Believe It Or Not: TV Manufacturing Returning To The US
from the never-saw-that-coming dept
If you remember the history of the TV manufacturing industry, you'll recall what a big scare it was when TV manufacturing completely abandoned the US for Japan (and, later, other parts of Asia). It generated a lot of fear in the US over the Japanese economy. Of course, later, plenty of people realized the nature of comparative advantage and why it actually made sense for TV manufacturing jobs to move overseas, especially as the US focused on other areas, such as the high tech industry. These things tend to have a way of working themselves out, as industries and markets evolve and change -- and, in the end, people often realize what seemed so reasonable in moving things overseas didn't really make sense. That's exactly what's happened in many cases of "offshoring" service jobs -- but it can be true in manufacturing as well. Take, for example, the news that Syntax-Billian, makers of the low-cost Olevia brand of HDTVs is now opening a new manufacturing plant in the US. Prior to this, the sets were all made in Taiwan, but the company has realized that shipping and inventory costs were quite high, and the overall impact would be much better moving to North America. Of course, they first looked at Mexico, but eventually realized that it was actually a better deal to manufacture in the US, saying it's still cheaper on shipping both parts and final products and would allow the company to react faster to market changes. The company also believes they'll save money in training and retaining workers in the US. Who knows if there's more going on behind the scenes here, but considering how big a story it was when all TV manufacturing left the US, it's certainly noteworthy that (at least at one plant) it's come back from Asia.