#444. Have We Mentioned Re-shoring Lately?

Posted on | The Agurban

Have We Mentioned Re-shoring Lately?

Our loyal readers will immediately know that we always seem to be talking about re-shoring. In our field of industrial development, we see this as an important factor in the success of our business. Over the past couple of months, I have gathered no less than six stories of manufacturers bringing jobs back to the United States, or adding jobs here instead of in overseas plants. Below is a brief overview of some of those stories:

  • May 15, 2013 – US Today – Foreign manufacturers bringing jobs to U.S.:   In 2011, British-based Rolls-Royce began making engine parts here in Virginia and shipping them to Europe and Asia to be assembled in jet engine factories. That same year, Siemens, a German company, started making power-plant turbines in Charlotte, N.C., most of which it’s shipping to Saudi Arabia and Mexico. Airbus is building its first U.S. assembly plant in Mobile, Alabama.

German chemical company BASF, which has invested about $5.7 billion in North America since 2009. It is building a plant in Geismar, La., that will convert natural gas to make formic acid, used in pharmaceuticals, leather and cleaning products.

The 2011 tsunami and earthquake in Japan … helped persuade Bridgestone, a Japanese tire maker, to choose Aiken, S.C., that year as the place to build new   manufacturing capacity for tires sold in North America. The new and expanded plants in Aiken will cost $1.2 billion and employ 850 workers. The crisis also helped lead Nissan and Toyota to shift more production from Japan to the U.S.

Michelin recently expanded an Earthmover tire plant in Lexington, S.C., and is building a similar facility in Anderson, S.C., spending $750 million and adding 500 workers. About 80% of the 12-foot-tall industrial tires are exported.

  • May 31, 2013 – The Washington Post – “Back to U.S. trend? Google to build smartphones in Texas:  Motorola Mobility, once a pioneer in shifting manufacturing to China, is opening a smartphone factory in Texas. The decision follows announcements by major tech firms, including Apple and Lenovo, planning to add U.S. manufacturing capacity after more than a decade in which the flow was almost exclusively in the other direction. Within the tech industry, Chinese computer maker Lenovo announced in October that it would build laptops and tablets in North Carolina, and Apple said this month that it would invest $100 million in a plant to assemble some of its Mac computers in Texas. Google, meanwhile, is producing the initial versions of its wearable Glass mobile devices in California.
  • June 15, 2013 – Aiken Standard – S.C. manufacturing sector is booming:  Since 2011, South Carolina has recruited more than $9 billion in capital investment and more than 23,000 jobs in the manufacturing sector.  Bridgestone has added about 740,000 SF to its existing tire production plant in Graniteville and continues work on its new 1.5-million SF off-road radial tire plant, which expected to start churning out tires in 2014.
  • July 13, 2013 – VOXXI – Are manufacturing jobs moving back to the U.S.? The production of the (Apple) Mac minis will now occur in the U.S.  GE is spending nearly $1 billion in redressing one of its idled manufacturing plants in Louisville, Kentucky.

While we doubt that the United States will recover all of the manufacturing jobs lost in the Great Recession, we are encouraged by what has been happening over the past year. Stay tuned…