This information is courtesy Fender.com, republished here for your convenience. instrument production history, production dates have been applied to various components.Hit the jump to see just how old that guitar or bass really is. Most notably, production dates have been penciled or stamped on the butt end of the heel of the neck of most guitars and basses, although there were periods when this was not consistently done (1973 to 1981, for example) or simply omitted. At the time, many other established brands offered affordable copies of classic Fender models including the Stratocaster®, Telecaster®, Precision Bass® and Jazz Bass® guitars. Victor Squier started making his own hand-wound violin strings, and the business grew so quickly that he and his employees improvised a dramatic production increase by converting a treadle sewing machine into a string winder capable of producing 1,000 uniformly high-quality strings per day. Squier Company in 1965; by 1982 the Squier name had resurfaced as a low-cost "value brand" alternative initially manufactured and distributed in the Japanese domestic market and soon offered to Europe, North America and the rest of the world. As his business grew, Squier moved the company to 429 Lake Ave. Up to 1900, the best violin strings were made in Europe.Fender were also losing sales in Japan to Japanese guitar brands such as Tōkai, Greco and Fernandes, and the establishment of Fender Japan would benefit Fender sales in Japan as well as overseas.Fender began negotiations with several Japanese musical instrument distributors and reached an agreement with Yamano Gakki and Kanda Shokai to establish Fender Japan.
Is there any site or database that can help with that sorta' thing? Mexican Squiers: M stands for Mexico, the second character refers to the decade: N represents Nineties (1990's). So, for example "MN8" = made by Fender at Ensenada Mexico in 1998.
Korean Squiers: C refers to Cort, V refers to Saehan(Sunghan), S was already taken by Samick so Saehan(Sunghan) used V instead (Saehan(Sunghan) made the Vester guitars). The second character refers to the decade: N represents Nineties (1990's). So, for example "CN6" = made by Cort in 1996 and "VN6" = made by Saehan(Sunghan) in 1996.
Exceptions: Pro-Tone Series (solid ash bodies) had serial numbers with either a) no preceding letters and 7 digits, with the first number being the year, or b) starting with KC for Korean Cort, followed by 2-digit year.
Therefore, while helpful in determining a of production dates, a neck date is obviously not a precisely definitive reference.
Most specifications for a given Fender instrument model change little (if at all) throughout the lifetime of the model.