squier produced a few guitars in Mexico and even the United States itself. For the most part though Squier production has remained in the far east to keep production costs low.
Now Squier is probably one of the most common guitar brands in the world. Though often not used by professionals they are a great tool to experiment with and practice on. Not to say they are bad guitars however. Many Squires have become the platforms of numerous mods and tweaks spiking the mind and ears of creative new guitarists. Often times guitarists will experience their first strum on one of these and really they are the first step down the long road of guitar for many people. They bring joy and music to those with more bills and mouths to feed and for that we should be thankful.
This was my first article Please feel free to critique in any way.