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Print 21 comment(s) - last by drycrust3.. on Jun 7 at 5:25 PM


  (Source: carycitizen.com)
The new line will add 115 manufacturing jobs in North Carolina and increase state output by more than $1 billion

Lenovo officially opened its first U.S. PC production line in its North Carolina facility yesterday, which will be responsible for producing some of Lenovo's Think products

The facility is 240,000 square feet and located in Whitsett, which is a North Carolina town about 10 miles east of Greensboro. 

The Whitsett facility has served as a logistics center, national returns center and customer solutions center. But now, Lenovo has added a U.S. computer manufacturing line to the factory. 

“Lenovo has achieved record growth and market share in the U.S. PC market, and the Whitsett manufacturing facility will enable us to further expand our presence here,” said Yuanqing Yang, chairman and CEO of Lenovo. “The facility is a demonstration of our commitment to and confidence in the North American market, and we see tremendous opportunities for the continued growth and development of our manufacturing footprint here in the United States.”

The U.S. computer manufacturing line started operations in January of this year. It will produce many Think products, such as the ThinkCentre M92p Tiny desktop, ThinkPad Helix convertible ultrabook, ThinkPad Tablet 2, etc.

The new line will add 115 manufacturing jobs in North Carolina and increase state output by more than $1 billion. 

Lenovo also donated 36 ThinkCentre Desktops (which were made in the Whitsett facility) to the Greensboro YMCA for youth activities. 

“I am proud that Lenovo is continuing to invest in North Carolina, bringing needed jobs to the Greensboro area and providing a foundation for future economic growth in our state,” said North Carolina Governor Pat McCrory. “Lenovo has been producing innovative and exciting products around the world and now they are in North Carolina’s backyard and we’re fortunate to have them.”
 
While making PCs in the U.S. could be a good move, PC sales are on the decline while mobile devices like smartphones and tablets are taking over. That's why Lenovo announced last month that it will push its own smartphones in the U.S. in the future. There are no details available on Lenovo smartphone plans right now, but it will likely involve Android.

Source: Lenovo



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Economics
By Motoman on 6/6/2013 12:49:30 PM , Rating: 3
I'd be pretty interested to see the economic rationale for assembling PCs in the states vs. shipping them over from Asia. Intuitively it doesn't seem like the vastly-higher cost of labor in the US could be accommodated by shipping savings...but I'm not the one looking at the numbers.




RE: Economics
By daboom06 on 6/6/2013 12:57:01 PM , Rating: 2
i think shipments like those are on giant container ships, which i also think work out to pretty much free shipping for each individual item. so shipping from china is probably negligible.

import taxes, though, are probably pretty high. they might be saving money there.


RE: Economics
By KentState on 6/6/2013 1:18:44 PM , Rating: 3
Unless the company is ran by idiots, then there is a financial reason for the decision. I'm sure they love the publicity, but a business is about profit.


RE: Economics
By retrospooty on 6/7/2013 11:00:28 AM , Rating: 2
Yup... As manufacturing booms, an area builds up and more nad more money comes in. people gain more and more experiance and demand higher wages... Therefore prices go up. It happened in Japan, Singapore and Taiwan, it stands to reason its getting more expensive in China as well. At some point, wages and logistics duke it out and its not much of a benefit for some products. Automotive is a good example of that. Many Asian car makers now make their US cars in the US because its actually cheaper when all totaled up.


RE: Economics
By Mint on 6/7/2013 12:00:15 PM , Rating: 4
It's not so much higher wages in China/Taiwan, but rather improvements in automation.

Did you see the figures in the article? That works out to over $8M of annual output per employee! Paying them an extra $50k/yr is almost negligible in light of that. I know there's lots of other jobs involved in building and designing the plant and its equipment, but wow...

The demand for blue collar labor to meet our production needs is plummeting, and has barely anything to do with taxes, outsourcing, regulations, etc. We're looking at a future where half the workforce is going to be fighting for a pittance of jobs that they're qualified to perform.

I think it's time to reduce the work week to spread the available labor and improve our quality of life. Productivity is supposed to be a wonderful thing, but as a society we're dealing with it very poorly.


RE: Economics
By Schadenfroh on 6/6/2013 1:07:15 PM , Rating: 1
It would be a brilliant move to manufacture tablets (like Lenovo is doing here) and smart phones stateside.

Most of the tablet / phone bans are import bans. If they are assembled here, they are no longer imports and if they have to shut a line down and furlough blue-collar American workers due to a frivolous patent ruling, you can bet there will be a public outcry for patent reform and a backlash towards Apple / Microsoft.


RE: Economics
By Motoman on 6/6/2013 1:35:59 PM , Rating: 2
That's ridiculous. Apple could request a sales ban instead of an import ban, and get the same result. This action has no bearing on such things.


RE: Economics
By Schadenfroh on 6/6/2013 2:11:25 PM , Rating: 2
I'm no IP lawyer, why not go for a sales ban in the first place? Especially if it is on older models that might already be in warehouses over here and no longer being imported...


RE: Economics
By Motoman on 6/6/2013 3:17:42 PM , Rating: 2
A sales ban affects a broader range of targets...like, Target for example. When a sales ban comes down, all retail outlets have to literally take their own inventory off the floor - and then wrangling starts to happen between retailers, distributors, and the manufacturers for buyback and whatever else.

In short - it's a mess. An import ban on foreign-produced goods is a *lot* cleaner. But since you clearly can't do an import ban on domestically-assembled products, you're left with a sales ban instead.


RE: Economics
By drycrust3 on 6/7/2013 5:25:27 PM , Rating: 2
These are my thoughts too. Look at Apple, they just got stung with an import ban, admittedly on an older model phone, but none the less it now means they have to look into the design of all their up coming phones to check for possible infringement.


RE: Economics
By tayb on 6/6/2013 1:39:01 PM , Rating: 1
It must be unfortunate to see manufacturing jobs coming back to the U.S. with a Democrat in office.


RE: Economics
By StanO360 on 6/6/2013 2:20:49 PM , Rating: 2
115 jobs impresses you, when millions have LEFT the workforce not by choice, millions more have magically become disabled (versus the past)?

10,000's leave every year due to outrageous corporate taxes and regulations.


RE: Economics
By Motoman on 6/6/2013 3:19:49 PM , Rating: 3
...you mean the outrageous corporate taxes that none of them pay, because of legal loopholes for offshoring and such? Effective corporate tax rates are miniscule.

And how about you cite some regulations that you think are crippling said corporations. US regulations are generally more lax than other similar countries, like in Europe and elsewhere.


RE: Economics
By IGx89 on 6/7/2013 8:05:06 AM , Rating: 2
Large businesses maybe. Small businesses, a pretty significant part of our economy, don't generally have those options.

I did a Google search on "us business regulations" and found quite a few new, expensive regulations listed. For example, from the Money Morning site: "According to Small Businesses for Sensible Regulations, an arm of the nonprofit, nonpartisan National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB), more than 4,100 new Obama regulations are in the pipeline. The group estimates that the 13 most expensive regulations will cost the U.S. economy $515 billion"


RE: Economics
By ianweck on 6/6/2013 3:44:26 PM , Rating: 3
As if Obama had anything to do with it.


RE: Economics
By Ramstark on 6/6/2013 1:47:26 PM , Rating: 2
Politics...

There, fixed that for you...;)


RE: Economics
By Motoman on 6/6/2013 1:49:42 PM , Rating: 2
Yeah, I don't think so. The schmuck looking at laptops at BBY isn't going to buy a Thinkpad over a Dell or HP if it costs more simply because it was assembled in the USA. No company, certainly not a publicly-traded one, is going to make such a move unless they actually expect it to improve their bottom line.


RE: Economics
By StanO360 on 6/6/2013 2:17:16 PM , Rating: 2
Look at the number of employees! Only 115! So I'm sure it will be highly automated, and Americans (believe it or not) are some of the most efficient workers on the planet. Cheap property, the State and County are probably giving them a few breaks.

What will kill them though is EPA compliance and corporate taxes of 35%, that's why a lot, if not most, leave the US, not labor.


RE: Economics
By Motoman on 6/6/2013 3:21:34 PM , Rating: 3
You're right. North Carolina should totally call up Lenovo and tell them to shove their 115 jobs up their a$s. That makes all the sense in the world.


RE: Economics
By TSS on 6/6/2013 11:33:48 PM , Rating: 2
One has to plan for the future. Chinese wages have gone up so much mexico's average wages are now lower then the chinese average wages. Something like 188 percent in 3 years, and still rising. It'd be like the US average manufacturing wage (which is around $11 an hour now) jumping to ~$50 in 3 years.

Not all of that is the increase in standards of living alot of it is inflation too, which is running very high in china to keep the economy growing. Good for the economy in general but bad for individual businesses, which will continually get less real actual value for goods delivered. That's especially true in a stagnating or contracting enviroment, which china is increasingly heading towards with the rest of the global economy.

Then take into account that global oil production has pretty much peaked for years now, with the destabilization of the middle east not helping either...

And the recent EU import duties on chinese solar panels, with the US's duties that have been on them since last year or early this year, globalism is ending and protectionism has started once again so any imports may become unprofitable at the drop of a hat. Where it previously was the best strategy to put all of your eggs in the lowest wage basket, in the future it'll be locally driven manufacturing spread across the markets you want to be in.


“So far we have not seen a single Android device that does not infringe on our patents." -- Microsoft General Counsel Brad Smith

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