German instrument makers Hofner, like most of the other 'old' guitar manufacturers, was best known for it's acoustic and electric-acoustic guitars. The Hofner story has been widely told (see more here), but in short, they produced some of the very best instruments widely available in Europe in the 1950s and early 1960s, when American guitars were simple unaffordable. British groups playing in Germany were typically impressed by Hofner's guitars and created a demand for them in the United Kingdom. Naturally Paul McCartney is the name everyone knows, but he wass merely the tip of a much, much larger iceberg. But as the 1960s dawned, British youths with disposable income demanded the cheaper, brightly coloured solid body guitars, like those of Fender and Gibson. Hofner dutifully obliged producing several models aimed at the burgeoning entry-level guitar market.
Hofner were first imported to the UK by Selmer; UK models were given their own names and specifications, often a little different from the European equivalents.
As the sixties turned into the seventies, Hofner stopped creating it's own designs and concentrated on producing copies of more famous American guitars.