They were designed to help identify the approximate manufacturing date of the guitar.
For example: a guitar whose serial number begins with the letter and number "E8", would have "theoretically" been manufactured in 1988 (E = in the Eighties, 8 = the 8th year...
All the pickups used on the Contemporary models are Alnico and not ceramic pickups.
The humbucking pickups used in the Contemporary models have a DC resistance which is approximately 7.6 .
The System I tremolo system uses a behind the nut string locking mechanism and was manufactured by Gotoh.
The System II and System III bridges have individual string height and individual string intonation adjustments.
There was a lower priced Fender Contemporary Squier model produced as well.
Each American Reissue Stratocaster that left the factory had one of these V serial numbers stamped into the neckplate.
The System II and III tremolo systems use a height adjustable locking nut.
The System II tremolo system was designed by John Page, Chip Todd and Charlie Gressett.
The body wood is either a tan coloured Most of the Fender Japan serial numbers do not follow this format.
The Fender USA serial format was used on the Fender Japan E series because most of them were exported to the USA while Fender was undergoing a transitional period.
All this is public information, avaiable on the web.