It seems almost every day another company announces that it is increasing its manufacturing activity in the U.S. A recent report by Boston Consulting Group, discussed in this article cites moves by foreign automobile, motorcycle and aircraft manufacturers to increase their manufacturing in the U.S. Reasons cited for the increase in U.S. manufacturing include low labor, natural gas and electricity costs as well as reduced lead time.
As more manufacturers recognize the benefits of manufacturing in the U.S., in particular, the ability to avoid the costs and delay associated with trans-oceanic shipping of parts, for example aircraft engines, the U.S. economy will benefit from the increase in tax paying entities located in the U.S. as well as potentially significant job creation. According to the BCG report, the increase in manufacturing could create between 2.5 and 5 million new U.S. factory and service jobs.
Not that long ago, U.S. consumers were being told that they would benefit from lower cost products imported from low-cost countries like China. Now many products can be manufactured at a lower cost and with better quality control in the U.S. than anywhere else in the world. As technology combined with the ever-shifting costs of labor and energy continues to impact the manufacturing world, one must wonder if the rise of U.S. manufacturing is here to stay or only a temporary swing in the manufacturing pendulum. Either way the industry is evolving and manufacturers will be changing with the times.